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Despite the broad importance of the function, scholarship examining the state attorney general’s duty to advise is remarkably thin. This could be due to the fact that state law has generally received less acknowledgment and importance in modern legal education and academia. Additionally, when looking for sources of law, legal academic discourse typically places a heavy emphasis on statutes and judge-made law, at the cost of examining all other sources of law.
This Comment seeks to help fill that gap by considering how a state attorney general’s duty to advise functions as a source of law, by proposing six general models of how the opinions of a state attorney general can alter the legal rights, duties, and relations of persons. In doing so, this Comment still seeks to acknowledge and respect the fact that each state’s individual constitution and traditions will create a unique role for its attorney general’s duty to advise in shaping state law.
* J.D. Candidate, 2020, University of Richmond School of Law; B.A. with Distinction, 2015, University of Virginia. I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to Trevor Cox and Matt McGuire for their guidance, mentorship, and kindness. Additionally, this Comment would not exist if it were not for Jan Proctor and Tish Hawkins opening my eyes to the importance of the opinions of state attorneys general. Finally, a special thanks to the fantastic editorial board and staff, including Legal Publication Coordinator Glenice Coombs, of Volume 54 of the University of Richmond Law Review for their hard work and friendship.