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What does the Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, which is dedicated to increasing the number of women in leadership positions in the legal profession, have in common with The National Law Journal‘s annual “Appellate Hot List“? For those attending the Center’s 2011 Women’s Power Summit on Law and Leadership, the correlation is depressingly relevant.

Let’s start with the Appellate Hot List. Each year, the NLJ recognizes firms that, in its own words, “made exemplary contributions to appellate practice during the past year.” To make this list, a law firm has to demonstrate appellate victories of significance — either by vindicating important constitutional rights, affecting industry or involving large sums of money. In other words, the cases on which careers are made. If you have any doubt about the importance of this list, just go to the Web site of those firms that have been recognized over the years. The Hot List provides a major credential for which lawyers are recognized by the bar, by their clients and potential clients, and within their firms.

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