KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Former representative Kenny Hulshof has stepped out of politics and into a legal position where he will specialize in public policy issues.
Hulshof, 50, will join Polsinelli Shughart PC on Monday as part of its Public Policy practice. He will have offices in Missouri and Washington, D.C., the company said in a news release.
Polsinelli Shughart is the product of two large Kansas City-based law firms whose merger is effective Monday.
"I am energized by the prospect of joining the team at this pivotal time in the firm's history," Hulshof said.
The move comes after his name was mentioned in some circles as a possible successor to Sen. Kit Bond, a Republican who surprised political supporters earlier this month when he announced he wouldn't seek re-election in 2010.
Hulshof, originally from Sikeston, Mo., was the Republican nominee for governor who lost to Democrat Jay Nixon in November's election. He served in Congress from 1997 until leaving office this month.
Before being elected to the 9th District seat, Hulshof served as assistant attorney general under Nixon, was an assistant prosecutor and worked as a public defender.
While he was assistant prosecutor in Cape Girardeau County, one of his courtroom adversaries recommended him for a job in 1989 in Attorney General Bill Webster's office.
There, Hulshof specialized in prosecuting high-profile murder cases.
Hulshof graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia, then went to law school at the University of Mississippi, thinking he would focus on agricultural law. Instead, he got hooked by the courtroom theatrics in a freshman trial advocacy course and decided to go into criminal law.
"His expertise in a broad range of federal and state policy issues will be invaluable to our clients," said W. Russell Welsh, Polsinelli's chairman and chief executive officer.
Polsinelli Shughart will have more than 480 attorneys, with offices in 13 cities, spanning from Phoenix to Washington, D.C.