As chief legal officers of the states, commonwealths, District of Columbia, and territories of the United States, the role of an attorney general is to serve as counselor to state government agencies and legislatures, and as a representative of the public interest.
Attorney General Powers and Responsibilities
While varying from one jurisdiction to the next due to statutory and constitutional mandates, the role of attorney general typically includes:
- Issuing formal opinions to state agencies
- Acting as public advocates in areas such as child support enforcement, consumer protections, antitrust and utility regulation
- Proposing legislation
- Enforcing federal and state environmental laws
- Representing the state and state agencies before the state and federal courts
- Handling criminal appeals and serious statewide criminal prosecutions
- Instituting civil suits on behalf of the state
- Representing the public’s interests in charitable trust and solicitations
- Operating victim compensation programs
The People’s Lawyer Podcast
The People’s Lawyer is a biweekly podcast from NAAG that explores the role of state and territory attorneys general as chief legal officers and their work protecting the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.
Episodes explore the attorney general’s role in working with legislatures, consumer protection, antitrust enforcement, criminal justice, protecting vulnerable populations, and more!