Emhoff, VP Harris’ husband, goes from top lawyer to teacher

Politics

Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks with members of the press as he tours “Hook Hall Helps” a COVID-19 relief effort that organizes and distributes prepared meals and care kits to local hospitality workers whose jobs have been impacted by pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictions, during a visit to the organization in Washington, on Monday, March 8, 2021. (Erin Scott/Pool via AP)

Vice President Kamala Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, is getting settled in a new job teaching law at Georgetown University amid a high-pressure moment in U.S. history.

There is the pandemic and the vaccinations, the $1.9 trillion relief package and the open wounds of a political divide that led to the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. But Emhoff’s dinner conversation with his wife would be familiar to almost any married couple: “How was your day?”

“I talk about how it’s going, how I’m trying to reach the students, and how they’re responding to me,” Emhoff told reporters on Monday. “And look, it’s odd the second gentleman is their teacher. But we kind of dispensed with that. It was maybe five minutes in the first class.”

Emhoff said his wife tends to be interested in what happens in the class, since she is a lawyer, too.

Joined by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, Emhoff on Monday toured Hook Hall, which is part of a COVID-19 relief effort to distribute meals and care kits to local hospitality workers.

Married to Harris since 2014, Emhoff left the Los Angeles office of the law firm of DLA Piper after Harris was elected with President Joe Biden. It was a career shift for a high-flying litigator specializing in entertainment and intellectual property law who, according to publicly released tax filings, earned about $3 million last year.

Emhoff said he’s grateful to be able to support his wife in her new role.

“We need more strong, powerful women in government, and we need strong, powerful women in business,” he said.

Emhoff said he’s talking to administration experts to learn the issues and not just visiting museums and libraries in Washington. He’s also experiencing the challenges of a virtual classroom.

“First of all, I’ve learned teaching is really hard,” Emhoff said. “The amount of work that you have to put in and the extra effort, especially during COVID, doing over Zoom.”

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