Assembly speaker’s law firm has made millions since he took power. Critics cry foul.

April 25, 2024

Business is booming for New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.

An attorney by profession, Coughlin was a low-key state lawmaker with a solo law practice and a handful of municipal clients in the years before he ascended to the third most powerful position in the Statehouse in 2018.

“If you think that his being part of the firm has no impact on the fact that they’re getting this business, then I guess it doesn’t matter,” said Julia Sass Rubin, a professor at Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. “That seems a little unlikely.”

Others cast it as the typical give-and-take of political life and note that Coughlin’s partners are well regarded.

“If they’re competent at what they do, towns are going to hire somebody, right?” asked Marc Pfeiffer, another professor at the Bloustein School. “And if you’re buying services from somebody, you want to maximize the services you’re going to get. Why shouldn’t I have a law firm that has influence?”

NJ.com, April 25, 2024

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