This “MVP” award goes to the lawyer who had the most profound effect on the law or legal community in the past year or did the most to advance the cause of justice. Here we feature profiles of the three deserving finalists; the winner will be announced at our Nov. 17 virtual awards ceremony.

Thanks to the judges who selected our Attorney of the Year finalists: Sheila Boston, partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer; Mark Lebovitch, partner at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann; and Joel Cohen, senior counsel at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

Barry Berke of Kramer Levin. Photo: Ryland West/ALM Photo: Ryland West/ALM

Barry Berke, partner and co-chair of the litigation department at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel 

“You have to give them the lens with which you want them to view everything. … It’s not exactly ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,’” Berke, a breakout star of President Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings, said. “But it is ‘A Trial Lawyer Goes to Washington.’”


Roberta Kaplan, founding partner, Kaplan Hecker & Fink. Photo: David Handschuh Photo: David Handschuh

Roberta Kaplan, founding partner of Kaplan, Hecker & Fink

“She just sees things from a thousand different angles all at once, it’s hard to keep up with her thought processes,” Sullivan & Cromwell partner Sharon Nelles said. “She knows her law cold, she knows the Constitution cold and she’s not afraid, if she sees a problem, to go figure out some law that’s going to allow her to fix it. She’ll find it.”


Stephen Warnke of Ropes & Gray. Photo: Ryland West/ALM Photo: Ryland West/ALM

Stephen Warnke, partner at Ropes & Gray

“My life has been marked by extraordinary good luck and serendipity. And I felt as if I was fortunate as a lawyer in private practice to help respond and help my clients in their life-saving mission.”