Notes from the President & CEO
RISING TO NEW HEIGHTS
TWO YEARS AGO A YOUNG ASSOCIATE NAMED TARSHA PHILLIBERT was named a “Rising Star” in this magazine. Today she is a partner at Jenner & Block where she is a member of the white collar defense and investigations practice. As we continue to feature attorneys in our network who are climbing the career ladder, it is fun to watch and revel in their professional achievements.
In this issue we feature twelve attorneys from our network who are in different stages in their careers. Some are associates just starting out in their first Big Law position, while others are moving into new leadership roles. Some have navigated routes through large law firms and others have moved in-house. There is a Korean-American who has only been practicing two years yet has handled negotiation and drafting of all documents for films starring Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman. There is also an attorney who moved to a new position during the selection of this year’s Rising Stars. That position? General counsel. Regardless of where they are now, they are all moving on and up in the legal world. This group shows that for diverse lawyers, the sky is the limit.
It seems it was more than a year ago that the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act. It is now history. Looking back on that momentous achievement, we profile four attorneys who contributed to the landmark case: Roberta Kaplan, Mary Bonauto, James Esseks, and Pamela Karlan. While these four lawyers don’t represent a comprehensive roll call of lawyers who aided the decision, the outcome may have been very different if it were not for the talents of the four passionate attorneys.
This issue’s departments are especially strong: Nicole Jones, Cigna’s general counsel, shares her thoughts on diversity best practices and her career advice for aspiring in-house leaders. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz also spoke to the magazine and outlined his vision for the coming year. Horacio Gutierrez, another strong Latino voice (not to mention deputy general counsel of Microsoft), tells his story in our Spotlighting column. Finally, make sure to read our Association Focus column on Karamah. The group, comprised of Muslim women lawyers, seeks to educate the public about the difference between religion and culture in the Muslim world.
The diversity of the legal industry doesn’t surprise me. These stories are only a few that we hear about all the time. We want to share as many of them as we can with you.
Joseph K. West