Secretary Frances Perkins standing directly behind President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the signing ceremony for the Social Security Act (1935).

The Office of the Solicitor (SOL) was established by the Organic Act of March 4, 1913, with the creation of the Department of Labor as an entity distinct and separate from the Department of Commerce and Labor. The Act provided, however, that the Department of Justice assign the Solicitor of Labor. On June 10, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6166 which transferred the Solicitor from the Department of Justice to the Department of Labor. From 1933 to 1940, the Solicitor and staff were housed within the immediate Office of the Secretary of Labor. By administrative order on June 6, 1940, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins transferred all Department attorneys and legal personnel to the supervision of the Solicitor of Labor, creating the the Office of the Solicitor.

Today, the Office of the Solicitor has the second largest litigation department in the federal government. SOL has over 450 attorneys at the National Office in Washington, D.C., and in Regional Offices across the United States who address the many complex legal issues that arise in administering and enforcing more than 180 federal labor laws and their implementing regulations. All SOL attorneys report to the Solicitor of Labor, the Department's third-highest ranking official and chief legal officer.

Past Solicitors of Labor