Nostradamus is not on our payroll so The National Law Journal can’t report the future today. But we can make some predictions. One is that the young Washington-area lawyers profiled here will play a major role in the legal community of the nation’s capital — and therefore of the nation — for years to come.

Selected by the editors based on nominations and reporting, these 40 individuals have already made their marks in private practice, in government agencies, on Capitol Hill and with public interest groups. Some have garnered headlines; others are less well-known. And not one has reached the age of 40.

ADISA BAKARI, DOW LOHNES

Earlier this year, Adisa Bakari negotiated a four-year $32.8 million contract for Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, making Jones-Drew the third-highest paid running back in the National Football League and Bakari the lawyer with the golden touch. Bakari had been looking forward to this day ever since he started at Dow Lohnes. First he honed his skills in the executive compensation practice. Then he took his shot to build a sports and entertainment practice. Today, Bakari, 36, represents 18 clients, including Jones-Drew, Antoine Bethea of the Indianapolis Colts and Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears. — Jeff Jeffrey

JULIE BECKER, LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Every family living in Washington public housing benefits from Julie Becker’s hard work. Two years ago, when the D.C. Housing Authority rewrote its standard lease, she led the Legal Aid Society team that pushed the agency to cut such onerous clauses as a requirement of written permission for overnight guests. The 34-year-old senior attorney has also helmed several of Legal Aid’s major litigation efforts. In Feemster v. BSA Limited Partnership, she convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that landlords may not reject Section 8 housing vouchers. — Jordan Weissmann

PATRICK CAMPBELL, PAUL, WEISS, RIFKIND, WHARTON & GARRISON

When top satellite companies need a lawyer to hammer out their biggest deals, they often turn to Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison partner Patrick Campbell. Among his clients, the 37-year-old counts Intelsat Ltd., the world’s largest provider of fixed satellite services, and SES Americom Inc., the No. 2 satellite operator in the United States. Even before he made partner, Campbell helped Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. purchase its satellite capacity needs from PanAmSat. Growing up in Washington, Campbell was inspired to become a lawyer when he took a high school class taught by Street Law. Now he sits on the nonprofit’s board. — Jordan Weissmann

PHILLIP CARTER, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

A vocal critic of the last administration’s treatment of Guantánamo Bay detainees, Phillip Carter now directly shapes detention policies. As President Barack Obama’s deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, Carter, 33, is weighing in on the administration’s efforts to close Gitmo. Before joining McKenna Long & Aldridge’s government contracts practicein 2004, he spent nine years in the U.S. Army. He took a leave from the firm in 2005 and 2006 to deploy to Iraq with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Carter later helped found the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a group that seeks to improve the lives of vets. — Marisa McQuilken

ROBERT CHASE II, SUTHERLAND ASBILL & BRENNAN

Robert Chase II can’t describe his work without using the word “fun” — not the usual description of a tax practice. But then Chase gets to advise some of the biggest companies around. In 2008, the Sutherland Asbill & Brennan partner helped represent Philip Morris International Inc. on tax issues stemming from its spinoff from Altria Group Inc. A year earlier, he represented Kraft Foods Inc. as tax counsel in its $7.6 billion purchase of Danone’s global biscuit business. Chase, 37, is leading Sutherland’s representation of Tyco Electronics Ltd., including providing tax advice on the company’s $675 million sale of its wireless service business to Harris Corp. — Jeff Jeffrey

ELISEBETH COOK, SENATE JUDICARY COMMITTEE

Elisebeth Cook was 32 when the U.S. Senate confirmed her as a to official in the U.S. Department of Justice. As assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Policy, she was responsible for prepping George W. Bush’s final judicial nominees — an experience quite useful in her new job as the Republicans’ chief counsel for Supreme Court nominations. With a staff of as many as 15 lawyers and researchers, Cook is focusing on Judge Sonia Sotomayor. “It was envisioned that I would be more familiar with her record than anyone outside the White House or herself, and that’s what I’ve tried to do,” said Cook, now 33. — David Ingram

PAUL CUOMO, HOWREY

As a one-time Federal Trade Commission attorney, Paul Cuomo knows how to seek and find antitrust violations. Now the Howrey partner puts that experience to work advising Fortune 500 companies on multibillion-dollar deals. In August 2007, he served as lead counsel on Akzo Nobel N.V.’s $16 billion acquisition of Imperial Chemical Industries and the subsequent sale of $5 billion in ICI businesses to Henkel A.G. & Co. In 2006, he led BASF Group’s acquisition of Johnson Polymer, which cleared in 10 jurisdictions without remedies. Cuomo, 38, also serves as antitrust compliance officer for the National Association of Music Merchants. — Jeff Jeffrey

AHMED DAVIS, FISH & RICHARDSON

At the venerable intellectual property firm Fish & Richardson, partner Ahmed Davis is the car guy. Davis, 37, was co-lead counsel for Honda Motor Co. when American Calcar Inc. sued, and he handles day-to-day management of hybrid tech developer Paice LLC’s multiple lawsuits against Toyota Motor Corp. His Honda team fended off infringement claims on 13 of 15 patents and is appealing the final two. In the Paice suit, he’s helped persuade a judge to award royalties that could exceed $100 million. Davis has also made some waves in drug litigation, managing negotiations for a $117 million settlement over an arthritis medication. — Jordan Weissmann

ERIC DELINSKY, ZUCKERMAN SPAEDER

Eric Delinsky captured the spotlight when he secured a settlement last year for J. Timothy Howard, former chief financial officer at Fannie Mae. Howard walked away from the mammoth accounting fraud case with no out-of-pocket losses. Other cases handled by the 39-year-old partner at Zuckerman Spaeder, although not as dollar-loaded, are just as compelling. He’s defending a former civilian translator against claims he was an abuser at Abu Ghraib. And he represented Lloyd’s of London in the fallout from a staged theft ofMonet and Picasso paintings. Brought in to end the decadelong case, Delinsky quickly won a decisive court ruling. — Leigh Jones

MICHAEL DESANCTIS, JENNER & BLOCK

Record companies and recording artists have Michael DeSanctis, 39, to thank for the size of the royalties they receive for satellite radio play. He was lead counsel for SoundExchange in the 2007 Copyright Royalty Board trial that resulted in dramatically increased royalties paid for music played on satellite radio. His litigation practice focuses on the music, television and entertainment industry and new technology and the Internet. DeSanctis, who also serves as managing partner of Jenner & Block’s Washington office, now represents Viacom in its high-profile copyright infringement suit against Google and YouTube. — Karen Sloan

THOMAS DUPREE JR., GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER 

Thomas Dupree Jr. joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher just as the firm took on one of the biggest cases in American history — Bush v. Gore. He was tapped by Theodore Olson to write briefs in the case that ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to sign off on the election of George W. Bush as president. Dupree, 39, has hardly slowed down since. Between his time in private practice and a 2007-09 stint as deputy assistant attorney general and then principal deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division, he has argued in all 13 circuit courts of appeals. — Jeff Jeffrey

ERIN EGAN, COVINGTON & BURLING

When some people were still learning to open their e-mail, Erin Egan was laying the groundwork for a cutting-edge practice at Covington & Burling. In the 1990s, she began counseling Microsoft and other companies about how to operate online. “I’ve always been someone who’s really just followed what’s interested me,” said Egan, 39. Luckily for Covington, following her interests led to the creation of a 25-lawyer global privacy and data security group serving clients such as Microsoft and Procter & Gamble. Today, Egan co-chairs the practice. Over the years, she’s worked on everything from the CAN-SPAM Act to spyware to online advertising. — Marisa McQuilken

MAAME EWUSI-MENSAH, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Maame Ewusi-Mensah doesn’t have a long history in international trade, but she’s already made a difference in the latest phase of a 27-year trade dispute between the United States and Canada. The issue is softwood lumber. Ewusi-Mensah, a 32-year-old trial attorney who joined the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division just two years ago, conceived, drafted and presented the argument in the opening round of the remedy hearing before a London Court of International Arbitration tribunal this past fall. It evidently went well because in February the court sided with the United States in ordering a $53 million remedy against Canada. — Mike Scarcella

MARK FREEMAN, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

This fall, advocates will be watching Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a separation-of-powers case before the U.S. Supreme Court that Mark Freeman knows well. As an appellate lawyer in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division, Freeman co-wrote the briefs defending the board before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Nothing new there — in recent years, Freeman, 35, has written briefs and argued some of DOJ’s most sensitive cases. He participated in writing the briefs in the landmark racketeering case U.S. v. Philip Morris, and in March he defended the appointment of judges to the Copyright Royalty Board. — Mike Scarcella

BERT GALL, INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE

By the time his legal career ends, Bert Gall would like to see the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London left in “the dustbin of history” — and he wants to be one of the lawyers who puts it there. Kelo, of course, was the 2005 ruling that gave state and local governments virtually free rein to use eminent domain to claim private property. At the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest group, Gall, 36, has been on the front lines of the fight against the abuse of eminent domain. In Norwood v. Horney, he helped convince the Ohio Supreme Court to limit its use under the state constitution, and he ran the institute’s “Hands Off My Home” public awareness campaign. While Gall is leading litigation efforts to try to quash abuse of eminent domain in other states as well, his practice also includes multiple campaign finance cases. He is representing SpeechNow.org in a lawsuit challenging federal campaign finance rules that cap donations to independent advocacy groups that expressly support political candidates. He also led the case that overturned a Florida law requiring independent groups to register as political committees before they could publish literature on campaign issues. — Jordan Weissmann

JARED GENSER, DLA PIPER

At Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government during the 1990s, student Jared Genser organized a protest when then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin came to speak. Afterward, he found himself asking, “Now what?” The answer was a career in human rights law. Genser, 37, heads Freedom Now, which advocates legally and politically for prisoners of conscience — including six individuals whom it has helped free. Genser now represents Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. And that’s just his pro bono work. As a partner at DLA Piper, Genser guides clients such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lebanon Renaissance Foundation. — Marisa McQuilken

RITA GLAVIN, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

“Tough as nails” is how U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood of the Southern District of New York described prosecutor Rita Glavin. Glavin, who got started in Washington with the Justice Department’s public integrity section, gained her hard-hitting reputation putting financial swindlers and others behind bars in New York. Last year, she was a lead lawyer against Emperor’s Club VIP — the case that also brought down then-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Now 37, Glavin has risen to acting principal deputy assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division. Her new boss, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, lauded her “sharp eye, impeccable judgment” and “fresh ideas.” — Mike Scarcella

THOMAS GOLDSTEIN, AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD

Thomas Goldstein has been a recognized name in Washington’s legal community for so long that it’s hard to believe he’s still under 40. But indeed, the lawyer-entrepreneur turned 39 just this month. As co-head of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s litigation and Supreme Court practices, he oversees some of the highest-profile work available. He also runs the popular SCOTUSblog, which he founded in 2003. And though he’s argued before the U.S. Supreme Court 21 times, he says his toughest battle came just this past term. In Cone v. Bell, Goldstein convinced the justices to strike down a death sentence they had previously upheld — twice. — Marisa McQuilken

ALAN GURA, GURA &POSSESSKY

Alan Gura made himself a hero to gun rights advocates by convincing the U.S. Supreme Court that individuals have a constitutional right to bear arms. Now he has five more gun rights cases. But the Gura & Possessky partner isn’t just a one-trick pony. “The Second Amendment is very important, but it’s not the only focus of my practice,” said Gura, 38. His current batch of civil rights suits include a First Amendment challenge over the arrest of a woman for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial and a Fourth Amend­ment suit over the Transportation Security Administration’s power to conduct searches for any purpose. — Jordan Weissmann

SARAH HARRINGTON, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Sarah Harrington of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division won the first case she argued — twice. The case was U.S. v. Colvin, a cross-burning prosecution, and the second argument came in a 2002 en banc rehearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Last year, Harrington, 36, defended the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance procedures in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder before a special three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The panel sided with the government in May 2008. The case then went to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices last month declined to throw out the preclearance provision.

“We can give her the most difficult and complex cases and she can get to the heart of them quickly, come up with a cogent analysis and take it from there,” said Diana Flynn, the appellate section chief of the Civil Rights Division, who hired Harrington in 2000. In her nine years with the appellate section, Harrington has argued more than 30 cases across the country. No surprise, then, that Flynn calls her a “go-to person.” — Mike Scarcella

BRIAN HEBERLIG, STEPTOE & JOHNSON

High-profile defendants in trouble know that having Brian Heberlig on their side is a smart move. A partner in the white-­collar criminal defense practice at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Heberlig, 37, often works in tandem with well-known defender (and Steptoe partner) Reid Weingarten. Sometimes clients come with business woes, including Bernard Ebbers of WorldCom Inc. and Mark Belnick of Tyco International Ltd. Other times it’s political scandal that brings them in, including Indiana Rep. Pete Visclosky, former Arizona Rep. Rick Renzi and former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy. Heberlig is also defending a prosecutor over the failed case against former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. — Leigh Jones

STEFFEN JOHNSON, WINSTON & STRAWN

When 11 congregations split from the Episcopal Church, they found themselves embroiled in a $40 million property battle with national implications. Last year, they turned to Winston & Strawn partner Steffen Johnson, 39. His team of eight firms scored favorable rulings for clients including The Falls Church, in whose pews George Washington once sat, and the Truro Church. Johnson is now defending his victory before the Virginia Supreme Court. In 2006, he argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 18 states as amicus in Holmes v. South Carolina. Although the Court ruled against his client, the decision clarified the constitutionality of third-party guilt evidence. — Jeff Jeffrey

TED KALO, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

In law school, Ted Kalo would read statutes and wonder why the wording was so often ambiguous. Now he knows. As general counsel and deputy staff director of the House Judiciary Committee, Kalo, 39, is deeply involved in the political and policy compromises that result in legislation. Backed by a staff of 40 lawyers, he’s negotiated a major overhaul of patent law and crafted a proposal to let bankruptcy judges reduce mortgage balances. Later this year, he’ll work on reauthorizing sections of the USA Patriot Act. During the Bush administration, Kalo, who’s worked for the committee since 1999, was central to its investigation into politicized hiring at the U.S. Department of Justice. — David Ingram

NEAL KATYAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Neal Katyal garnered national attention three years ago when he upset the Bush administration’s detainee trial plans in the landmark case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. The much lauded victory was also the then-Georgetown University Law Center professor’s debut before the Supreme Court. Now Katyal, 39, is in the spotlight again — this time as the Obama administration’s No. 2 Supreme Court advocate. As principal deputy solicitor general, he has argued two cases before the high court, including Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder, in which he fought off a strong challenge to the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance provision. — Marisa McQuilken

GREGG LOCASCIO, KIRKLAND & ELLIS

The courtroom is something of a second home for Gregg LoCascio, 39, an IP partner at Kirkland & Ellis. During the past three years, he has spent nearly six months in court during five multiweek trials — in four of which he served as first chair. All that courtroom experience has helped LoCascio, a trained engineer, hone his ability to explain complex technology to judges and juries. LoCascio may be best known for his successful representation of Equal manufacturer Merisant in the so-called “Battle of the Sweeteners,” a 2007 case over the advertising claim that Splenda is “made from sugar.” — Karen Sloan

CHRISTOPHER MANNING, WILLIAMS & CONNOLLY

Why do clients hire Christopher Manning? The Williams & Connolly partner gives the credit to “dogged tenacity” and a willingness to outwork opponents. Add in his firm’s fearsome reputation, and you may have a magic formula. In one high-profile case, Manning, 36, represents two of the falsely accused Duke University lacrosse players in their civil rights action against former Durham County, N.C., District Attorney Michael Nifong and others. In 2006, along with partner Brendan Sullivan Jr., he helped score a $138.7 million settlement for Russ Taylor, the man who blew the whistle on billionaire investor Mario Gabelli. — Jeff Jeffrey

CHRISTINE LEHMAN, FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER

Litigating patents before the U.S. International Trade Commission is a bit like no-limit poker. The stakes are high, the pace is fast and you can’t flinch at the unexpected. Christine Lehman, 39, says that’s her kind of law.

A former attorney at the commission, Lehman played leading roles in Section 337 investigations before joining Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner in 1999. Since then, she has represented some of the firm’s top clients before the ITC and in the federal courts. From 2006 to 2008, she was on the trial team that defended Toyota Motor Corp. against claims that its hybrid vehicles infringed on patents owned by Solomon Technologies Inc. Lehman helped Toyota score victories before the administrative law judge, the full commission and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She now represents Rockville, Md.’s Hillcrest Labs in an ITC investigation involving Nintendo Co.’s Wii video game system, which went to trial in May, and Rambus Inc. in an ITC investigation with 17 respondents, which is set for trial in August. “The ITC is not like any other forum,” Lehman said. “After 13 or 14 years of doing this, I like to think I can offer clients a depth of experience that they wouldn’t find elsewhere.” — Jeff Jeffrey

BETSY MILLER, CROWELL & MORING

At 35, Crowell & Moring’s Betsy Miller has already made the quintessential Washington jump between the public and private sectors several times. As chief of staff in the District of Columbia Attorney General’s Office, Miller spearheaded legal work for the mayor’s 2007 takeover of the public schools. “If a project was important, I gave it to Betsy,” wrote former D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer. Prior to that, Miller served on Capitol Hill as a Senate Judiciary Committee staffer and in private practice as a Jones Day associate, handling mediation for falsely accused spy Wen Ho Lee. Now she’s at Crowell. What’s next? “I have always wanted to work in the White House,” Miller said. — Jordan Weissmann

KIRK OGROSKY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

The numbers tell the story in Medicare fraud, and Kirk Ogrosky is all about the numbers. Ogrosky, deputy chief of the health care fraud unit in the Justice Department’s fraud section, has changed the face of health care fraud prosecution, according to Paul Pelletier, the section’s principal deputy chief. The secret to Ogrosky’s success? Using data to target hot spots and build cases. Ogrosky, 39, initiated a strike force in Miami that in the past few years has cut Medicare billings for durable medical equipment by $1.47 billion. “If you’re a health care fraudster,” said Pelletier, “you know who Kirk Ogrosky is and you’re scared of him. And that’s exactly what we want.” — Mike Scarcella

KEVIN O’NEILL, PATTON BOGGS

Patton Boggs partner Kevin O’Neill is a triple threat: lawyer, lobbyist and radio host. You can catch his weekly show on VoiceAmerica’s Internet radio network. Digital media is one more tool that O’Neill, 39, uses to educate clients. “It used to be you sent them a memo,” said O’Neill. Next year, he’s slated to become deputy chairman of Patton Boggs’ public policy group, making him No. 2 at one of Washington’s biggest lobbying practices. He represents clients in the middle of some of the hottest battles on the Hill, including the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Association of Responsible Title Lenders, both of which have a stake in health care reform. — Marisa McQuilken

DAVID ORTA, ARNOLD & PORTER

For David Orta, a first-generation Cuban-American, it’s personal. “I am a direct beneficiary of our immigration system,” he said. “So that makes it important to me…to give back.” As a partner at Arnold & Porter, he focuses on international arbitration work, representing clients such as the republics of El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama in multimillion-dollar disputes. In one of those early cases for El Salvador, he said, “Literally all my interactions with the clients and the witnesses” were in Spanish. But it’s the immigration cases — for students, mail-order brides and others — that Orta, 39, handles pro bono that have had “the most impact” on him. — Marisa McQuilken

HEATHER PODESTA, HEATHER PODESTA + PARTNERS

Heather Podesta is having a busy summer. As head of Heather Podesta + Partners, she’s lobbying on health care reform, economic stimulus, climate change and financial regulatory reform — in other words, the biggest issues before Congress. Podesta, 39, is working on behalf of roughly 35 household-name companies, including U.S. Steel Corp., Cigna Corp., Marathon Oil and Eli Lilly & Co. It’s an impressive client list for a lobby shop that opened just two years ago. A diverse client list is part of Podesta’s growth strategy. So far, her clients are her best referral source. — Carrie Levine

BRIAN RATNER, HAUSFELD LLP

When class action maven Michael Hausfeld wanted to build a global presence, he says he immediately turned to his “right-hand man,” Brian Ratner. Ratner, 35, now leads international operations at Hausfeld LLP. Over time, Ratner has helped secure multiple multimillion-dollar victories. In litigation over a vitamins cartel, he represented vitamin buyers around the world, including in one case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2008, he helped score a $33 million settlement for purchasers of an enzyme used in DNA research. This year, he served as lead negotiator on a confidential settlement over marine hose purchases. — Jeff Jeffrey

PAUL SCHMIDT, COVINGTON & BURLING

Paul Schmidt argued his first pharmaceutical appeal four years ago, when he was still a Covington & Burling associate. Overall, he’s racked up a 6-1 record in the appellate cases that he’s personally argued. Is there a secret to his success? “It’s just being very prepared and trying to frame the arguments in the right way, where you’re not reaching for too much,” said Schmidt, 38. Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. is a key client. Most recently, he won in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on a claim that the company’s acne drug Accutane led to the suicide of a congressman’s son. — Marisa McQuilken

KANNON SHANMUGAM, WILLIAMS & CONNOLLY

When Kannon Shanmugam joined Williams & Connolly this past fall — making him the firm’s first lateral partner in 22 years — he joked that he hoped the other partners wouldn’t one day refer to him as “the mistake.” That seems rather unlikely. During a four-year stint at the solicitor general’s office, Shanmugam argued eight cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Since returning to private practice, he’s added another oral argument. That brings the 36-year-old’s total to nine. By Shanmugam’s own accounting, that’s more high court arguments than any other lawyer currently his age — and more than any other lawyer in the firm’s history except for legendary founding partner Edward Bennett Williams, who had 12.

In February, he argued Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a dispute over the transfer of native lands. As an assistant to the solicitor general, he won in Tellabs Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights Ltd., an argument over pleading standards, and Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber Co., a predatory-bidding case. Before his stint in government, Shanmugam was a Kirkland & Ellis associate working with veteran appellate advocate Kenneth Starr. — Marisa McQuilken

PAUL SHERIDAN JR., LATHAM & WATKINS

Last week Paul Sheridan Jr. closed another deal. His client, Vought Aircraft Industries, sold certain operations to Boeing Co. as part of a deal in which, Sheridan said, about $580 million will be payable to Vought. It’s just the latest on a long list of mergers and acquisitions that Sheridan, 37, has shepherded to completion. The Latham & Watkins partner has handled multiple deals for The Carlyle Group, including its $145 million sale of Wall Street English. Sheridan also counts entrepreneur Mark Ein as a client, having helped Ein purchase the tennis team Washington Kastles. And Sheridan is one-half of a power couple in Latham’s corporate department (see below). — Marisa McQuilken

RACHEL SHERIDAN, LATHAM & WATKINS

Rachel Sheridan recalls long nights working on The Carlyle Group’s multibillion-dollar acquisition of Allison Transmission in 2007 — the last time she and husband/fellow Latham & Watkins partner Paul Sheridan teamed up on a deal. Rachel negotiated the bond financing. “It was the one-stop Sheridan household,” she said. At just 36, Sheridan is a star corporate finance partner in Latham’s Washington office, representing investment banks in equity offerings and debt financings that add up to billions. She’s working on a “major” transaction for a private equity portfolio. And just last month, she represented JPMorgan & Chase & Co. in closing a half-billion dollars in financing for Sirius XM Radio Inc. — Marisa McQuilken

MATTHEW SMALL, BLACKBOARD INC.

By the time Matthew Small was 30, he was running the legal side of Blackboard Inc.’s $400 million initial public offering. Small, now 36, is the education management software company’s chief legal officer, overseeing its mergers, acquisitions and intellectual property litigation. In 2005, Small helped Blackboard put together a $180 million deal to buy WebCT, its biggest competitor in the learning management sector. Last year, Blackboard, which has grown into a billion-dollar business, broadened its product line by acquiring NTI Group, maker of emergency-notification software. Small has continued to advise the company through the spate of acquisitions, including this year’s $100 million deal to buy Angel Learning. — Jeff Jeffrey

CATHERINE STETSON, HOGAN & HARTSON

Catherine Stetson likes to tell stories — one reason the 39-year-old has more than two dozen appellate arguments under her belt, including one before the U.S. Supreme Court. Recently, Stetson persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit sitting en banc to overrule a unanimous panel in a case involving religion and the environment. Then the Supreme Court denied certiorari based, in part, on her brief. As lead counsel, the Hogan & Hartson partner also scored a $100 million award for three nuclear power companies that sued the federal government for failure to provide for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain. — Jeff Jeffrey

JOSHUA TURNER, WILEY REIN

At telecommunications powerhouse Wiley Rein, partner Joshua Turner at age 36 has already built his own successful practice. He represents major telecom companies such as Verizon Wireless, Nokia and Sirius XM Radio. His latest legal victory came in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which he convinced to affirm the Federal Communications Commission’s reassignment of a portion of the mobile satellite services spectrum from Globalstar Inc. to his client, Iridium Satellite LLC. Turner was closely involved in the same court’s affirmance this year of an FCC ban on exclusive-access agreements between cable companies and owners of apartment buildings. — Karen Sloan