Bernhardt, David Longly

David Longly Bernhardt is chair of the firm’s Natural Resources Department and represents a wide range of clients in rulemakings, regulatory enforcement proceedings, adjudications and permitting reviews.

David's practice is based on extensive experience gained from his public service both as the Department of the Interior’s chief legal counsel and as a policymaker who led efforts related to species conservation, conventional and alternative energy development, natural resources planning, environmental compliance, climate change and Indian affairs.

In 2006, David was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as the Solicitor of the Department of the Interior. Prior to serving as Solicitor, he held several high level positions with the Interior including: Deputy Solicitor, Deputy Chief of Staff, Counselor to the Secretary of the Interior, and Director of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs.

As Solicitor, David was the Chief Legal Officer and third ranking official for the U.S. Department of the Interior. He provided advice and counsel on a wide range of legal and policy matters to each of the agencies that make up the Department of the Interior, while leading a team of nearly 500 attorneys and staff.

In addition to his responsibilities at the Department of Interior, in 2007 David was appointed by President Bush to lead the International Boundary Commission between the United States and Canada where David was responsible, along with his Canadian counterpart, for maintaining the 5,525 mile international boundary between these two nations.

Prior to his service within the Executive Branch, David was an associate at Brownstein from 1998-2001. 

  • J.D., with honors, The George Washington University Law School
  • B.A., University of Northern Colorado
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Arizona, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit