Administrative law encompasses the decisions of federal, state, and local regulatory agencies. Attorneys who focus on administrative law typically represent federal, state, or local government agencies or, in some cases, individuals or groups who have a grievance against these agencies. The area of law is governed, in part, by the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946. This federal law provides certain rights to the public in regard to the decisions made by federal agencies, including the right to be informed of such decisions and to have a say in the rulemaking process.
Administrative law attorneys often act on behalf of the public to challenge laws and regulations that are perceived to be unfair, onerous, or unnecessarily restrictive. They may also serve as counsel for governmental agencies in defending those decisions. While the majority of administrative law attorneys are concentrated in the Washington, D.C. area, licensed lawyers in the administrative law field are available to offer their expertise in this aspect of public law to consumers throughout the United States.