Her Credentials: Ex Guv

FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR Ann Richards has joined a high-powered Washington law firm--even though she's not a lawyer. No matter. She is a big-bucks senior adviser at Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand, helping corporate clients with foreign problems. That may mean dealing with the Mexican officials, with whom she had so much contact before her defeat last fall.

Verner Liipfert is going out of its way to accommodate Richards by opening an office in Austin for her. The legal gig ends a brief fling with advertising for Richards, who couldn't be reached for comment. Along with former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, she hawked Doritos chips in a short-lived campaign.

The law firm is a Democratic Party haven, having recently hired ex- Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, ex-Senator George Mitchell, and ex- Hawaii Governor John Waihee. It also has long ties to the Lone Star State: Two of its partners were advisers to President Lyndon Johnson.

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