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NLJ, ABA Pick Lawyers of the Year

Chaudhry_iftikhar_illus It is that time of year, when both the National Law Journal and the ABA Journal name their picks for lawyer of the year. While the ABA Journal went for the obvious choice, the NLJ found its pick well off the beaten path.

Let's start with the NLJ, which gave a preview today of next week's print edition naming its choice for The Lawyer of the Year. As the intro says, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is not exactly a household name, but the NLJ's editors believe he should be:

Chaudhry, the chief justice of Pakistan who was dismissed from office by President Pervez Musharraf after the imposition of emergency rule, has been a strong voice for the preservation of the rule of law in Pakistan -- one of the United States' key allies in the war on terror.

Though currently held under house arrest, Chaudhry has spoken out against emergency rule and has inspired thousands of his lawyer-brethren to protest in the streets in their traditional black suits and ties. He has become an international symbol of an independent judiciary and of resistance to the excesses of military rule. Hundreds of attorneys have also turned out to protest on his behalf in cities across the country.

The NLJ also offers a runner-up: Maureen E. Mahoney, of Latham & Watkins, an appellate advocate who argued more Supreme Court cases during the 2006-2007 term than any other private lawyer.

Now to the ABA Journal, which went with the predictable if not necessarily popular choice for its Lawyer of the Year: Alberto Gonzales. The magazine explains:

The most talked-about attorney this past year by a mile, Gonzales, 52, rose from being the grandson of illegal immigrants to the first Hispan­ic attorney general of the United States. George W. Bush appeared to be grooming the man he affectionately calls 'Fredo' for the U.S. Supreme Court. But after Gonzales appeared veracity-challenged when testifying before the Senate Judiciary Com­mittee, he resigned in August.

On the magazine's list of runners-up: Michael Nifong, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Howard K. Stern, Monica Goodling, Erwin Chemerinsky, David Addington, Patrick Fitzgerald, Michael Clayton and The Lawyer-Blogger.

Apparently wanting to free up time for the 2008 holiday season, the Journal's editors did not stop at naming 2007's lawyer of the year -- they went on to name the lawyer of the year for 2008: Michael Mukasey. Having inherited the mess left by his predecessor, "How he'll deal with them -- in the middle of a presidential campaign, no less -- promises to make him the top legal newsmaker of 2008," the editors predict.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on December 13, 2007 at 02:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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