Paul J. Larkin Jr. directs The Heritage Foundation’s project to counter abuse of the criminal law, particularly at the federal level, as senior legal research fellow in the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. This “overcriminalization” project is part of Heritage’s Rule of Law initiative.
Before joining Heritage in September 2011, Larkin held various positions with the federal government in Washington, D.C. At the U.S. Department of Justice from 1984 to 1993, Larkin served as an assistant to the solicitor general and as an attorney in the Criminal Division’s section on organized crime and racketeering. He argued 27 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1996-1997, Larkin served as counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and head of the Crime Unit for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), then the panel’s chairman. He worked in the Environmental Protection Agency from 1998 to 2004 as a special agent for criminal enforcement, also serving as acting director in 2004.
His honors include the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, which he received in 1994 for representing the military before the Supreme Court.
In the private sector, he worked at two top law firms in Washington, D.C., and as assistant general counsel for Verizon Communications from 2004 to 2009.
Larkin received his law degree in 1980 from Stanford Law School, where he was a published member of the Stanford Law Review. He clerked for Judge Robert H. Bork of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
In 2010, he received a master’s degree in public policy from George Washington University. He also holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors.
Larkin, born and raised in New York, N.Y., is a life-long New York Giants fan. He and his wife Lee currently reside in Alexandria, Va. They have three sons and a chocolate Labrador retriever named Cocoa.