Eight lawyers with long and distinguished careers and a dedication to public service are recipients of 2014 Lifetime Achievement Awards, The American Lawyer announced on Thursday. In addition, the magazine has named two other lawyers as winners of its Law Firm Distinguished Leader Award for exemplary management of their firm.
“Honorees this year have had very different careers, but all extraordinary careers,” said Kim Kleman, editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer. “They’re lions of the profession.”
This is the 11th year that the magazine has given the awards, which are selected by a team of editors. (Here is a list of past winners.) Honorees will be featured in the September issue of The American Lawyer and feted this fall at a dinner in New York City.
The 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees are:
Martha Barnett. No matter her position, be it president of the American Bar Association, the first woman chair of the American Bar Association House of Delegates, the first female partner at Holland & Knight or a host of other roles, Barnett has championed the idea that more women belong in law. She has also served on a number of Florida state commissions.
Michael Cooper. Cooper is of counsel at Sullivan & Cromwell and a former litigation partner at the firm. He has led a number of law organizations, including the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Board of Regents of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Legal Aid Society. He was also cochair of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Pro Bono Net.
Donald Dunner. One of the world’s leading experts on patent law, Dunner is a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner. In the 1970s, Dunner noticed that the lack of a single court for patent appeals had led to inconsistent interpretations of patent law. He was instrumental in the creation of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, before which he has argued more cases than any other lawyer.
Vernon Jordan Jr. Jordan’s wide-ranging career includes civil rights lawyer, president and CEO of the National Urban League, corporate board member, confidante to former President Bill Clinton and currently senior counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, where the firm says he remains one of its most effective rainmakers.
Rhoda Karpatkin. As the longtime president of Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, Karpatkin broadened and deepened the organization’s product testing and consumer advocacy work and helped expand its focus to include issues affecting low-income consumers. And Karpatkin, now retired, played a leading role in helping the consumer movement go global, serving as president of Consumers International, a federation of consumers groups from around the world.
Robert Mundheim. Currently of counsel at Shearman & Sterling, Mundheim has had a career that has incorporated law firms, industry, academia and government. He was cochairman of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and a professor of law and finance at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where also served as dean. He was senior executive vice president and general counsel of Salomon Smith Barney Holdings Inc. Government work has included serving as general counsel to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and special counsel to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Charles Queenan Jr. Called “Mr. Pittsburgh” by some of his partners at K&L Gates, Queenan is chairman emeritus of the firm and a backbone of numerous local cultural and civic institutions. His growth strategy in the late 1970s for Pittsburgh’s Kirkpatrick, Lockhart, Johnson & Hutchinson, where he was chairman, was foundational to the expansion and success of what is now K&L Gates.
Thomas Sager. As a longtime lawyer with E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Sager sought to shake up the way law firms do business with companies. He instituted a new way of managing litigation and other matters, a template for driving efficiencies and innovation. And he pushed DuPont’s outside firms and its legal department and became one of the most effective champions of diversity in the profession. He retires as senior vice president and general counsel at DuPont Legal at the end of August.
Winners of the 2014 Law Firm Distinguished Leader Awards are:
William Lee and William Perlstein. Lee and Perlstein managed the successful merger in 2004 of Boston’s Hale and Dorr with Washington, D.C.’s Wilmer Cutler & Pickering to form Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. In their tenure as comanaging partners, the firm’s revenue per lawyer grew by 39 percent, profits per partner increased 73 percent and the firm expanded significantly. They both stepped down as managing partners in 2011, though they continue to practice with the firm.