You say you want a revolution ….
As we post the 2018 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, school children throughout the United States are walking out of their classrooms. The adults have failed to protect them, so they’re taking matters into their own hands.
That grassroots activism defines right now, and this year’s 500. From digital populists to discrimination warriors, the era of power lawyers has passed and transformed into an ascendant group defined by passion, precision and perspective.
Who’s in charge? From the White House to corporate powerbrokers, it’s anyone’s guess as one institution after another struggles with inclusion, populism, protectionism and our Apprehensive New World.
Well you know, we’d all love to change the world
Lawyers are on the front lines of battles over technological changes that will define our lives for decades to come. Susman Godfrey’s Bill Carmody was at the wheel for Uber in its driverless-car showdown with Waymo (aka Google) in February. Boies Schiller’s Karen Dunn co-led the team, coaching Travis Kalanick to an impressive performance that changed the course of a billion-dollar legal showdown. Points, too, to Melinda Haag and Walter Brown of Orrick, his personal lawyers, and new Uber general counsel Tony West – all 500 members this year.
You tell me it’s the constitution
Trump. Sanctuary cities. Immigration. Global trade. Taxes. Guns. Lawyers for and against all of those things are here, as is Donald McGahn, who’s steadily reshaping the federal judiciary not unlike another outsider President a few decades back.
One of the biggest legal showdowns continues to percolate a bit farther south in Guantanamo Bay, where the accused planners of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks continue to face the Preliminary Hearing of the Century. Because it’s lasting a Century. Also because lawyers for the prosecution and defense deal every day with Gordian knots of torture, procedure and the relationship of the present to the past to try to achieve something called justice. Even as the definition of what that is in this case gets further in the rearview mirror.
Well you know, we’re all doing what we can.
We’re proud of this year’s Lawdragon 500 for many reasons, including its inclusiveness, with 20 percent diversity and 34 percent women. #metoo has a home here, with lawyers suing and defending, as well as experiencing their own harassment and discrimination on their path to prominence.
These are lawyers who inspire with their public interest leadership, their vision of the rule of law and its relationship to our lives, our economies and our governance. They assess how to structure the most difficult deals, and how to counsel leaders who abuse, prevaricate and some who actually try to lead.
So you know it’s going to be all right. All right.
All right. All right.