October 22, 2019 News & Features » Cover Story

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Stephen Cobb, 37 

Counsel, Troutman Sanders LLP

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Scott Elmquist

Attorney Stephen Cobb describes his work as “very macro.” Cobb is counsel at Troutman Sanders, working on government investigations and litigation. It’s familiar territory for the high-profile lawyer, who served as a Commerce Department appointee and deputy attorney general under Attorney General Mark Herring.

Cobb was one of the youngest deputy attorneys general in history and was given a high-degree of responsibility and authority.

“We oversaw the day-to-day legal representation for everything that was not health, education and public safety,” he says. “That’s agriculture, administration, commerce and trade, transportation, veterans and defense affairs, natural resources and finance. It touched on a little bit of everything.”

Variety appeals to Cobb. During his appointment to Commerce under President Barack Obama, his focus was narrower, but he worked with a similarly wide array of clients. They included, “everyone from the EU Patent Office, to garage inventors, to big corporate offices and even emerging nations filing their first patents.”

His work is all tied together by one thing: “I really like helping people solve problems.”

Cobb, who learned the value of civic engagement as a pastor’s kid in Norfolk, is also a dedicated volunteer. He serves on the US-Spain Council’s Young Leaders program promoting closer ties between the two nations, mentors law students and volunteers at the Virginia State Capitol each year for Law Day, explaining legislation to youth.

Law Day brings Cobb back to his first visit to the Capitol as a 13-year-old page, in 1995.

“Talking with 10- to 13-year-olds who come in with the same wide eyes and questions I’d had so many years before, it’s just wonderful.”

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