By Vicki Needham - 01/11/11 03:40 PM EST
Dorgan, who spent 30 years in Congress, including the past 18 in the Senate, will serve as co-chairman of the firm’s government-relations arm along with former Rep. Phil English (Pa.), a Republican who joined the firm in 2009.
Neither Dorgan nor Bennett said he planned to register as a lobbyist, though Bennett refused to rule it out.
Senators are required to wait two years before they can lobby lawmakers, but they are allowed to advise their clients on how to navigate Capitol Hill.
Dorgan said “there’s so much to do at this point” that affects the public and private sectors.
“There are no limitations, I have an abundant appetite to work on a wide range of energy issues,” said Dorgan, who started with the firm this week.
Bennett, who began work on Jan. 3, said that while he’s not going to miss the political game, he enjoyed the policy aspects of his old job and wanted to remain active in that realm.
“I want to help more companies with technical solutions understand the political arena and solve problems faster,” he said.
During his time in the Senate, Dorgan focused on energy, aviation, agriculture, water, economic and Indian issues. During the past two years, he worked with Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) on a comprehensive bill to fund the Federal Aviation Administration that included an overhaul of the nation’s air traffic control system, shifting from World War II-era technology to use of a satellite-based system called NextGen. The bill got punted to this Congress to work out final details.
Besides working in Washington, Bennett will spend time with international clients in the firm’s Los Angeles office.
Bennett was first elected to the Senate in 1992 and was a member of several committees, including Senate Banking, Energy and Natural Resources, the Appropriations committees and the Joint Economic Committee.
“They bring a remarkable amount of leadership, knowledge and experience in key policy areas, including taxes, energy, financial services and trade,” said Arent Fox Chairman Mark M. Katz. “They will add a tremendous amount of proven strategic, policy and business expertise that is important to our clients and our law firm.”
Dorgan and Bennett also intend to remain active outside their roles at Arent Fox.
Bennett has started the Bennett Consulting Group, with offices in Washington, Salt Lake City and Shanghai that will advise businesses.
Dorgan will lead a new program at the Aspen Institute, work with the Bipartisan Policy Center on energy issues and teach at Georgetown University.
— This story was originally posted at 10:40 a.m. and was updated at 7:24 p.m.