Steven G. Bradbury

Steven G. Bradbury

Partner, Dechert LLP


Steven BradburySteve Bradbury is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm Dechert LLP, where he is nationally known for his general litigation, administrative law, and appellate practice. 

During the Bush administration, Bradbury served as head of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he was principal deputy assistant attorney general from 2004 to 2009 and acting assistant attorney general from 2005 to 2007. As head of OLC, Mr. Bradbury advised the President, the attorney general, and the heads of the various executive departments of the federal government on significant questions of constitutional, statutory, and administrative law and treaty interpretation, and he testified numerous times before Congress.

During his tenure at OLC, Bradbury grappled with issues at the interface of national security law, privacy protections, and constitutional liberties, including issues relating to cybersecurity and the authorities of the NSA and the FIS.  Among other things, he led the legal effort for the Justice Department that resulted in the initial FISA court approval of the NSA’s telephone metadata program in 2006. He was extensively involved in the collaboration between the Executive Branch and Congress that produced the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.

In 2011, Mr. Bradbury presented the keynote address on the Developing Legal Framework for Defensive and Offensive Cyber Operations at the Harvard National Security Journal symposium on Cybersecurity:  Law, Privacy, and Warfare in a Digital World.  Since the disclosures of NSA programs leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013, Mr. Bradbury has written and spoken extensively on the legal bases for these programs and on proposals for changing the programs and reforming FISA authorities, and he has delivered testimony on these subjects to Congress and to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

Mr. Bradbury served as a law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court and to Judge James Buckley on the D.C. Circuit.  He is a graduate of Michigan Law School and Stanford University.