Attorneys General: Role and Issues

As the chief legal officers of the states, commonwealths and territories of the United States, attorneys general serve as counselors to state government agencies and legislatures, and as representatives of the public interest. In many areas traditionally considered the exclusive responsibility of the federal government, attorneys general now share enforcement authority and enjoy cooperative working relationships with their federal counterparts, particularly in the areas of antitrust, bankruptcy, consumer protection, criminal law, cybercrime and the environment.

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About the National Association of Attorneys General
The National Association of Attorneys General was founded in 1907 to help attorneys general fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high quality legal services to the states and territorial jurisdictions.

The association fosters interstate cooperation on legal and law enforcement issues, conducts policy research and analysis of issues, and facilitates communication between the states’ chief legal officers and all levels of government.

The association’s members are the attorneys general of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and the chief legal officers of the commonwealths of Puerto Rico (secretary of
justice) and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This article was submitted by Marjorie Tharp, director of communications for the National Association of Attorneys General,

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