I’ve learned teaching is really hard: former high-flying litigator and Kamala Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff on his new university role

Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks with members of the press (Erin Scott/PA)
Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks with members of the press (Erin Scott/PA) (AP)
16:46pm, Tue 09 Mar 2021
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Vice President Kamala Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff admits it is not easy for him to adapt to his new job teaching law at Georgetown University amid a high-pressure moment in US history.

There is the pandemic and the vaccinations, the 1.9 trillion US dollar relief package and the open wounds of a political divide that led to the January 6 assault on the US Capitol.

But Mr Emhoff’s dinner conversation with his wife would be familiar to almost any married couple: “How was your day?”

“I talk about how it’s going, how I’m trying to reach the students, and how they’re responding to me,” Mr Emhoff told reporters.

“And look, it’s odd the second gentleman is their teacher.

“But we kind of dispensed with that.

“It was maybe five minutes in the first class.”

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks as President Joe Biden listens (Patrick Semansky/AP) (AP)

Mr Emhoff said his wife tends to be interested in what happens in the class, since she is a lawyer, too.

Joined by Washington, DC, mayor Muriel Bowser, Mr Emhoff toured Hook Hall, which is part of a Covid-19 relief effort to distribute meals and care kits to local hospitality workers.

Married to Ms Harris since 2014, Mr Emhoff left the Los Angeles office of the law firm of DLA Piper after Ms Harris was elected with President Joe Biden.

It was a career shift for a high-flying litigator specialising in entertainment and intellectual property law who, according to publicly released tax filings, earned about three million US dollars last year.

Mr Emhoff said he is grateful to be able to support his wife in her new role.

“We need more strong, powerful women in government, and we need strong, powerful women in business,” he said.

Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, left, write messages on bags of relief supplies (Erin Scott/AP) (AP)

Mr Emhoff said he is talking to administration experts to learn the issues and not just visiting museums and libraries in Washington.

“He’s also experiencing the challenges of a virtual classroom.

“First of all, I’ve learned teaching is really hard,” Mr Emhoff said.

“The amount of work that you have to put in and the extra effort, especially during Covid, doing over Zoom.”

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