Legal Advisers

An Act of Congress of Feb 23, 1931 (P.L. 71-715; 46 Stat. 1214), created the position of Legal Adviser of the Department of State, with rank equivalent to an Assistant Secretary. The Legal Adviser replaced the Solicitor, a Department of Justice employee who had functioned as the Department of State’s chief legal officer since 1891. Between 1870 and 1891, the Examiner of Claims had been the chief legal officer of the Department. The Legal Adviser provides legal advice on all problems (domestic and international) arising in the course of the Department’s activities. Solicitors and Examiners of Claims were by statute officials of the Department of Justice and as such are outside the scope of this publication.