Washington, D.C., is a magnet for the top graduates from the top law schools in some of the most sophisticated practices in the nation, including appellate and antitrust. So for the NLJ's 2017 Rising Stars list, how did we go about reviewing a large pool of smart, young nominees? Very carefully. We looked for key elements including success on the highest stages, diversity of practice groups and law firms. We also looked closely at recommendations. We are proud to present our 2017 Rising Stars. This year, we share their keys to success in their own words, edited for clarity and length.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned in your first year of practice? Before you make any move in litigation or any argument in a brief, ask yourself: "What is the other side going to say and do, and how will a court react?" Our job is to be the most credible litigant.
Describe your biggest win or accomplishment in practice. My greatest accomplishment is having wonderful clients who trust our firm with their most important matters and who have become good friends over the years. True partnerships with clients make this profession rewarding.
Who do you consider to be your greatest lawyer mentor? [Kirkland & Ellis partners] Gene Assaf, Chris Landau and Craig Primis. Gene for his strategic judgment and will to win; Chris for preparing briefs and arguments that drive straight to the core of an issue; and Craig for how to mentor and empower younger lawyers.
Please share a key to your success. Success is based on the relationships and reputation you build — with clients, colleagues and courts. Any success I have achieved is due to clients who have placed their trust in us and colleagues who treat lawyering as a craft.
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