Photo of Elaine Golin by Dave Cross.

I’ll tell you a secret.

Doesn’t that sound delectable and fun?

And we all need a little actual fun – the exuberance of discovery, of celebration, of the view beyond.

A jump in the sea.

One of our favorite moments of each year is this one, when we say: We are delighted to announce the 2022 Lawdragon Legends.

These remarkable lawyers have all been recognized repeatedly among the 500 leading lawyers, typically 10 times. And they are lawyers who fascinate, motivate and challenge us. They set the bar high for themselves and in doing so remind us of the magic of the law in the hands of a great lawyer.

The 20 lawyers recognized this year have inspired us in some cases for decades. We’ve watched Chris Meade ascend from WilmerHale partner to general counsel of the U.S. Treasury Department and now BlackRock. And Elaine Golin soar from the dazzling upcoming litigation star at Wachtell to one of its foremost partners. We first met Debra Katz for her tenacious work as an employment lawyer representing plaintiffs ages before she became the #MeToo go-to counsel in the highest of high-profile situations. Debra Wong Yang was a young U.S. Attorney leading the Los Angeles office ages before she emerged as Gibson Dunn’s powerhouse insider consigliere.

Here's another secret. The first trial I ever covered, long ago and far away as a baby reporter, featured two remarkable lawyers. In one corner, the best litigator in Orange County, Calif., Thomas R. Malcolm, then of Jones Day and a member of our Hall of Fame. And in the other, John C. Taylor, now of his own firm, Taylor & Ring.

And the list goes on ... As do we all.

We’ve known and loved these lawyers for ages. We hope you do, too. You can see the full list of Legends here

First Last Firm Location
Michael Aiello Weil New York
Frank Aquila Sullivan & Cromwell New York
Sean Berkowitz Latham Chicago
Ray Boucher Boucher LLP Los Angeles
E. Leon Carter Carter Arnett Dallas
Apalla Chopra O'Melveny Los Angeles
Steven Fineman Lieff Cabraser New York
Katherine B. Forrest Paul Weiss New York
Kenneth Gallo Paul Weiss Washington, D.C.
Elaine Golin Wachtell New York
Jeh Charles Johnson Paul Weiss New York
Debra Katz Katz Marshall Washington, D.C.
Paul Lancaster Adams Ogletree Deakins Philadelphia
Colette Matzzie Phillips & Cohen Washington, D.C.
Christopher Meade BlackRock New York
Patrick Quinn Cadwalader New York
Grace Speights Morgan Lewis Washington, D.C.
John C. Taylor Taylor & Ring Los Angeles
Shawn Williams Robbins Geller San Diego
Debra Wong Yang Gibson Dunn Los Angeles