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“In a lot of ways, he brings an enforcement philosophy that seems to be entirely consistent with where the administration has been on these issues for the past 4 1/2 years, and as a result, I think that he may find Senate confirmation to be elusive.”

Meanwhile, Senate aides plan to seek more details about Mr. Weil’s work for organized labor and whether any potential conflicts could arise.

“It’s a concern for any nominee and it’s something we do thru out the vetting process,” the Senate aide said. “I’m fairly certain this will come up.”

Mr. Weil wrote a letter to a Labor Department ethics official saying he plans to cease all of his consulting work when confirmed.

“In addition, I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter involving specific parties in which a former client of mine is a party ” he wrote.

Mr. Weil is hardly the only administration nominee from academia who earned income on the side by consulting.

Ashton B. Carter, named the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer in 2011, also was a professor at Harvard, according to the White House announcement of his nomination. But the announcement didn’t mention he also earned money consulting for defense firms.

Likewise, James Steinberg, who served as one of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s top deputies, worked as a dean at the University of Texas. Disclosure forms at the time showed he also consulted part-time for the Glover Park Group, a lobbying firm with ties to the Clintons.