The National Law Journal(NLJ) recently released Profiles in Power, a listing of the 100 most influential lawyers in America. Attorneys of influence hail from rural Texas to Manhattan, from liberal circles to Bush appointees, and from the halls of Boalt, Stanford Law School and more. Among the NLJ notables are Boalt alums as well as Dean Christopher Edley. The NLJ cited Edley’s experience in government and leadership in civil rights law and his leadership at Boalt, particularly with the launch of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity.
A review of Boalt alums selected by the NLJ offers a window into the broad spheres of influence affected by the top 100.
- Elizabeth Cabraser ’78, a skilled class action attorney whose small San Francisco-based firm, Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein is a national player in mass torts and other plaintiffs’ litigation;
- The author of six books on intellectual property law, Mark Lemley ’91. He also established Stanford Law School’s intellectual property litigation clearinghouse, a database of every intellectual property action in the country.
- Theodore Olson ’65, an appellate attorney and co-chair of Gibson, Dunn & Crucher’s appellate and constitutional law group, who has argued 43 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, winning 75 percent of them. He was the victorious advocate in Bush vs. Gore and has served as Solicitor General as well as private counsel to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush;
- Innocence Project Cofounder and Codirector Barry Scheck ’74, whose litigation helped establish standards for the admission of forensic DNA technology; and
- Larry Sonsini ’66, corporate matchmaker and top legal adviser to the high-technology world, who handled the initial public offerings for Google and Apple Computer. Sonsini has been chief executive and chairman of his firm, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for more than 20 years.
The journal’s top 100 list is culled from nominations from readers and in-house research. Released every three years, NLJ seeks to identify attorneys outside the government with the “clout to make big things happen.” Criteria used by NLJ to identify powerbrokers includes the ability to shape public policy, have national impact, launch industries, and “shake things up and get things done.”