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    July 9, 2008  
30 Under 30:
Part III

And these amazing young legal specimens just keep on coming; we hope the world still needs older lawyers.

Caroline Nguyen, 29, WilmerHale

A Harlan Fisk Stone Scholar at Columbia Law School and grad of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, Caroline’s fast become an authority on the application of U.S. antitrust laws to global conspiracies. Representing a Finnish manufacturer of copper tubing facing a federal antitrust suit, Caroline briefed one of the first cases to raise the question of what constitutes “domestic injury” under the Supreme Court’s 2004 Empagran decision. WilmerHale’s motion to dismiss prevailed, and Caroline has since been called on to brief similar issues for Lufthansa in separate litigation. She’s argued a habeas matter before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, has a Sixth Circuit habeas argument upcoming, and deposed witnesses in a International Trade Commission trial over GPS patents that WilmerHale won in March. She’s the founding President of the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Greater DC, and, oh yeah—she can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under four minutes.

Meghan Barron, 27, and Mitka Baker, age [national security redaction], DLA Piper


Just a second-year, Meghan is on her way to becoming the go-to lawyer for Nobel Peace Prize winners. A key member of the DLA Piper team representing democracy activist and Nobel winner Aung San Suu Kyi, she helped win a U.N. proclamation that Suu Kyi’s detention in Burma violates international law. To heap on the international pressure, she was instrumental in securing a letter from 59 former presidents and prime ministers calling for Suu Kyi’s release, and co-authored op-eds published in the International Herald Tribune and Sydney Morning Herald. In the firm’s federal affairs group, Meghan advises clients on new ethics rules for Hill lobbyists as well as compliance with campaign-finance regs. And she wrote the book on state lobbying rules. Well, at least the chapter—check out BNA’s Corporate Lobbying Handbook.


Mitka asked us not to release her age, so all we’ll say is that precious few lawyers this young are found arguing appeals before the Fourth Circuit. Partner Nancy Luque calls Mitka “terrific,” but paid her the ultimate compliment when she handed Mitka the reigns to the federal appeal over a grand jury subpoena for a corporate client. And how’s this for devotion: Mitka took the Florida bar just to lend her litigation skills to DLA Piper’s tobacco cases across the state. A former clerk in the Rocket Docket, she’s just back from a three-week stint in Ethiopia, where she taught classes on corporate criminal law. 

Jessica Fore, 29, and Kyle Clark, 27, Baker Botts

When Jessica signed on with an energy consulting firm after Duke undergrad, friends wondered what drew her to the subject. Now energy is sexy again—and Jessica is ahead of the curve, representing clients like Weaver’s Cove Energy at FERC, other federal agencies, and in the courts on infrastructure projects. The Harvard-trained lawyer just notched a major victory for client AES, getting Department of Commerce approval for a liquefied natural gas terminal in Baltimore County. She likes to play tennis at her favorite undiscovered court in DC. Don’t bet on getting the location out of her, though—she’s keeping it to herself.


When our informants at Baker Botts tell us this second-year is “doing work that most fifth years hope to do,” they’re not kidding. In a multi-billion dollar arbitration for an Asian telecom company, Kyle not only deposed a major fact witness (and later saw the testimony come into play significantly for impeachment), but offered the direct testimony of an expert witness. And he’s already leading interviews on his latest corporate investigation, which has him going everywhere from Singapore to Milan to Brunei. Good thing he got a head start on criminal law at Georgetown, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Annual Survey of White Collar Crime. “I use it all the time,” he tells us. A scholarship swimmer at Grand Valley State, he specialized in the 1650-yard freestyle (that’s a mile, in case you wanted to feel any lazier).

Cordell Hull, 29, Patton Boggs

When we told Cordell somebody nominated him for 30-under-30, he had a theory: “Glad to see my mom reads Bisnow.” Sheer modesty: During his first year, he persuaded the Maryland Court of Appeals to reverse a conviction in a sexual assault case even though trial counsel had not objected to the erroneous jury instruction at the heart of his appeal. Senior colleagues told him the case was unwinnable... until he won. Adept at piecing together storylines out of complex facts, he dug through 20 years of wire transfers on behalf of a criminal defendant in the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal and most recently was the key fact developer on the Patton Boggs team that brought closure to the Milberg Weiss kickback scandal. Amidst all that, he finds time to lace up and play for three local ice hockey teams.

Shehzad Niazi, 28, Hogan & Hartson


Shehzad is just back from a four-week, three-continent honeymoon. Other causes for celebration: As a first year, he was Hogan’s point man on a tricky assignment for a Fortune 25 retailer: ending an internal governance struggle at a Latin American company in which his client was investing. The issue had dragged on for months before he entered and hammered out details of a stockholders’ agreement with the general counsel and partners at NY firms representing other investors. This year, he did diligence on a client’s purchase of Spencer Gifts, which operates 600 Spencer stores as well as 300 Spirit Halloween stores. He’s a good pinch hitter, too: While a partner was out of email range on an island vacation, Shehzad single-handedly managed the closing of a $20 million placement of common stock for PRIMUS Telecommunications Group

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