Welcome to the Glorious Defiants – Lawdragon’s 15th anniversary celebration of leading lawyers and legal professionals defining and changing our world. The complete digital version is below.

Every year is a journey, which we are grateful you have shared with us since the dragons set sail in 2005. As our remarkable and resolute editor and co-founder John Ryan reflects on our saga in “Lawdragon 15 Years: A Journey” (pg. 168), we are profoundly grateful to folks near and very far who gave us a chance. Amazing lawyers who opened their arms and stories to us, and colleagues whose words and imagery defined our very different vision of what we believed were important narratives.

You are the strands of the fabric we have tried to weave – one that is global, multicultural, powered by a chorus of viewpoints that are equality inclusive in every way. To us, the Bigness that matters in the law is the span of its wings, less for its opportunity to enrich than to empower anyone with an idea, a passion for justice and a dedication to help clients.

They say nothing good ever came easy. And we’ll say, “true, true,” while thanking you for making even the “what were we thinking days?” a little lighter. The magazine we’re privileged to share with you today is dedicated to each of you and everyone who’s shared our journey.

2020 entwined our horizons and hearts in crisis upon crisis, a search for a cure or somedays just a hug. We spent so much time in Florida (figuratively, of course, though my last flight was Feb. 21 when I met Paul Geller for lunch in Boca Raton and discussed Gary, his dog, who’s featured prominently). When we planned for the year to go to the dogs, we had an entirely other definition in mind. But our salute to Gary and another four-legged friend on this year’s cover is a salute to how much our lives have changed. And a thank you to them and families unaccustomed to our omnipresence. So much gratitude amidst the crashing waves.

Social justice captured our hearts – as ever, but with renewed ferocity following the killing of George Floyd. We “traveled” to Nashville to write about Fisk University and the potential it and other HBCUs offer to put into (private law) practice meaningful inclusion. We spoke with Michael Coston of Coston Consulting, among the only Black legal communication consultants, about how firms can change.

Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila showed us a firm five years into its “change moment,” led by the one and only Judge Patricia Brown Holmes, the only Black female name and managing partner of a major U.S. law firm. Our brilliant assistant editor Alison Preece talked to Selendy & Gay about building an inclusive firm in the toughest of times and with Taylor & Ring on forging a leading plaintiffs’ sexual abuse practice. Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann discussed their market-leading corporate governance litigation practice while Cravath’s capital markets team explained how the year turned out to be sizzling.

We stood on top of a mountain in Telluride with Susman Godfrey’s Geoffrey Harrison. We went to Tampa and caught up with Steve Yerrid, a hero since our earliest days who’s always shown the power of courage. We caught up with the one and only Randi McGinn in Albuquerque whose strength sparkles as ever as she creates Althea with some of the other top female plaintiff lawyers in the nation.

And, of course, we were transfixed by Sigrid McCawley, the Boies Schiller partner and singular force with one mission: stop Jeffrey Epstein.

Here’s the thing about chaos – which we’ve bowed down to more than once in our 15 years. It is opportunity. It is a change moment. It is the glorious collision of destruction and heat and light. From which the future dawns with renewed gratitude for the past and hunger for a new and brighter day.

Thank you.

Please enjoy our magazine below. You can click the bottom right box icon to view it in full screen.