So You Want To Be An Appellate Super Lawyer?

AHL2013_webugThe National Law Journal has released its annual “Appellate Hot List,” recognizing elite law firms involved in the most significant appeals of the year with stellar records of appellate advocacy before “the Supreme Court, federal circuit courts of appeal, and state courts of last resort.” What struck us most about the Appellate and Supreme Court Practices doing “killer appellate work” is the prominent role pro bono plays in their self-described and reported accomplishments.

In addition to achievements in commercial matters over the past year, the 20 firms on the Hot List were involved as pro bono counsel in a wide-range of important cases and precedent-setting appeals, including those related to:

• Voter identification, registration, and redistricting
• “Head of State” immunity
• The Indian Child Welfare Act
• The Affordable Care Act
• The Defense of Marriage Act and same-sex marriage
• Warrantless searches
• Death penalty
• Use of race in admissions policies

There is no doubt that pro bono lawyers have become key players at all levels of appellate practice, including in cases pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. If you want to make a name for your firm and yourself as a go-to-appellate lawyer, don’t overlook the significant opportunities that can be found through pro bono work.

Have you successfully used pro bono engagements to cultivate your skills and enhance your commercial practice? Leave a comment and share your experience!