Is spring really here? We've been burned before. (Well, technically frozen.) But there is one surefire sign of the season: the American Bar Association business law section's annual spring meeting.
For the section's 75th
anniversary spring meeting, over 1,800
legal types gathered for three days of excitement (mostly in the form of panel discussions) at the Washington Hilton. Jamie Gorelick
was keynote at the capstone luncheon. The WilmerHale partner and former deputy US AG and Defense GC reflected on the last 75 years. She pointed out 10 trends
, including lawyers changing where they practice (including moving online) due to client mobility
or job availability; new business development
tools, most online; representations "sliced and diced
" like never before; and commoditization of some parts of law (she sees RFPs every day
The industry's survivors
will be "the boundaryless and the fluent": problem-solvers who are comfortable across jurisdictions
and approaches. Her bottom line is that the most challenging
work, and therefore the most fun
After the awards, we snapped one held by Troutman Sanders franchise practice head Mark VanderBroek
and firm managing partner Steve Lewis
. They picked up the National Public Service award on behalf of the 625-lawyer firm.Verizon
snagged the National Public Service award for corporate law departments—VP and deputy GC John Frantz
holds it on the company's behalf. He's with individual recipient Patterson Thuente Pedersen's Jim Patterson
and Bingham healthcare industry group co-chair Peter Carson
. John's been with Verizon for 13 years and is based in NJ; he hit the road (make that the Acela) after this picture.
The Jean Allard Glass Cutter award wasn't announced until the luncheon, and winner Kathleen Hopkins
looked genuinely surprised. The prize, named after the first woman to chair the section, is given annually to an exceptional female business lawyer. We snapped Kathleen onstage just after section chair Marty Lybecker
of Perkins Coie announced her name.
Out in the lobby, we spotted Dentons partner Lisa Ledbetter
. (Note SNR Denton's new name
; it just completed its big merger with Salans and FMC.) Lisa, former Freddie Mac
VP and deputy GC, is with Bell Nunnally & Martin's George Coleman
, who came in from Texas. Lisa tells us she was recently out in Carlsbad, Calif.
, to speak at another conference. Her daughter, on spring break, took advantage of the sunny locale to come along.
This weekend, three sitting judges from the International Court of Justice heard an important case at the Capital Hilton
. Unlike the matters generally before China's Judge Hanqin Xue
, France's Judge Ronny Abraham
, and Uganda's Judge Julia Sebutinde
this one was argued by two teams of law students
. It was the finals of the White & Case
International Rounds of the Jessup Moot Court Competition, which started with 126 teams
from 83 countries
, including the first from Iran
(four female students)
in Jessup's 54 years.
The National Law School of India University
, above, won the trophy after facing off with Singapore Management University School of Law. That came after several days of events at the Hilton, including a "Go-National Dress Ball" and the semi-finals on Friday judged by lawyers including former ICJ President Dame Rosalyn Higgins
, Yale Law professor Harold Koh
, Australian academic and barrister James Crawford
, and White & Case global pro bono head Ian Forrester
and international arbitration head Paul Friedland
. In the increasingly global legal climate
, these students' international skills are only growing in importance.
We snapped a bulletin board with encouragement
between teams. Perhaps Supreme Court opponents
should try this?