The National Law Journal spotlights 15 law firms practicing from Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and other cities in the region that demonstrate excellence in practice areas critical to the Southern California economy and legal community. They are entertainment law, government contracts, ­litigation and real estate. NLJ editors evaluated nominations submitted, and our reporters conducted additional research to determine the standout firms in the four practice areas. Selections were based on the size and importance of matters handled and the creativity in securing positive results for clients. We narrowed the list to the firms you see here and then decided the one firm in each of the four practice areas that truly had an exemplary performance ­during the past year. The profiles in our report are in question-and-answer form and provide a bit of whimsy. Responses have been edited for length.