At The American Lawyer, we keep a running list of men and women we might like to recognize at some point as Lifetime Achievers. This year, our final roster includes eight lawyers who met our standards for exemplary public service and outstanding professional services.
The 2010 list honors a former judge, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s Judith Kaye; a civil rights icon, Columbia Law School’s Jack Greenberg; a pathbreaking managing partner, Alston & Bird’s Ben Johnson III (winner of our second Law Firm Distinguished Leader Award); a former governor, Winston & Strawn’s James Thompson; and three men who have put their civic duties at the core of their professional work: Hogan Lovells’s Joseph Bell; Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson’s Robert Juceam; and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal’s Errol Stone.
Robert Joffe, Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s former presiding partner, was on our running list from the beginning; in fact, he helped create the list with some wise advice about using this process to remind lawyers that it was possible to have a distinguished career at the private bar and make important contributions to public life. Joffe was still very active, and we planned to get to him later. Sadly, he died last winter from cancer at age 66. We’ve never made a posthumous award before. But here, as in life, Joffe was exceptional.
Photo by Michael J.N. Bowles; James Thompson, Winston & Strawn