Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates is a partner in King & Spalding’s Special Matters & Government Investigations practice. Sally’s deep experience, leadership and wide-ranging background provide clients with seasoned judgment in difficult times.
Her practice focuses on counseling clients in complex and sensitive matters, including government enforcement and regulatory matters, compliance, corporate governance and crisis management. Drawing upon her nearly three decades at the Department of Justice, she specializes in internal and independent investigations for public and private organizations and boards.
As the second-highest ranking official at the U.S. Department of Justice and as Acting Attorney General, Sally was responsible for all of DOJ’s 113,000 employees including all prosecutorial, litigating, and national security components.
She also was responsible for all U.S. Attorney’s offices and law enforcement agencies and the Bureau of Prisons. Sally oversaw DOJ’s most significant matters and was instrumental in setting DOJ’s enforcement priorities and initiatives.
Known for her lifelong, nonpartisan focus on public corruption, Sally is recognized worldwide for her integrity and credibility. An accomplished trial lawyer and Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, Sally has tried numerous high-profile cases.
A 27-year veteran of DOJ, Sally rose through the ranks of Assistant United States Attorneys to become U.S. Attorney in Atlanta, Deputy Attorney General and Acting Attorney General. As Deputy Attorney General from 2015 through 2017, Sally was responsible for crafting and implementing initiatives focused on many of DOJ’s priorities, including corporate fraud, cybercrime, gang violence, civil rights, and financial crime. She led DOJ’s criminal justice reform efforts and implemented substantial prison reform measures.
Prior to becoming Deputy Attorney General, Sally was the first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. During her five years as the chief federal law enforcement official for the district, she oversaw the prosecution of all federal crimes and the litigation of civil matters and immediately became a leader in the Department as Vice Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), which guides DOJ’s strategies and policy decisions.
She has tried numerous white collar and public corruption cases, and she was the lead prosecutor of Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph.
Before entering government service, Sally practiced as a civil litigation associate at King & Spalding. She has served as a Visiting Distinguished Lecturer at Georgetown University Law Center and a frequent speaker on a variety of public policy issues.
- J.D., University of Georgia School of Law
- B.A., University of Georgia
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
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