Though it doesn't come with the more-than-comfortable salary of a law firm partner, the draw to public service could lure Holder back to the Justice Department.
"What's great about the Obama presidency is that so many people, like Eric Holder, are willing to forgo big incomes and endure intrusive vetting to get back into public service," said Doug Kendall, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center. "What he's doing at a loss to his pocketbook and family life is what America needs to right the ship."
Holder has made it clear that he agrees with those who believe the country is on the wrong path.
Last summer, Holder repudiated the Bush administration during a speech at the American Constitution Society's national convention.
Referring to the "disastrous course" traveled by the Bush administration, Holder called for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, a condemnation of torture and the end to warrantless domestic surveillance.
"Our needlessly abusive and unlawful practices in the 'War on Terror' have diminished our standing in the world community and made us less, rather than more, safe," Holder said.
"For the sake of our safety and security, and because it is the right thing to do, the next president must move immediately to reclaim America's standing in the world as a nation that cherishes and protects individual freedom and basic human rights."
If he ascends to the attorney general post, Holder could significantly impact the policies he -- and President-elect Obama -- have so vocally renounced.
ABC News' Jake Tapper and Ariane de Vogue contributed to this report.