Dan Casto, who was once the youngest elected official in West Virginia, has moved from practicing attorney to fill the role of legislative director for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.
When he finished law school in 2009, Casto was hired by Sullivan & Cromwell, one of the firms he had worked for during summers while he was enrolled at West Virginia University. He practiced financial law for the firm’s D.C. office for two years.
Casto said the job taught him how to pay attention to details, learn legislative processes and get accustomed to logging long hours. But in the summer of 2010, Casto decided he wanted to delve more deeply into the lawmaking process.
He told a friend who used to work for Capito that he was interested in getting his footing on the Hill, and he kept in contact with some of the staffers. When a spot as legislative director opened up earlier this year, he jumped at the opportunity and was ultimately hired by the Congresswoman. He started on Feb. 1.
“The only negative reaction I got was that I was taking a huge pay cut,” Casto said with a laugh.
It makes sense that his law degree would propel him into a legislative director position; he now works on tax, trade and finance issues for Capito. Casto said that he’s always been interested in policy, but in practicing law, he was just reacting to the legislative body. In working for government, he’s actually influencing the legislative body.
“Now I really see myself as a person who is going to make an impact on the policy side,” Casto said. “Although I see myself getting back into law in the future, this where I want to be.”
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Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.