Benjamin P. Cooper, '97, and Renee Newman Knake, '99, Appointed Co-Reporters for the ABA Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services
The Commission will:
- conduct a series of community-based grassroots meetings and a national convocation designed to encourage bar leaders, judges, court personnel, practitioners, businesses, clients, technologists, and innovators to share their vision for more efficient and effective ways to deliver legal services;
- seek information at the Commission’s public meetings and solicit comments from the legal profession and public;
- analyze and synthesize the insights and ideas gleaned from this process;
- establish internal working groups to assess developments, and recommend innovations, in accessing and delivering legal services; and...
- propose new approaches that are not constrained by traditional models for delivering legal services and are rooted in the essential values of protecting the public, enhancing diversity and inclusion, and pursuing justice for all.
Roy L. Austin Jr., ’95, is Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity at the White House Domestic Policy Council.
Roy L. Austin Jr., ’95, is Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity at the White House Domestic Policy Council. He was appointed to that position last March.
With a staff of eight, but with ample access to the resources of other federal agencies, Austin is carrying out a broad portfolio of responsibilities. “I view our mandate as finding ways to uplift those who are struggling most,” he says, “and that takes us into many areas.” In his first year on the job, he addressed, among other things, the militarization of police departments; 21st-century policing; homelessness; foster care; STEM education for marginalized youth; the expansion of legal aid services; worker’s rights; big data; and a variety of issues related to juvenile and criminal justice, including reentry issues for formerly incarcerated people and support for children of incarcerated parents.
He has also been very active in advancing the initiative established last year by President Obama, My Brother’s Keeper, which engages community leaders along with philanthropic organizations and businesses to build ladders of opportunity for all youth, including boys and young men of color. He served on the task force that framed the program, and he has connected with state and local leaders around the country to promote its implementation.
Before assuming his current responsibilities, Austin served for more than four years in the US Department of Justice as deputy assistant attorney general in the civil rights division. There, his energies were principally directed toward reforming law enforcement institutions, combatting hate crimes, and halting human trafficking. He had begun his legal career in the criminal section of the civil rights division, serving as a trial attorney from 1995 to 2000 after having worked there as a summer intern and then being accepted after graduation into the Attorney General’s Honors Program.
At the Law School, where he was an Earl Warren Scholar, Austin was a Hinton Moot Court Competition finalist. “There is no better training ground than the University of Chicago Law School for learning how to become a lawyer and how to defend your positions,” he says. “I was challenged by a politically diverse faculty and student body and by vigorous classroom debates, and that experience has helped me throughout my career.”
He says that the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project in the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic also had a profound impact on him: “Randolph Stone and Herschella Conyers were not just exceptional teachers, they were powerful role models. I learned more from them and from the clinic—where I had the opportunity to work on an appeal in a death penalty case, among other things—than I ever could have imagined.”
In the ten years between his positions at the Justice Department, he worked for roughly five years as an Assistant US Attorney in DC—“I loved being in the courtroom,” he says. “I believe in the power of prosecutors to do good”—and he served with two different law firms, Keker & Van Nest, in San Francisco, and McDermott Will & Emery, in DC. “At those two excellent firms, I was fortunate to be able to continue working on issues of fairness and equity,” he says. He also has taught trial advocacy at two different DC law schools, for a total of nine years.
“I am grateful for all that I learned at the Law School, and very thankful for the many friendships I formed there that have lasted and grown stronger over the years,” he says. “My classmates James Cole [general counsel at the US Department of Education] and Joel Wiginton [vice president for government relations at Samsung] are amazing friends doing amazing things. And what other law school’s graduates can say, as I can, that they had classes with the President of the United States and a Supreme Court justice, not to mention professors with the impact of a Cass Sunstein, David Strauss, or Dennis Hutchinson? The Law School made possible for me a career that has far surpassed whatever I might have hoped for.”
The American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity will honor Seattle lawyer Thomas Fitzpatrick with its Stonewall Award during a ceremony on Feb. 6, 2016, at the ABA Midyear Meeting in San Diego.Original source:
The American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity will honor Seattle lawyer Thomas Fitzpatrick with its Stonewall Award during a ceremony on Feb. 6, 2016, at the ABA Midyear Meeting in San Diego.
Named after the New York City Stonewall Inn police raid and riot of June 28, 1969, which was a turning point in the gay rights movement, the award recognizes lawyers who have considerably advanced lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the legal profession and successfully championed LGBT legal causes.
“Tom Fitzpatrick has been a powerful voice for LGBT inclusion within the Association from the earliest days of our movement. He literally helped change the LGBT policies of the Association to what they are today,” said Mark Johnson Roberts, chair of the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
Scharf has been asked to focus on the Commission’s implicit bias projects.Original source:
The American Bar Association (ABA) has named Scharf Banks Marmor LLC founding partner Stephanie A. Scharf an Advisor to the group’s new Presidential Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 360. Scharf has been asked to focus on the Commission’s implicit bias projects.
ABA President Paulette Brown formed the Commission in August with the mission of reviewing and analyzing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, the judicial system and the ABA. Its goal is to develop sustainable action plans.
Brown hopes to formulate methods, policy, standards and practices to best advance diversity and inclusion over the next 10 years. Practical tools will be produced and other action items undertaken in order to move the needle on diversity and inclusion in an impactful way. The Commission will achieve its mission through four working groups that examine different facets of diversity and inclusion: Implicit Bias, Pipeline, Guidelines and Implementation and Economic Case.
“ABA President Paulette Brown has taken groundbreaking steps in creating this commission,” said Scharf. “I’m honored to join this elite group of distinguished lawyers and look forward to making a real impact on increasing diversity of the profession. We need more champions for diversity in our field, and this group is positioned to drill down to the issues that can bring concrete changes.”
Scharf says she is no stranger to understanding the pressures women and minorities face in the workplace, as she raised two children while rising to partnership at two of Chicago’s largest and most vaunted law firms. Three years ago, Scharf Banks Marmor LLC was formed, and today it is the largest majority-women-owned law firm in Illinois, and one of the largest in the country.
These lawyers, a reflection of the diversity and accomlishments of the city's rising legal talent, are go-to picks in their respective fields.Original source:
The National Law Journal's selection of 40 game-changing lawyers age 40 and under—from nearly 200 nominations—cuts across private, public and advocacy sectors. These lawyers, a reflection of the diversity and accomlishments of the city's rising legal talent, are go-to picks in their respective fields.
“This is my dream job,” says Brian Brooks, ’94. “I have aspired to this role almost my whole career.”
“This is my dream job,” says Brian Brooks, ’94. “I have aspired to this role almost my whole career.” He’s referring to his new role, as of last November, as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of the Federal National Mortgage Association, better known as Fannie Mae. He brings to the position a deep industry knowledge, exceptional legal acumen, and a demonstrated capacity to help formulate and lead organizational transformation.
From right after graduation until 2011 (with a year off for a Court of Appeals clerkship in 1997–98), Brooks was at O’Melveny & Myers, where his practice focused largely on the financial services industry. He became managing partner of the firm’s Washington, DC, office in 2008, not long before the financial crisis struck. While competitors were employing conventional strategies for their financial services clients, often without success—“losing respectably,” as Brooks puts it—Brooks and his team pursued innovative solutions, including asserting doctrines of preemption and multidistrict jurisdiction that had not been applied before in banking cases. “We won them nearly 100 percent of the time; we ran the table,” he says.
Those new strategies became widely emulated, and signs of Brooks’s influence included his representation of Alan Greenspan and other high-profile clients before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission; frequent citation of his ideas in legal, industry, and popular publications; and his leading role in crafting the mortgage industry’s response to the foreclosure crisis.
In the position he held after O’Melveny and before joining Fannie Mae, as Vice Chairman and Chief Legal Officer of OneWest Bank, he was once again a central player in a transformative undertaking. The largest bank headquartered in Southern California, OneWest had been formed through the purchase of a failed mortgage lender by an investor consortium. The new owners’ vision was to create a highly responsive local institution that would win customers away from its larger, nonlocal rivals.
“The challenge,” Brooks says, “was that the prospects for this new bank were threatened by legacy mortgage-related issues carried forward from the old bank.” It fell to him and his team to resolve those “old bank” issues and to set in place the new lending and servicing practices that would insure stability going forward. “I was responsible for a pretty big part of a pretty big business,” he recalls. In 2013, he negotiated the sale to an outside buyer of nearly $80 billion in mortgages serviced by OneWest, removing that risk from the company’s books and paving the way for last year’s agreement to sell the bank for $3.4 billion.
At Fannie Mae—where in addition to overseeing the legal and government and industry relations departments, he is a senior advisor to the CEO and the board of directors—Brooks says there is a similar old/new challenge: “We’re still addressing legacy issues from the financial crisis. Most of that has been dealt with, but some still remains. And then there is Fannie Mae today, where our mission is to build the infrastructure for the modern housing finance system—to simplify things and be clearer with our counterparties about what the rules are, to create greater certainty and a better customer experience so that we simultaneously protect the taxpayer and create stability and growth in housing finance.”
He adds, “A housing market is about more than just the economy—it’s about social stability; it’s about opportunity and growth for up-and-coming populations. And in an important sense, Fannie Mae is key to the housing market, because we make it possible to pool and diversify risk in a way that individual lenders can’t.”
He says that the Law School instilled ways of thinking that have helped him succeed. Describing his experience, he notes that he took every course taught by each of three faculty members: Geoffrey Miller, Michael McConnell, and Cass Sunstein: “Ideologically, they were very different, but methodologically they were similar: data driven, looking at outcomes from different models, innovative in following the logic—all very Chicago. That level of rigor, the questioning of conventional wisdom, and a focus on getting the best results has been something I’ve tried to emulate. My experience at the Law School was transformative, and it has affected everything I’ve done since.”
“I decided that I had been a deal junkie long enough, and I wanted a broader role."
Ann Ziegler, ’83, serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and an executive committee member at CDW, a $12 billion provider of integrated information technology solutions to more than 250,000 business and public-sector customers.
Before joining CDW in 2008, she was at Sara Lee for 15 years, with seven years before that at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. At Sara Lee, after a short time in the legal department she joined the corporate development department, where she rose within six years to become Senior Vice President, responsible for the company’s worldwide portfolio strategy and mergers and acquisitions, reporting directly to the company’s chairman and CEO. Among the many transactions for which she was responsible, she led the IPO and spinoff of Coach, Inc., and the $3 billion acquisition of Earthgrains.
Toward the end of her time in corporate development, she says, “I decided that I had been a deal junkie long enough, and I wanted a broader role. I let it be known that I wanted a CFO position.” She soon found herself in that role, as well as being Senior Vice President for Administration, at the company’s $3.5 billion bakery group, which was in need of a turnaround. Along with a new group CEO and other team members, in two years she helped triple profits, as well as making many other improvements that included hedging strategies that substantially reduced profit-and-loss volatility.
“I joke with Rich Noll, who was the new CEO of the bakery group, that he must have been surprised when he learned who his CFO was going to be,” she says. “There was a lot of new learning for me, and a lot of new challenges, not the least of which was that I was managing many people who had much greater subject area expertise than I did. I guess I can thank my Law School education for helping me with that. I will be the first to admit that I did not necessarily enjoy my time at the Law School, but I definitely learned not to be intimidated or snowed by people who are compelled to act like they are smarter than you. The Law School gave me the confidence—and quite a bit of practice—to effectively deal with this persona. I would sometimes tell myself, ‘You made it through the University of Chicago Law School. You have the backbone to do anything.’”
Noll clearly liked what he saw in her. He’s now the CEO of Hanesbrands, and she sits on the board of directors there. (She is also on the board of Groupon and served previously on the boards of Kemper, Delta Galil Industries, and Johnsonville Sausage.)Her last post at Sara Lee was three years as CFO and Senior Vice President for Administration at the company’s $4.7 billion food and beverage group, where she also helped achieve dramatic turnaround-level improvements.
Then on to CDW, early in 2008. The company was enjoying fast growth, and she was enthusiastic about the new challenges and opportunities. Then the recession hit. Revenues plummeted, and the company—which had been taken private the year before—was very highly leveraged. She found big savings; refinanced more than three billion dollars in debt; put a new, more diverse, leadership team in place in her department; improved crucial policies; and used a broad communication strategy to sustain morale. Coming out of the recession, CDW boomed, with double-digit gains in revenues and profits. In 2013, she led CDW’s very successful return to being publicly traded. “We’re an entrepreneurial, ‘can-do’ company,” she says, “so every day is an adventure. I have always said that if you’re too comfortable in your job, it’s time to find a new one. I love what I’m doing, and it’s still keeping me learning and growing.”
Her late husband, Mark Orloff, graduated from the Law School in 1982. Their daughters, Emma and Reba, are now in college.
“At the Law School, I learned a way of critical thinking and problem solving that has served me extremely well in my career,” she says. “While I haven’t practiced law for years, the critical thinking and problem solving skills I learned are important and relevant in almost any career.”
Greenberg Traurig, LLP is pleased to announce that Víctor Manuel Frías will join the firm's Mexico City office in the Antitrust Litigation & Competition Practice Group.Original source:
Greenberg Traurig, LLP is pleased to announce that Víctor Manuel Frías will join the firm's Mexico City office in the Antitrust Litigation & Competition Practice Group. Frías has joined as a shareholder from Casares, Castelazo, Frías y Zárate, S.C. The addition is part of an overall expansion of Greenberg Traurig's Mexico City office that includes the hiring of Frías, as well as his former firm's entire antitrust and corporate practice groups.
"Victor is an exceptionally talented lawyer who brings a wealth of knowledge on antitrust enforcement and related regulatory matters, especially in respect of the kinds of complex transactions we regularly take on," said Miguel Flores Bernés, Shareholder and a key member of the Antitrust Litigation & Competition Practice Group in Mexico City. "The growth of our practice demands that we continue to add top lawyers, and we believe that Victor's 20 years of legal experience combined with my tenure as a former Commissioner of the Federal Competition Commission will prove invaluable to our clients. Together with Victor, I look forward to continuing to build one of Mexico's strongest antitrust and competition teams."
Jerry B. Wallack, managing partner of Kutak Rock LLP’s Chicago office, died unexpectedly this morning. He was 63.Original source:
Jerry B. Wallack, managing partner of Kutak Rock LLP’s Chicago office, died unexpectedly this morning. He was 63. He is survived by his wife, Betty Brady, and daughter, Wendy Wallack.
“Jerry opened our Chicago office in July 2000 and acted as the managing partner for the office,” said David Jacobson, chairman of Kutak Rock LLP. “Along with other partners, Jerry was instrumental in developing bond issuer clients in the City of Chicago and at the state level and in making Kutak Rock a force in Illinois public finance.
“Jerry’s many friends and colleagues at Kutak Rock join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to Betty, Wendy and the rest of Jerry’s family and friends. Our entire firm shares the shock and pain felt at his sudden passing,” Jacobson said.
“Jerry will be missed,” said Kevin Barney, a colleague of Wallack's who worked with Jerry for 30 years. “He was a brilliant mind and a good man.”
Wallack earned an A.B. from Oberlin College in 1974, an A.M. from the University of Chicago in 1977 and his law degree from the University of Chicago School of Law in 1978. He was a partner in the law firms of Katten Muchin & Zavis (now Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP), Chicago, Illinois, and Borge and Pitt, Chicago, Illinois (which merged with Katten Muchin & Zavis in 1987), prior to opening Kutak Rock’s Chicago office.
"I was prepared for all of this at the Law School by the best legal minds of my generation, people like Posner, Easterbrook, Scalia, and Epstein, to name just some of them."
During law school, Bryant Edwards, ’81, had his sights set on a Wall Street lawyering job. Then he met some lawyers from a small Los Angeles firm with about 175 attorneys, and he liked what he saw in them. After visiting the firm’s offices, he liked it even more. “It was a departure from what I had been imagining for myself, but I could tell that these were top-quality lawyers with big ambitions, and I believed they had the ability to realize those ambitions,” he recalls. “So I took a chance, and after graduation I headed west to join Latham & Watkins.”
Today, Latham is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious firms, and Edwards has made significant contributions to that growth and that stature. He chaired the corporate practice at the Los Angeles office, then dramatically grew the European practice as chair of the London corporate department for eight years, then led the creation of Latham’s Middle East practice, serving as its Dubai-based chair and opening four new offices in the region, and now he’s chairing the firm’s five-office Asia practice from Hong Kong.At each stop, he has deployed notable leadership skills as well as a deep expertise in capital markets, high-yield bonds, restructuring, and mergers and acquisitions. When he transferred to the London office in 2000, it had about 40 lawyers, and Latham had little name recognition there. Today the office has seven times as many lawyers, and Latham is a go-to brand.
“The high-yield market in Europe, which had really just begun around 1998, fell very hard in 2001 and 2002,” he recalls. “Practically everyone thought that party was over.” Persisting, he led the development of the European High Yield Association and became its chair. When the market roared back, Latham was at its forefront. In 2006, a European competitor remarked, “When you’re in high-yield at Latham & Watkins, the business comes to you. At other firms, you go do lunch in Warsaw.”
A similar story unfolded after he took the firm into the Middle East in 2008. Things had been booming—and then, when the global economic crisis hit, they went the other way. Among the many large projects that Edwards led was the restructuring of nearly $60 billion of debt obligations of Dubai World. As things turned positive again, he led the development of the high-yield market in the region and advised clients on transactions that included the Middle East’s first-ever conventional high-yield corporate bond offering and the issuance of a $4 billion sukuk by the State of Qatar, the largest dollar-denominated sukuk ever issued. (A sukuk is a financial instrument structured in accordance with Islamic principles.)
In Asia, he anticipates the same strong growth that he oversaw in Europe and the Middle East: “There is tremendous economic vitality throughout Asia and increasingly strong connections into the Middle East, Africa, and beyond. Policies are supporting the growth of strong and responsive capital markets, which will provide the capital for Asia’s most successful companies to truly globalize.” Asia-focused publications have cited the firm as among the most innovative in the Asia-Pacific region and honored him as an external counsel of the year.
“When I joined Latham, I knew I was in for a great adventure,” he says, “but the journey has been more amazing and fulfilling than I could have imagined. I was prepared for all of this at the Law School by the best legal minds of my generation, people like Posner, Easterbrook, Scalia, and Epstein, to name just some of them. I’m still inspired by that experience, and I know that today’s Law School is stronger than ever, turning out graduates with great skills, great legal logic, and the willingness to roll up their sleeves and work hard to help clients succeed. I’m a proud graduate, and a very grateful one, too.”
Chicago attorney and government wonk Perri Irmer has been named president and CEO of the DuSable Museum of African American History.Original source:
Chicago attorney and government wonk Perri Irmer has been named president and CEO of the DuSable Museum of African American History.
Irmer, 56, is a Chicago native and lifelong resident of the Hyde Park-Kenwood community and has a broad range of experience—she's also an architect and worked for years as head of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.
Esther Lardent, '71, Founder of the Pro Bono Institute, Profiled by The American Lawyer as 'Lifetime Achiever'
Esther Lardent, founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Pro Bono Institute, can be very persuasive.Original source:
Esther Lardent, founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Pro Bono Institute, can be very persuasive. Just ask U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has spoken at nearly all of PBI's yearly meetings since the late 1990s, no matter how busy her schedule. Ginsburg happens to be a big fan of PBI's efforts to give poor and disadvantaged communities better access to legal services. But Lardent's lobbying hasn't hurt.
"She's a hard person to say no to," says Ginsburg.
Many managing partners and general counsel would agree. Since PBI's launch in 1996, Lardent (aka the "Queen of Pro Bono") has convinced nearly 150 top-tier law firms and dozens of Fortune 500 legal departments to step up their commitment to pro bono. Her pitch is simple but effective: By doing good on the pro bono front, big law firms can boost recruiting and generate positive PR buzz—and thus also do well.
Part of what makes Hirshman such a likable writer — in addition to her wit and ability to explain the law succinctly without dumbing it down — is her optimism.Original source:
From the Washington Post's review:
Part of what makes Hirshman such a likable writer — in addition to her wit and ability to explain the law succinctly without dumbing it down — is her optimism. “Sisters in Law” ends with a call for more female justices. Surely, Hirshman concludes, judges who have experienced being female in American society will be more responsive to sex-equality concerns than the Roberts court has been.
Here is a biography of two women that focuses centrally on their work. (I have no doubt O’Connor loves her children, but their names don’t appear in the book.) This alone is cause for celebration; bookstore shelves aren’t exactly crowded with biographies of great women at work. How much better that the work in question seeks to enable many more women (and men) to carve out their own life stories unconstrained by sex-role stereotypes.
The awards are given to individuals who embody the spirit of Andrew Carnegie by dedicating their private wealth to the public good.Original source:
David M. Rubenstein will be honored with a 2015 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, the Carnegie Corporation of New York announced Tuesday. The awards are given to individuals who embody the spirit of Andrew Carnegie by dedicating their private wealth to the public good.
Rubenstein, a co-founder and co-chief executive of the Carlyle Group, a Washington-based global private-equity firm, is one of eight recipients to be honored for his contributions to a variety of causes, including arts and culture, the environment, cancer research, and technology.
“I view this award more as a call to action rather than an acknowledgment of things I’ve done,” Rubenstein said in an e-mail. “America has given me so much and I’m trying to return the favor.”
Alissa Gardenswartz steps into the position of Deputy Attorney General for Consumer Protection.Original source:
Alissa Gardenswartz steps into the position of Deputy Attorney General for Consumer Protection. Gardenswartz joined the Colorado Attorney General’s Office in January 2007 as an Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Fraud Unit. She worked a wide variety of antitrust cases, as well as consumer, mortgage, and charitable fraud cases. In 2012 she became a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the same Unit and, in 2014, was appointed the First Assistant Attorney General over the Antitrust, Tobacco, and Mortgage Fraud Unit.
Gardenswartz earned her undergraduate degree at U.C.L.A in 1992 and her law degree from the University of Chicago in 1996. She spent four years working as an antitrust attorney at the Federal Trade Commission and then at the national law firm Clifford Chance in Washington D.C. before moving to Colorado in 2004 where she became a senior associate at Wheeler Trigg Kennedy LLP.
In “The Senator Next Door,” an autobiography Klobuchar penned without a ghost writer, she writes about her trajectory from a middle-class Plymouth upbringing to the U.S. Senate.Original source:
WASHINGTON – Even at her own wedding, Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar writes in her new book, she weathered bromides about one day running for president.
In The Senator Next Door, an autobiography Klobuchar penned without a ghost writer, she writes about her trajectory from a middle-class Plymouth upbringing to the U.S. Senate, with stops along the way at Yale University and the Hennepin County attorney’s office.
Klobuchar’s autobiography, which hits bookstores next week, is at times unflattering about her own family.
The daughter of a schoolteacher and a newspaperman, she talks about her father (longtime Star Tribune columnist Jim Klobuchar) and his struggle with relationships, alcoholism and recovery, and her mother’s decision to return to the workforce after she found herself single and raising two kids.
Susan Phillips Read acknowledges a certain wonder when reflecting on her 12 1/2 years as associate judge on the state Court of Appeals.Original source:
ALBANY - Susan Phillips Read acknowledges a certain wonder when reflecting on her 12 1/2 years as associate judge on the state Court of Appeals—the 13 different colleagues, the thousands of decisions, having a voice at the conference table where some of the state's most important legal decisions were made.
It ends when her resignation from the court takes effect Monday.
"You have to be prepared to make it [to the court]," she said in a recent interview in her soon-to-be vacated chambers in Albany. "But you also have to be a little lucky. You have to be the right person in the right place at the right time to be appointed. That the stars aligned and I got appointed, I still can't believe that."
Gus Makris, 06, Appointed to Georgia District Attorney & Circuit PublicDefender Compensation Commission
Makris is tax counsel for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.Original source:
[Georgia] Gov. Nathan Deal has named 26 people to state boards.
Gus Makris, Judicial, District Attorney & Circuit PublicDefender Compensation Commission. Makris is tax counsel for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. He was previously an associate with King & Spalding LLP in Atlanta and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York. Makris serves on the board of the East Cobb Civic Association. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago Law School.
In a wide-ranging, three-part interview with Bloomberg, Brian Brooks, '94, draws on his experience as Fannie Mae General Counsel.Original source:
In a wide-ranging, three-part interview with Bloomberg, Brian Brooks, '94, draws on his experience as Fannie Mae General Counsel:
There are lawyers who are really sources of market information and intelligence, who are always letting you know what’s going on in your industry, even when you yourself may not have a need for them that day. Those are the people who really become the trusted advisors.
Read Part 1: "Call Me When I’m Not Sending You Work"
The profit structure of law firms is really broken. The rates of the most senior partners at the best law firms have gone up and up and up. [But] the problem for law firms is that the rates of the mid-level lawyers and associates have gone up and up and up, even faster than the rates of the senior partners, and their value add isn’t the same.
Read Part 2: "The Law Firm Profit Structure Is Broken"
If the only lawyers I’ve seen in the last day or two happen to be lawyers that look like me or lawyers that I’ve mentored or whatever, then over time, everybody else is going to get excluded.
I then went to law school and had two great professors. Antonin Scalia was a professor there … and Richard Epstein, who’s a famous professor. I took courses from them that really made me think.Original source:
Were your conservative political ideals also formed around that time?
Let me tell you about the journey there, because it didn’t start that way. I went to college and really put that newfound faith on the shelf. My freshman year I went to church most of the time, but by my sophomore year I was partying, drinking to go to the football games, and having a fun time.
I thank God for not giving up on me because He pursued me. My political beliefs were pretty leftist. I was part of a progressive party and the debating groups at Yale. I had an … acquaintance there who came up to me and said, “Well, David, what do you believe in?” I said, “Well, I believe in free speech.” She said, “What about your faith?” I said, “I’m a Christian,” because I kept the label, and a couple of other things. She looked at me and said, “You’re not a liberal, you’re a conservative.” I said, “Really?” Because at that time, the label I had was a liberal. I said, “Well, let me think about that.”
I spent the summer thinking, what do I really believe in, reaching back to that life in Kendallville and the things that were important to me. That started a couple-year evolution. I then went to law school and had two great professors. Antonin Scalia was a professor there … and Richard Epstein, who’s a famous professor. I took courses from them that really made me think, and I realized after my first year of law school, I am a conservative, a constitutional conservative. Freedom is the thing I value most in political, public life, and I want to live my life to promote that.