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Legal Industry News August 2021: Law Firm Hiring, Legal Innovation & Pro Bono

Summer is winding down and we’re back with the first August edition of our legal industry news roundup. Read on for the latest news in law firm hiring, pro bono work and law firm innovation.

Law Firm Hiring & Moves 

John Hamilton joined Akin Gump’s New York office as a partner in the investment management practice group. Previously at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP, Mr. Hamilton’s experience includes advising fund managers in a variety of areas, including credit funds, hedge funds and private equity. He also specializes in financial regulatory and transactional matters. 

“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 joined Norton Rose Fulbright as a partner, where he will assist the cyber team in the firm’s Denver office. Mr. Kitchen advises clients experiencing cybersecurity incidents, federal and international investigations and class action lawsuits. 

Formerly at Baker Hostetler, Mr. Kitchen represents clients and companies in a wide array of industries, including healthcare, education, retail, hospitality, and professional services. Additionally, he is CIPP/US certified through the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

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

Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC expanded its non-profit and employment law practices with the addition of Jeremy Lewin as a shareholder and principal. Mr. Lewin has experience in non-profit and employment law, previously serving as counsel for various universities, national retail chains, hospitals and manufacturers. He also served as General Counsel to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and will continue in this position in parallel with his time at Powers.

“Jeremy has had an impressive career working with large associations and professional societies and he will be an asset to our non-profit law team,” said Peter Thomas, Managing Partner of Powers. “We also welcome his wealth of experience in employment law and look forward to Jeremy building this new practice at Powers.”

Pro Bono & Recognition

Morgan Lewis partner Joan Haratani received the American Bar Association’s 2021 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, which is given by the ​​Commission on Women in the Profession and honors women lawyers who achieved professional excellence and paved the way for other women’s success. Ms. Haratani is a mass tort attorney who specializes in California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), pharmaceutical and medical device liability doctrines and national mortgage foreclosure issues. The ABA also gave the award to:

NJBIZ “Law Power 50” included Danielle DeFilippis of Norris McLaughlin on its list, which ranks the most influential lawyers in New Jersey. Ms. DeFilippis is an intellectual property attorney who focuses on contracts, trademark prosecution and litigation, and is involved with the New York State Bar Association’s Intellectual Property board, and the International Trademark Association (INTA).

“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.

BTI Consulting Group added Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP to its list of “Frequently Recommended Law Firms” for 2021. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings is one of 26 firms recognized in the “Frequently Recommended Law Firms” list, a category that recognizes firms that exceed client expectations.

“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.

The New York State Bar Association Task Force on Voting Rights and Democracy named Strook Law Firm Special Counsel member Jerry H. Goldfeder as its newest chair. The task force is responsible for reviewing voting laws in the United States and considering reforms where necessary.

Mr. Goldfelder specializes in election and campaign finance law, regulatory compliance and public integrity investigations. 

“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

IAM Patent 1000 in 2021 recognized Polsinelli’s Intellectual Property Department for its patent prosecution and patent litigation capabilities. This is the second time Polsinelli ranked nationally on the IAM Patent 1000 list. 

The guide recognizes the top patent professionals in key jurisdictions around the world. The guide is compiled from client and peer feedback from over 1,800 interviews.

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)

Additionally, 16 Polsinelli attorneys earned a place in the 2021 IAM Patent 1000 individual rankings of the “world’s leading patent professionals.” They include:

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

Attorneys from Steptoe and Johnson visit classrooms throughout the semester to discuss their careers, highlight aspects of the law and what it’s like to work in a law firm. Steptoe attorneys Russell Jessee and Alyssa Lazar led students through three sessions regarding contract law. 

“I was particularly pleased that the subject-matter this time was contracts.  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.

Womble Bond Dickinson Columbia, S.C. Office Managing Partner Kevin Hall was a speaker at the 2021 Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair presented by the LGBT Bar. At the event, Mr. Hall participated in a panel discussion called “Advocacy with a Drawl, Y’all: A Case Study in Southern “No Promo Homo” Laws,” discussing his role as lead counsel in a federal lawsuit which led to the US District Court declaring South Carolina’s “No Promo Homo'' law unconstitutional. The law barred educators from discussing same-sex relationships at K-12 public schools in South Carolina.

Rachel Popa also contributed to this article.

Copyright ©2022 National Law Forum, LLCNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 223

About this Author

Chandler Ford Web Content Specialist National Law Review Legal News
Web Content Specialist

Chandler Ford is a Web Content Specialist for the National Law Review. Prior to joining the NLR, Chandler worked as a legal writer and team leader at Hudson, a corporate immigration law firm in Chicago, where he specialized in I-140 and I-129 case preparation. He also has experience in copy editing, proofreading, and journalism.

He graduated with a B.A. in English and Communication from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Currently, he is also pursuing an M.F.A. in Writing from Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont. Outside of work, Chandler spends his time...