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

Photo by Eli Meir Kaplan

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

Photo by Greg Endries

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...]

Lawyer Limelight: Karen Corrie


Karen Corrie admits to throwing caution to the wind in 2008 when she left her position as an assistant district attorney in New York to become an intern at the International Criminal Court, the ICC, in The Hague. In terms of job titles, the move was a downgrade, but it also positioned her to fulfill her goal of prosecuting the world’s worst atrocities. Corrie rose from an intern to become special assistant to the chief prosecutor - at the time, Luis Moreno Ocampo - and then on to being an analyst within the Office of the Prosecutor and … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: James Woolery

Photo by Laura Barisonzi

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft will remain in steady hands next year when James Woolery takes over as chairman from Christopher White, who guided the firm through the post-financial crisis era. Woolery initially ascended the ranks of the dealmaking world at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he made partner, then went to JPMorgan Chase in 2011 to serve as co-head of mergers & acquisitions for North America. Woolery joined Cadwalader last year and picked up where he left off in private practice. He represented the special committee of … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Paul Shim

Photo by Laura Barisonzi

It’s a lot more common to see an attorney with a chemical engineering degree practicing in patent law. But Paul Shim, who received both his B.S. and M.S. in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wound up as one of the nation’s leading dealmakers. He handles a constant stream of multibillion-dollar public and private M&A from the New York headquarters of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Shim joined the firm in 1987, the same year he received his law degree from New York University School of … [Read more...]