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    October 3, 2008  
30 UNDER 30

Big thanks to our remarkable sponsors of last night's event: Vornado Charles E. Smith, that supplied the grand venue; LECG, a global firm with 1000's of experts for legal testimony and analysis; and the great law firm of Jenner & Block, celebrating its own honoree Luke Platzer!


Last night, we shut down the atrium of the Warner Building to salute the finest young legal guns in the city—our "30 Under 30" stars of 2008. Yes, we named them back in July, but nothing's official at Bisnow until it's sealed with cocktails and schmoozing. After spending our summer vetting these people more closely than a VP candidate, we're sure you'll be hearing plenty more from them in the years ahead—so get to know the names below.


Not far removed from their school days, our 30 Under 30 honorees snapped right to it when we asked for a class photo. We thought our wonderful caterer, R&R, may have gone a little far with the youth theme when we saw the miniature PB&Js, but they were devoured by junior and senior attorneys alike as quickly as the pizza, quesadillas, sliders, mini-dogs, and even chocolate milk. (Not to worry, there was also an open bar.)


Howrey partner Eric Fingerhut; NBC Universal government relations chief Bob Okun; Drinker Biddle's Mike McManus, looking even younger after stepping down from his managing partner duties with colleague (and honoree) Ken Vorassi; Howrey honoree Eddie Ferrer (in the middle of working antitrust issues for Intel in Delaware, Japan, Korea, and the EU); and Joanne Jordan of LECG.


The Gibson Dunn crew: Amir Tayrani (described to us as former Solicitor General Ted Olson's right hand), Vanessa Countryman, 30 Under 30 star Dace Caldwell, and David Debold, another appellate litigator and former Assistant U.S. Attorney. On the end is Roman Martinez, current clerk for D.C. Circuit Judge Kavanaugh and future clerk for Chief Justice John Roberts. Roman was appearing in his even more distinguished role as Dace's date—the two have been acquainted for a while, but we note that things picked up when Roman emailed a congratulations over Dace's 30 Under 30 nod. If this thing blooms, we're totally taking credit.


DLA Piper has almost 4,000 lawyers, and we tried to get as many of them as possible in this one picture. From left: 30 Under 30 Mitka Baker, DC Co-Managing Partner Ann Ford; Kristen Abrams; 30 Under 30 Meghan Barron; Lisa Jones; Mary Gately; national hiring partner Ben Boyd; Josh Rohrscheib; and Alex Magill. DLA Piper just marked the first year anniversary in its spiffy Penn Quarter digs. Ann has told us she feels like she's in Paris in her office overlooking Hotel Monaco, but she'll get a taste of the real thing when she does a Thanksgiving vacation in France this year.


Dechert's 30 Under 30 entry Will Tuttle, center, just closed a $240 million rights offering for the Griffon Company. He's joined by office mates Tony Chan and Vicky Husband, who's looking pretty happy about her upcoming three-month externship with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.


More 30 Under 30s: Cordell Hull of Patton Boggs, Jeff Lerner of Covington, and Jeff Mikoni of McDermott Will & Emery. Jeff M. is one of the Supreme Court practitioners on our list, fast becoming a First Amendment guru. He had a hand in McDermott's FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life win (a free speech case over "issue ads"), and next week he's filing a cert. petition in an Establishment Clause case testing whether a high school football coach can be present during a voluntary prayer session held by his players. We're not sure about this, but we think the prayer in question was "Please make this field goal."


Now, here's an inspirational story. Jenner & Block's Scott Wilkens, Duane Pozza, Michelle Groman, Katie Fallow, and Mark Schneider turned out to honor Jenner's 30 Under 30 winner Luke Platzer—who cemented his hard-working reputation by being away on a deposition in North Dakota last night. Katie tells us she and Jenner have notched nine victories on behalf of the video game industry (Entertainment Software Association), challenging state and local laws that would regulate content in games like God of War. We're pretty sure that Katie's personal favorites—Frogger and Centipede—are safe.


30 Under 30s Kevin Welsh and Michael Lukens of Paul Hastings's environmental team caught up with Michael's Hofstra Law classmate Holly Rich, second from left, counsel to the American Foreign Service Association. We know Holly to be one of DC most glamorous lawyers (oxymoron?), so no surprise she raised the room's hip quotient with pals Lauren Gentile, art advisor to AmLaw 100 firms out of the Irvine Contemporary gallery, and Megan Harmon of the Corcoran.


Finally, a double-dip of Mitka Baker and Meghan Barron of DLA Piper, here with Emily Hargrove, who just moved to Winston & Strawn, and Latham's Melissa Arbus. Each of them is a 30 Under 30 honoree, and Melissa's joy over the distinction was just barely eclipsed by her recent engagement

John Ford is Bisnow's Legal Editor. Tell him about your rising stars at

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