John Waits is a partner in Winston & Strawn’s Washington, D.C. office. His practice has been particularly focused on governmental affairs and the Congressional appropriations process.
With more than 25 years of experience in dealing with the Congress and the executive branch, Mr. Waits has managed a variety of complex federal legislative and regulatory issues in the areas of infrastructure funding, agriculture, international trade, economic and community development, transportation, health care, education, and national defense.
Business clients for which Mr. Waits has provided significant representation include major companies in the automotive, maritime, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, as well as trade associations and engineering, consulting and technology-oriented firms. He also represents and works closely with numerous governmental entities (including state agencies, counties, municipalities, territories, airport authorities, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations) to help secure earmarked federal funding for important project initiatives. He is a former director of the State of Mississippi’s Washington Office under contract to the State Department of Economic and Community Development.
Previously, Mr. Waits served as top aide to a former Mississippi Congressman, and he also was legal counsel to a House Agriculture Subcommittee. Before coming to Capitol Hill in 1979, he practiced law in New York City with another firm, handling primarily litigation matters.
Mr. Waits has provided pro bono legal services on behalf of U.S. military and overseas civilian voters, as well as refugees seeking political asylum. He is an active contributor to the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Mr. Waits received a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Mississippi in 1969. The following year, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and studied Modern History and Diplomacy at the University of Hamburg, Germany. He received in 1972 an M.A. in History, with honors, from the University of Virginia, and in 1977 a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.