Modern Lawyer

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    Inside The ABA's Debate On Legal Innovation

    The American Bar Association’s policymaking body recently reaffirmed a policy against nonlawyer fee sharing and law firm ownership. Here’s a look at the debate that went on behind the scenes before the resolution was adopted and the aftermath.

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    Nixon Peabody's Marketing Chief On Client-Building

    Danielle Paige joined Nixon Peabody LLP as the firm’s chief marketing and growth officer in late 2019. Here, Paige talks to Law360 Pulse about how she helped navigate the firm’s marketing strategy through the pandemic, its client growth plans post-pandemic, and how the firm is preparing for a possible economic downturn.

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    MVP: Wiley's Brian Walsh

    A skilled litigator, Brian Walsh of Wiley Rein LLP this year defended a client in an unusual protest challenging its award for federal aerial firefighting services by another awardee of a similar contract, earning him a spot among Law360's 2022 Government Contracts MVPs.

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    MVP: Sullivan & Cromwell's Matt Friestedt

    Sullivan & Cromwell LLP's Matt Friestedt was a lead adviser on executive compensation and benefits matters for a number of high-profile M&A transactions, including distinctive ones involving AT&T and Pfizer, landing him a spot among Law360's 2022 Benefits MVPs.

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    MVP: Sullivan & Cromwell's Mitch Eitel

    Sullivan & Cromwell LLP's Mitch Eitel is coming off a banner stretch of transactions in which he has been steering the biggest banking deals to be announced both last year and this year, securing him a spot among Law360's 2022 Banking MVPs.

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    MVP: Williams & Connolly's David I. Berl

    David Berl of Williams & Connolly LLP has spent much of the last year arguing and winning before the Federal Circuit, including securing an appellate win for AstraZeneca over a generic-drug dispute for its flagship asthma drug Symbicort, earning him a spot among Law360's 2022 Life Sciences MVPs.

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    MVP: US Soccer Federation's Karen Leetzow

    Last year, U.S. Soccer's general counsel Karen Leetzow helped put a damaging legal fight to rest by brokering a settlement with the U.S. Women's National Team and helped the federation strike a historic collective bargaining agreement with both the women's and men's teams that puts both on an equal footing, earning her a spot as one of Law360's 2022 Sports MVPs.

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    MVP: Sidley's Lilya Tessler

    Sidley Austin LLP's Lilya Tessler steered securities exchange IEX Group Inc. through a first-of-its-kind investment by crypto exchange FTX US while advocating broadly for regulatory clarity around digital assets, cementing her spot amid Law360's 2022 Fintech MVPs.

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    MVP: Nossaman's Liz Cousins

    Liz Cousins of Nossaman LLP has advised and worked on multiple environmental and sustainability projects in California and beyond, including the East County Advanced Water Purification Project, which aims to improve San Diego's sustainable water supply, earning her a spot among Law360's 2022 Environmental MVPs.

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    BigLaw Expands In The Carolinas Amid Business Boom

    Where business goes, it's said, BigLaw follows. And it appears that's what's happening right now in North and South Carolina, where a number of large law firms have entered the market or expanded in recent months.

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    MoFo Builds Employment Litigation Bench With New Partner

    Morrison Foerster LLP said Tuesday it was expanding its litigation and global employment and labor groups with a new partner from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

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    MVP: Shearman's Adam Hakki

    Adam Hakki of Shearman & Sterling LLP secured dismissal of racketeering and fraud claims against Citigroup in a suit alleging it conspired with a Mexican oil services company, and persuaded a magistrate judge to recommend dismissal of claims against financial services firm Jefferies Group LLC in a special-purpose acquisition company merger case, earning him a spot among Law360's 2022 Banking MVPs.

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    Four Years Later, Kavanaugh Probe Still Raising Questions

    As the FBI finished its inquiry into U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, the bureau drew ire for shuttling credible sources to a tip line it seemed to ignore. Even now, the investigation remains shrouded in secrecy, leaving some U.S. senators concerned about the integrity of future nominations.

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    Law Firm Diversity Ticked Upward In 2022, Report Finds

    Eighteen percent of attorneys at the top 200 law firms were ethnically diverse in 2022, a full percentage point higher than last year and coming after a long stretch of stasis, according to a report released Tuesday by legal industry research and consulting organization Leopard Solutions.

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    Sanford Heisler Sharp Opens New Palo Alto Office

    Plaintiff-side labor law firm Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP said Tuesday that it had opened a new office in Palo Alto, California, its eighth location nationwide, in a bid to step up its representation of tech workers and Asian Americans in Silicon Valley.

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    Lathrop GPM's New CIO To See Firm Through Key Transitions

    Lathrop GPM LLP has promoted its former director of technology to the role of chief information officer as the firm looks toward its plan to transition all offices to a hotelling model over the coming years.

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    ​​​​​​​Mayer Brown Adds M&A Pro From Paul Weiss

    Mayer Brown LLP announced Monday it has hired a former Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP associate to focus on merger and acquisition transactions for public companies.

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    Regulatory Reforms Driving Legal Innovation Without Harm

    Regulatory reforms implemented by the top courts in Utah and Arizona are driving "substantial innovation" without appearing to pose harm to consumers, according to a study released Tuesday by Stanford Law School's Deborah L. Rhode Center on the Legal Profession.

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    Former Illinois State Rep. Opens Civil Rights Law Practice

    Civil rights lawyer and former Illinois state Rep. Scott Drury has left his former law firm to start his own practice.

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    MVP: McGuireWoods' Gregory Evans

    Gregory Evans of McGuire Woods LLP's environmental practice represented Grupo Mexico subsidiary Asarco LLC in a successful bid to recoup cleanup costs for the East Helena Superfund site from Atlantic Richfield Co., earning him a spot as one of Law360's 2022 Environmental MVPs.

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    MVP: Skadden's Page W. Griffin

    Page Griffin of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP served as lead benefits counsel to Elon Musk in his $44 billion attempted purchase of Twitter and advised Activision Blizzard on executive compensation and benefits aspects during its acquisition by Microsoft, earning him a spot as one of Law360's 2022 Benefits MVPs.

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    MVP: White & Case's Adam Acosta

    Adam Acosta of White & Case LLP's life sciences practice has guided various health care giants through high-stakes litigation, including helping client AbbVie Inc. escape two antitrust class action complaints over hypertension medication Bystolic, earning him a spot among Law360's 2022 Life Sciences MVPs.

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    MVP: Crowell & Moring's Stephen J. McBrady

    Crowell & Moring LLP's Stephen McBrady scored precedent-setting victories for Lockheed Martin in its $143 million battle with the Air Force over C-5 Galaxy repair costs and helped a Colorado health plan recover $25 million from the federal government, landing him a spot among Law360's 2022 Government Contracts MVPs.

  • MVP: Cravath's David L. Portilla

    David L. Portilla of Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP guided Afterpay Ltd. in its $29 billion acquisition by the company formerly known as Square Inc. and advised industry players on proposals for novel crypto asset market regulation, earning him a spot as one of Law360's 2022 Fintech MVPs.

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    MVP: Sidley's Irwin Raij

    Irwin Raij of Sidley Austin LLP spearheaded negotiations on behalf of New York state for the Buffalo Bills' $1.4 billion stadium and for the city of Miami when settling terms for its Major League Soccer franchise's facility, earning him a spot on Law360's 2022 Sports & Betting MVPs.

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Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Judges Deserve Congress' Commitment To Their Safety Author Photo

    Following the tragic attack on U.S. District Judge Esther Salas' family last summer and amid rising threats against the judiciary, legislation protecting federal judges' personal information and enhancing security measures at courthouses is urgently needed, says U.S. District Judge Roslynn Mauskopf, director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

  • Ask A Mentor: How Can Recalcitrant Attys Use Social Media? Author Photo

    Social media can be intimidating for reluctant lawyers but it can also be richly rewarding, as long as attorneys remember that professional accounts will always reflect on their firms and colleagues, and follow some best practices to avoid embarrassment, says Sean Marotta at Hogan Lovells.

  • Keys To Digitizing Inefficient Contract Management Processes Author Photo

    Neville Eisenberg and Mark Grayson at BCLP explain how they sped up contract execution for one client by replacing email with a centralized, digital tool for negotiations and review, and how the principles they adhered to can be helpful for other law firms looking to improve poorly managed contract management processes.

  • Ask A Mentor: How Can Firms Coach Associates Remotely? Author Photo

    Practicing law through virtual platforms will likely persist even after the pandemic, so law firms and senior lawyers should consider refurbishing their associate mentoring programs to facilitate personal connections, professionalism and effective training in a remote environment, says Carol Goodman at Herrick Feinstein.

  • How Law Firms Can Welcome And Celebrate Autistic Lawyers Author Photo

    As the U.S. observes Autism Acceptance Month, autistic attorney Haley Moss describes the societal barriers and stereotypes that keep neurodivergent lawyers from disclosing their disabilities, and how law firms can better accommodate and level the playing field for attorneys whose minds work outside of the prescribed norm.

  • Law Firm Tips For Evaluating AI And Machine Learning Tools Author Photo

    Many legal technology vendors now sell artificial intelligence and machine learning tools at a premium price tag, but law firms must take the time to properly evaluate them as not all offerings generate process efficiencies or even use the technologies advertised, says Steven Magnuson at Ballard Spahr.

  • A Call For Personal Accountability On Diversity And Inclusion Author Photo

    While chief legal officers are increasingly involved in creating corporate diversity, inclusion and anti-bigotry policies, all lawyers have a responsibility to be discrimination busters and bias interrupters regardless of the title they hold, says Veta T. Richardson at the Association of Corporate Counsel.

  • Learning How To Code Can Unleash New Potential In Lawyers Author Photo

    Every lawyer can begin incorporating aspects of software development in their day-to-day practice with little to no changes in their existing tools or workflow, and legal organizations that take steps to encourage this exploration of programming can transform into tech incubators, says George Zalepa at Greenberg Traurig.

  • Supporting Associates Amid Pandemic's Mental Health Toll Author Photo

    As junior associates increasingly report burnout, work-life conflict and loneliness during the pandemic, law firms should take tangible actions to reduce the stigma around seeking help, and to model desired well-being behaviors from the top down, say Stacey Whiteley at the New York State Bar Association and Robin Belleau at Kirkland.

  • Ask A Mentor: Should My Law Firm Take On An Apprentice? Author Photo

    Mentoring a law student who is preparing for the bar exam without attending law school is an arduous process that is not for everyone, but there are also several benefits for law firms hosting apprenticeship programs, says Jessica Jackson, the lawyer guiding Kim Kardashian West's legal education.

  • The Importance Of Client Engagement In Law Firm Innovation Author Photo

    As clients increasingly want law firms to serve as innovation platforms, firms must understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach — the key is a nimble innovation function focused on listening and knowledge sharing, says Mark Brennan at Hogan Lovells.

  • The Unique Challenges Facing Women-Owned Law Firms Author Photo

    In addition to establishing their brand from scratch, women who start their own law firms must overcome inherent bias against female lawyers and convince prospective clients to put aside big-firm preferences, says Joel Stern at the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms.

  • The Pursuit Of Wellness In BigLaw: Lessons From My Journey Author Photo

    Jane Jeong at Cooley shares how grueling BigLaw schedules and her own perfectionism emotionally bankrupted her, and why attorneys struggling with burnout should consider making small changes to everyday habits.

  • Why We Must Recruit And Advance More Black Prosecutors Author Photo

    Black Americans make up a disproportionate percentage of the incarcerated population but are underrepresented among elected prosecutors, so the legal community — from law schools to prosecutor offices — must commit to addressing these disappointing demographics, says Erika Gilliam-Booker at the National Black Prosecutors Association.

  • Ask A Mentor: How Can Associates Deal With Overload? Author Photo

    Young lawyers overwhelmed with a crushing workload must tackle the problem on two fronts — learning how to say no, and understanding how to break down projects into manageable parts, says Jay Harrington at Harrington Communications.

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