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August 2021 Legal Industry News: Law Firm Hiring, Legal Innovation & Pro Bono
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Here is the first edition of our August legal industry news roundup, as summer is winding down. Discover the latest news in law firm hiring, pro bono work, and law firm innovation.
Law Firm Hiring & Moves

As a partner of Akin Gump’s investment management group, John Hamilton joined the firm’s New York office. Mr. Hamilton was previously at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP, where he advised fund managers in financial markets, hedge funds, and private equity. Aside from financial regulations, he also handles transactions.

“The global hedge fund market is experiencing a period of rapid growth and there is an increased need from our fund manager clients for sophisticated advice and counsel,” noted Kim Koopersmith, Akin Gump chairperson. “John provides exactly what our clients need and is an ideal addition to our team. I am delighted to welcome him to Akin Gump.”


Cybersecurity attorney David Kitchen has joined Norton Rose Fulbright as a partner, where he will assist the cyber team in Denver. Clients dealing with cybersecurity incidents, international investigations, and class action lawsuits come to Mr. Kitchen for advice.

Prior to joining Baker Hostetler, Mr. Kitchen represented companies and clients in a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, education, retail, and hospitality. Additionally, he is CIPP/US certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Managing Partner Jeff Cody said that David is an outstanding lawyer with impressive credentials in cybersecurity. “The demand for our leading national and global cyber offerings continues to grow, and David will help us advise and protect our clients in the rapidly evolving technology landscape.”

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Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC has added Jeremy Lewin as a shareholder and principal to its non-profit and employment law practices. Formerly, he served as counsel to national retail chains, hospitals, and manufacturers, offering expertise in non-profit and employment law. In parallel with his time at Powers, he serves as General Counsel for the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Peter Thomas, a Managing Partner of Powers, said that Jeremy has had an impressive career with large associations and professional societies. Powers is also pleased to welcome Jeremy and his wealth of employment law experience.
Pro Bono & Recognition

Morgan Lewis partner Joan Haratani received the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. The award is given by the Commission on Women in the Profession to women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence and contributed to the success of other women. She specializes in California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), pharmaceutical and medical device liability doctrines, and national mortgage foreclosure litigation. The ABA also presented awards to:

  • Irma Gonzalez- She is the first Latina to hold a federal bench position, and a mediator for JAMS Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Services, and a retired United States District Judge for the Southern District of California.
  • Joyce Hughes – She is a law professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and the first Black woman to attain tenure at an American law school.
  • Pamela Karlan- She founded and directs the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School and is a Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. She is the first woman to hold the office of the Oregon Attorney General.

Danielle DeFilippis of Norris McLaughlin was included on NJBIZ’s “Law Power 50,” which ranks the most influential lawyers in New Jersey. In addition to her work with the New York State Bar Association Intellectual Property board and the International Trademark Association (INTA), Ms. DeFilippis is an intellectual property attorney.

“It is an honor to be selected by NJBIZ to this list of highly regarded attorneys. I am fortunate to be able to service my clients among dedicated colleagues at Norris McLaughlin, who are committed to providing exceptional legal service in New Jersey and beyond,” says Ms. DeFilippis.

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP has been added to BTI Consulting Group’s list of “Frequently Recommended Law Firms” for 2021. In its list of 26 Frequently Recommended Law Firms, a category that honors firms that exceed clients’ expectations, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings is recognized as one of the best.

“It is an honor to be recognized in this prestigious list among such a high-caliber group of law firms. We are proud to be recommended for our level of service, commitment, and quality,” said Jonathan M. Skeeters, managing partner at Bradley.

Jerry H. Goldfeder is the new chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Voting Rights and Democracy. An American task force reviews voting laws and considers reforms when necessary.

The focus of Mr. Goldfelder’s practice is election law and campaign finance, regulatory compliance, and investigations related to public integrity.

“We have assembled an impressive panel of highly regarded legal scholars and voting rights advocates. We will tap into their collective expertise to analyze the issues before us and help policymakers, the legal profession, and the public combat the restrictive laws that are being adopted or are under consideration in many states,” Mr. Goldfelder said.

Legal Innovation & Awards

Polsinelli’s Intellectual Property Department was recognized by IAM Patent 1000 in 2021 for its patent prosecution and litigation capabilities. The IAM Patent 1000 list is Polsinelli’s second appearance this year.

Globally, the guide honors the top patent professionals. Over 1,800 client and peer interviews were used in creating the guide.

Polsinelli’s specific rankings include:

  • United States: Colorado (Litigation and Prosecution)
  • United States: Illinois (Litigation and Prosecution)
  • United States: Missouri
  • United States: Texas (Litigation and Prosecution)
  • United States: Washington (Prosecution)

In addition, 16 of our attorneys were named to the IAM Patent 1000 individual ranking of the world’s leading patent practitioners for 2021:

  • Margie B. Aoki – Washington (Prosecution)
  • Corey M. Casey – Missouri (Other Recommended Experts)
  • Elton F. Dean III – Missouri (Other Recommended Experts)
  • Tracy W. Druce – Texas (Prosecution)
  • Michael P. Dulin – Colorado (Litigation)
  • Gregory P. Durbin – Colorado (Prosecution)
  • Taryn A. Elliott – Colorado (Prosecution)
  • Melissa M. Harwood, Ph.D. – Washington (Prosecution)
  • Gary E. Hood – Illinois (Litigation)
  • S. Wade Johnson – Colorado (Prosecution)
  • Arriènne (Angel) M. Lezak – Washington, D.C. (Prosecution)
  • Fabio E. Marino – California (Litigation)
  • Gregory V. Novak – Texas (Prosecution)
  • Emily C. Peyser – Washington (Prosecution)
  • John R. Posthumus – Colorado (Litigation)
  • Suni Sukduang – Nationwide (Post Grant Proceedings) and Texas (Litigation)
  • Patrick C. Woolley – Missouri (Other Recommended Experts)

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC partnered with West Virginia University College of Law and Street Law, Inc. to create the Appalachian Legal Diversity & Inclusion pipeline to increase the interest in legal careers among high school students.

Every semester, attorneys from Steptoe and Johnson visit classrooms to discuss their careers, highlight aspects of the law, and explain what it’s like to work in a law firm. Three sessions on contract law were conducted by Steptoe attorneys Russell Jessee and Alyssa Lazar.

“I was particularly pleased that the subject matter this time contracted. That allowed us to not only give the students insight into the law and legal careers through the lens of contract law, but we also could give the students practical advice about contracts they enter in their own lives,” said Mr. Jessee. “Steptoe & Johnson was founded in West Virginia, and we remain committed to the state now and for generations to come. It is exciting to help make the Appalachian Legal Diversity & Inclusion Pipeline a reality in our endeavor to strengthen diversity and inclusion in the legal field,” said Christopher L. Slaughter, Steptoe & Johnson’s CEO.

The LGBT Bar of Columbia, South Carolina presented the 2021 Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair that featured Womble Bond Dickinson Columbia, S.C. Office Managing Partner Kevin Hall spoke at. In addition to speaking on the panel, Mr. Hall also discussed his role as lead counsel in the lawsuit which resulted in the US District Court declaring South Carolina’s No Promo Homo law unconstitutional. South Carolina law prohibited educators from discussing same-sex relationships in schools.



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