Lawyer Limelight: Sherrilyn Ifill

Photo by Greg Endries

If any organization can be said to have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. "The best civil rights law firm in American history," as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, though, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. In a year that has been marked by the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Jami Wintz McKeon

Photo by Andrew Kahl

The chair-elect of Morgan Lewis & Bockius takes over the top spot at the firm on Oct. 1 perhaps in part because she’s done everything else there so well already. Jami Wintz McKeon, a 1981 Villanova Law graduate, rose to prominence as a premier litigator and ultimately took leadership of the sprawling global firm’s litigation practice group; but along the way she’s played an integral role in recruitment, compensation and business policy determinations, grounding her in every aspect of law firm management. She joins a … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Benjamin Bailey

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Benjamin Bailey has done it all on his way to being one of West Virginia’s leading trial lawyers. He’s served as a prosecutor, counsel to a Governor, been a partner in one of the state’s largest firms, and then founded his own, Bailey & Glasser, which has quickly become a leading boutique firm. Despite those accomplishments, what he still enjoys most of all is being in court. Whether he’s defending someone accused of murder, or strategizing for billion-dollar outcomes on behalf of the FDIC or victims of Toyota … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Lisa Blatt

Photo by Eli Meir Kaplan

Arnold & Porter made the right move in 2009 when it hired Lisa Blatt to chair the firm’s appellate and Supreme Court practice. Blatt had recently concluded a l3-year stint as Assistant to the Solicitor General, where she had worked with a half-dozen different solicitors general and briefed more than 250 cases. Blatt worked at Williams & Connolly and then the Department of Energy before joining the Solicitor General’s office. Since joining Arnold & Porter, Blatt has led one of the nation’s busiest appellate … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Jonathan Sherman

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The only thing more interesting than being Jonathan Sherman is perhaps to be one of his clients. The Boies, Schiller & Flexner partner is Floyd Abrams meets David Boies with a side order of Hunter S. Thompson. His passion for the law bubbles forth with astonishing ferocity, in particular about the First Amendment. His first years in practice were with Abrams, the legendary First Amendment titan of Cahill Gordon & Reindel. As a third-year associate, Sherman began to champion cameras in the courtroom as author of the brief that opened … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Jerry Clements

Photo by Justin Clemons

It’s a short list, the one that Jerry Clements is on, and she has pardoned those who have figured, based on her name, that she is probably a guy. Less than 10 percent of the top jobs at the 100 top law firms in the U.S. are held by women and Clements has been running the rodeo at Locke Lord, based in Texas, since 2006. She’s steered the firm to international prominence through mergers and by judicious lateral hiring and internal growth. The one-time baton twirler and Miss Majorette of Texas who grew up to become one of the Lone … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Frank Darras

Photo by Amy Cantrell

Frank Darras has long been known as the top disability lawyer in the country, having devoted his career to helping sick, injured and elderly policyholders – whether blue-collar workers or corporate executives – take on giant insurance companies. Recently, Darras has added a new type of client focus with what he considers to be an overlooked group – amateur and professional athletes. As a former student athlete, Darras was personally affected by injury, losing the sensation in his fingertips after an industrial accident, … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Michelle Banks

Photo by Gregory Cowley

Michelle Banks has been with Gap Inc. since 1999, when she joined the retailer from an in-house legal position at the NBA’s Golden State Warriors; she became the retailer’s general counsel in 2006. Prior to Gap Inc., she was also an American counsel for ITOCHU Corporation in Japan, and worked in private practice. Banks serves on the Executive Committees of the Boards of Directors of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and United Way of the Bay Area. She is also chair of the General Counsel Forum of the National Retail … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Latonia Keith

Photo by Anthony Tahlier

A global recession and its impact on the bottom line of law firms might well have been expected to dampen funding and enthusiasm for pro bono work. Funding, perhaps, but pro bono representation, fortunately, remains part of the emotional and professional bedrock of the practice of law. Firms may well have applied the dictum “do more with less” across the board, but the result, for pro bono work, has in many cases been that increased oversight has led to better organization, cooperation, and utilization of scarce … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Adam Emmerich

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It’s difficult to find a firm that surpasses the intellectual firepower of Wachtell Lipton. Case in point: Dealmaker Adam Emmerich, who has handled more than $500 billion in deals, including Covidien in its $42.9B acquisition by Medtronic; Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile US in the $30B combination of T-Mobile and MetroPCS (following the frustrated $39B sale of T-Mobile to AT&T, in which the break fee alone was $6B); and the board of Wyeth in its $68B acquisition by Pfizer. He brings a deeply philosophical and well-read thoughtfulness … [Read more...]