Every publication, organization, educational institution and mommy group seem to be doling out awards for one thing or another. So why not little ol’ me, The Careerist?
This year, I’m inaugurating the official Careerist’s Oscars for the most fascinating, infuriating, awesome and beguiling personalities, firms and whatevers. Here are my hand-picked, lovingly-vetted winners:
Most Charming Chauvinist Award: Randy Mastro, partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. We detected a whiff of sexism in Mastro’s report exonerating Governor Chris Christie in the New Jersey Bridgegate scandal (the report portrayed Bridget Anne Kelly, one of Christie’s minions, as a woman on the verge of a breakdown). Despite our misgivings about the report, we have to give Mastro extra credit for being willing to chat with us, showing a sense of humor and being a bon vivant.
Snazziest/Sexiest Law Firm in the World Award: Singaporean firm TSMP Law Corporation. Lawyers seldom look this chic and cheeky. TSMP’s website says its lawyers are “boardroom gladiators,” but it’s also clear they’re dressed to kill. Clicking through the firm’s website is almost like flipping through an issue of Vogue.
Funniest Law Firm Award: Jones Day. This is a very serious firm that demands to be taken very seriously. And that’s what makes it so darn funny. We poked (gentle) fun at its latest U.S. Supreme Court clerk hires and got an angry letter from its hiring partner, who was at all not amused.
Fastest Disappearing Practice Award: Reed Smith’s Global Ebola Task Force. Honorable Mentions: Arent Fox, Jackson Lewis and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart and all the other firms that hyped their Ebola legal expertise during the recent crisis.
Chutzpah Award: University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, which opened its doors this year, just as law school applications hit a historical low. (National Law Journal says this is the ninth law school in the state of Texas.)
Most Intriguing Lawyer Award: John J. Altorelli, partner at DLA Piper. Altorelli went from generating more than $33 million in business at Dewey & LeBouef, his former firm, to declaring personal bankruptcy in 2014. He also had a fabulous (too fabulous?) personal life, hanging out with celebrities, models and shacking up with ex-KGB agent Anna Chapman.
The Chivalry is Dead Award: Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell who was convicted in September of corruption. His defense was that it was all his wife’s fault: She pushed him into accepting gifts and corrupting his office because she was crazy and greedy. So much for the Southern gentleman stereotype.
Best Quote of the Year Award: Reverend Al Sharpton. Okay, he’s not a lawyer (though he certainly knows plenty). In any case, he had a great comeback to the charge that he once worked as an F.B.I. informant in the 1980s:
“I was not and am not a rat because I wasn’t with the rats. I’m a cat.”