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Honoring Lifetimes of Achievement

For the fourth year running, I have failed to win one of The American Lawyer magazine's lifetime achievement awards. But that's OK: I've still got a few years left in me, and the magazine's editors have managed to find eight high-achieving lawyers who actually deserve the award. As announced yesterday, recipients of Am Law's fourth annual lifetime achievement awards are:

  • James A. Baker III, Baker Botts, Houston. A former secretary of state and White House chief of staff, Baker's years of public service were bookended by stints as a partner at Am Law 100 firms. Despite his client commitments, he hasn't left the public sphere, most recently co-chairing the congressionally appointed Iraq Study Group.
  • Thomas A. Gottschalk, Kirkland & Ellis, Washington, D.C. Gottschalk left K&E 13 years ago to become general counsel at General Motors Corp., where he set the in-house standard for promoting diversity and pro bono. He returned to his former firm after retiring from GM last year.
  • Shirley M. Hufstedler, Morrison & Foerster, Los Angeles. A leader in the pioneer generation of women lawyers, she served as secretary of education under Jimmy Carter and for 11 years as a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She and her husband, Seth, headed an elite litigation boutique known for its high-quality work and its willingness to take on difficult public interest cases.
  • Nathaniel R. Jones, Blank Rome, Cincinnati. Jones was NAACP general counsel for a decade, beginning in 1969, taking several cases to the Supreme Court. President Carter named him to the 6th Circuit, where he served for 23 years.
  • Ira M. Millstein, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, New York. Even his friends say that Millstein, one of the partners who built a small Manhattan shop into a global powerhouse, didn't invent corporate governance; he just keeps being asked to perfect it. Throughout his career, Millstein has served as one of New York's leading private citizens, coming to the aid of projects as diverse as restoring Central Park and redeveloping lower Manhattan.
  • E. Barrett Prettyman Jr., Hogan & Hartson, Washington, D.C. A clerk to three Supreme Court justices and a leading appellate advocate in his own right, Prettyman also helped mentor a new generation of Supreme Court specialists, most notably John Roberts. Along the way, he was a pro bono stalwart, first president of the D.C. consolidated bar and a public servant, serving in the Kennedy Justice Department and as D.C.'s inspector general.
  • Jerold D. Solovy and Thomas P. Sullivan, Jenner & Block, Chicago. Partners for decades, Solovy and Sullivan are cornerstones of Jenner's formidable litigation department and the firm's extraordinary pro bono record. Both have been at the forefront of a variety of criminal justice issues, ranging from promoting counsel for the indigent to arguing pro bono appeals to the U.S. and Illinois Supreme Courts.

The honorees, said The American Lawyer editor-in-chief Aric Press, "have exemplified the legal profession's twin values of client service and public duty." They will be honored at an Oct. 24 dinner in New York City.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on August 31, 2007 at 06:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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