The National Law Journal released this week the names attorneys they've identified as "The Decade's Most Influential Lawyers." Ten of the 40 attorneys selected for the list hail from HLS.
Three faculty members and seven alumni were recognized by the journal as lawyers who "defined the decade." The list, which spans law firms, academia, government and advocacy groups, focuses on a dozen specialty areas within the legal profession: antitrust; appellate; bankruptcy; civil rights; corporate; energy & environmental; in-house; intellectual property; labor & employment; legal education; litigation; and regulatory.
HLS Professors Elizabeth Warren and Lawrence Lessig were honored in the category of Legal Education. HLS Lecturer on Law Thomas Goldstein, a partner with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, was recognized in the Appellate category.
Warren, the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, is currently chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel Troubled Asset Relief Program that monitors the $700 billion set up by the U.S. Treasury Department to help stabilize the U.S. financial system.
Lessig is an expert on constitutional law, cyberlaw, and intellectual property. He is also the director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University, where he is researching issues of institutional corruption.
Additionally, seven HLS graduates have been recognized for their work in their fields:
-John Payton '77, NAACP Legal Defense Fund
-H. Rodgin Cohen '68, Sullivan & Cromwell
-Jeffrey Rosen '78, Debevoise & Plimpton
-Morgan Chu '76, Irell & Manella
-Patrick Fitzgerald '85, U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois
-Ted Wells, Jr. '76, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
-Giovanni Prezioso '82, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
The attorneys will be honored at The National Law Journal's annual dinner in June in New York City. Over the course of the next several weeks, the journal will publish video profiles of some of the selected attorneys on its website, NLJ.com.
These are the lawyers who've defined a decade.
For our annual Most Influential Lawyers special report, the editors of The National Law Journal have selected 40 attorneys in a dozen key legal areas whose work between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2009, was so consequential that it helped to push the profession, an industry or a practice area substantially forward.
The lawyers were selected through our staff's reporting, as well as from more than 100 nominations submitted by the legal community. Associate Editor Leigh Jones valiantly spearheaded the effort, sifting through mounds of material to help us come to our difficult, final decisions. NLJ reporters Tresa Baldas, Amanda Bronstad, Jenna Greene, David Ingram, Jeff Jeffrey, Andy Jones, Carrie Levine, Sheri Qualters, Mike Scarcella, Karen Sloan and Jordan Weissmann contributed to this report.
The list spans law firms, academia, government and advocacy groups, but, consciously subtracts a few obvious categories: Members of the Supreme Court and attorneys general, for instance, are generally influential by definition, and they are not included here.
Instead, we have focused upon lawyers in the following specific practices: antitrust; appellate; bankruptcy; civil rights; corporate; energy and environmental; in-house; intellectual property; labor and employment; legal education; litigation; and regulatory. In other words, we're primarily focusing on hard-working lawyers who've been in the trenches on big deals or major litigation or who have been pioneering at in-house positions or the nation's law schools.
This week's edition isn't the last word on our Most Influential list. During the next several weeks, we will produce video profiles of some of our selections for NLJ.com. And we'll be honoring all of the attorneys on this year's list at The National Law Journal's annual dinner, which is slated for June 15 at The Gotham in New York City. We hope that you'll join us.
In the meantime, think of this special report as a road map for those of you who aspire to most influential status in the decade ahead. The lawyers featured here point the way.
— David Brown, editor in chief
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
Associate Professor of Law, KIIT Law School
KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, 751024.
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