Our 2017 special report features an elite group of lawyers and law firms that posted hard-fought wins at the U.S. Supreme Court or in federal circuit courts. How do they do it? Luckily, these appellate aces offer great advice: listen to colleagues, answer the question, read good writing and, in oral argument, position yourself like a jazz musician—always be ready to improvise. Presenting this year’s honorees in their own words, edited for clarity and length. —Lisa Helem