On The Job Moves

August 5, 2003
Corporate Counsel, August 2003
When Aaron Bayer begins his new job as chair of New haven-based Wiggin & Dana’s appellate practice, he’ll be taking another step in a legal career that has led him, quite literally, around the world.  From law firm life in Washington, D.C. , to a stint at a Sydney, Australia firm, the 48-year-old outgoing general counsel and secretary of Connecticut College has a background that is anything but ordinary.  Propelled by the “opportunity to do things that are intellectually engaging,” Bayer’s career path is a study in diverse experiences, not to mention the power of networking.
In 1987, after almost five years as an associate in the Washington, D.C., office of O’Melveny & Myers, Bayer and his wife sold their car, rented out their house, and took off for a year of international travel, including a five-month stint at a Sydney firm.
When they got back, Bayer became counsel to Senator Joe Lieberman, whom he knew through a friend, and later counsel to the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.  One day Bayer got a phone call “out of the blue” from a school friend who told him that Connecticut was hunting for a new deputy attorney general.  Bayer nailed the interview and accepted the position, relocating to Connecticut and eventually supervising 200 attorneys.
After nine years working for the state, he began looking for something new.  A friend who had done some legal work for Connecticut College, alerted Bayer that the school’s president was looking for a new GC.  Bayer got the job and taught upper-level classes in addition to coordinating board of trustees matters and overseeing all of the college’s legal affairs.
Serendipity struck again when Wiggin &Dana offered Bayer the chance to chair the firm’s appellate practice.  Bayer will be replacing his friend Mark Kravitz, who was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the U.S. district judge in Connecticut. 
Bayer hopes that a return to firm life will not foreclose other opportunities.   He remains close friends with many of his former colleagues, including Lieberman, and doesn’t rule out a return to politics.  “I don’[t lose any of the connections that I’ve made over the years,” says Bayer.