Gov. Jim Florio of New Jersey plans to join Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon next month as a partner focusing on corporate and environmental law.

The departing governor made his announcement last week. A spokesman for the firm said Florio will not take part in public finance work at Mudge Rose, which ranks number one in municipal bond work so far this year.

Donald J. Zoeller, the firm's chief executive officer, said Mudge Rose plans to "make extensive use of Gov. Florio's expertise in such areas as transportation, environmental issues, health care, and world trade."

Florio practiced law in Camden County, N.J., before entering public service in 1969, when he was elected a state assemblyman. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1974 until 1990, when he was elected governor.

In one of the closest elections in New Jersey history, Florio lost his reelection bid last month to Christine Todd Whitman, who takes office on Jan. 18.

"I look forward to working with a firm that combines interest in global issues with a commitment to increasing its activity in New Jersey," Florio said in a statement announcing the move. "Just like New Jersey, this firm is well-positioned to lead on issues like health care and world trade."

Florio plans to split his time between law and teaching. He reportedly is attempting to negotiate a post with one of several New Jersey universities.

He will work out of the Parsippany, N.J., office of Mudge Rose, a firm headed by Richard M. Nixon until he was elected President in the 1968 national election.

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