Contests, ERISA, Hotties

ERISA Hotties: Your Female Nominees

erisa lawyers.jpegWith apologies for the delay, here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: announcement of the female nominees in our first annual ERISA Lawyer Hotties Contest. (You can review and vote upon the male nominees here.)
We originally planned on having ten women as finalists. But as we did with the men, due to the strength of the field, we decided to go up to a dozen.
(You know what that means… pictorial calendars!!! A commenter suggests the proceeds could go to charity. How about the woefully underfunded PBGC?)
As we did with the men, we picked our twelve female finalists based on (1) their photographs and (2) reader testimonials about them. We apologize to all of you who took the time to nominate an ERISA attorney who doesn’t appear here. Given the large field of ERISA babes, making the final cut wasn’t easy.
Review the pictures and testimonials for the female finalists — and cast your vote for America’s Hottest Female ERISA Lawyerafter the jump.

For your viewing pleasure: the twelve most beautiful pension-and-employee-benefit attorneys in America. Control yourselves, people!
iris barber 2.JPG1. Iris Barber
Title: Senior Trial Attorney, Plan Benefit Security Division, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC
“Iris is one hell of an ERISA lawyer. But brains, beauty and booty make her an ERISA babe. Adversaries yell at their clients to shut up and let Iris finishing objecting during depositions. Judges always (but unsuccessfully) request an ‘ex parte’ conference with her in chambers.”
“And Iris isn’t just good-looking; she’s got incredible skills too. The most common last words heard from her adversaries in a courtroom: ‘What just happened here?'”
julia cox.jpg2. Julia D. Cox
Title: Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Chicago, IL
“I would like to nominate Julia ‘Julie’ Cox of Mcdermott Will and Emery in Chicago for ERISA hottie. Julie is a classmate of mine from law school and a very attractive woman. I always use her as an example of the fact that not all ERISA lawyers are deadly-dull 90 year old men.”
“Julia Cox is one of the most gifted ERISA attorneys of her generation — and she’s also a total babe. Her beautiful liquid eyes, her dazzling white smile… She can ‘amend my plan documents’ any day of the week!”
rebekah crawford 2.JPG3. Rebekah S. Crawford
Title: Partner, Crawford Law Office, P.A., The Woodlands, TX
“I would like to nominate my partner, Rebekah Crawford. She’s a phenomenally talented ERISA lawyer — and with seventeen years of experience, she just keeps getting better.”
“Rebekah’s dazzling beauty hearkens back to old Hollywood glamour. With her fine features and golden tresses, she could be a movie star from a bygone age. You’d never guess that she’s actually an ERISA attorney — and I mean that as high praise!”
sarah downie 2.JPGsarah downie 3.JPG4. Sarah E. Downie
Title: Of Counsel, Orrick, New York, NY
“My colleague Sarah Downie (counsel at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe) should win this hands down. Not only is she a phenomenal Title I lawyer (ERISA-geekspeak for not-an-ERISA-tax lawyer), she is clearly beautiful and has a quirky spirit. If you disagree that she’s the hottest, watch out for her left because, in addition to designing her own clothing, she boxes for fun!”
“Sarah Downie has this award in the bag. How many ERISA lawyers do you know who could be runway models? Behold her tall, graceful figure. Admire her long, swan-like neck. Take in her delicate features — especially her rosy cheeks — as framed by her stylishly short, striking red hair. In short, Sarah is a total knock-out.”
b janell grenier.gif5. B. Janell Grenier
Title: Principal, Law Office of B. Janell Grenier, East Goshen, PA
“Janell Grenier is, without a doubt, the hottest ERISA lawyer in America. And she’s a damn good ERISA lawyer, too.”
“Janell is a veteran employee benefits and ERISA attorney, with over two decades of experience in the field. Yes, she’s beautiful; but she’s also smart and spunky. And she does great work for her clients, who adore her.”
“Vote Janell Grenier for ERISA Hottie!!!”
jessica janov.jpg6. Jessica L. Janov
Title: Associate, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, San Diego, CA
“Here is her web bio and photo — she’s much better-looking in person, but this picture will suffice. I worked with her at a prior firm, and she could be a model. Tall, thin, totally in shape. You would expect to find her at the beach in San Diego or at kick boxing class (I think her current boyfriend is a contractor) — not in the tax library reseraching esoteric ERISA issues. Very brainy as well: LLM from NYU with practically straight As. Good kid. Ask her fellow colleagues at Wilson Sonsini; they may nominate her well.”
7. Andrea Laiacona
Title: Shareholder, Weinberg Roger & Rosenfeld, Alameda, CA
Testimonials: “Andrea embodies a combination of hotness and coolness that you might be surprised to find in an ERISA lawyer. On the hotness: she looks like a less spacey version of Mary Louise Parker. (See photo below. Andrea is the grown-up in the picture.)”
andrea laiacona 1.jpg
“On the coolness: She’s got a wicked sense of humor, which is evident on her blog (I am especially fond of her snarks at the proposterousness of the Bay Area, such as this. Andrea lives in Oakland, and she is refreshingly not granola-y.) She’s already a partner (they call it shareholder) in her firm, Weinberg Roger & Rosenfeld, at the young age of 30-something, and she both enjoys and is dedicated to her work. Andrea is awesome enough that I credit her with making me want to work for a labor law firm too — I thought, if Andrea likes it then it must be cool.”
“She’s also got a not-so-bad-himself husband, Brook Dooley (an associate at Keker & Van Nest) and two adorable sons, Liam and Quinn (see the attached pictures — eat your heart out, Suri Cruise!) I note that these pictures were taken quite recently, just a month after her youngest, Quinn, was born. Impressive, no?”
heather meade 3.jpgheather meade 2.JPG8. Heather E. Meade
Title: Associate, Groom Law Group, Washington, DC
“Your description of ERISA as ‘pension law’ was half correct. ERISA governs employee benefit plans, including health and welfare plans. Our ERISA Hottie nominee, Heather Meade, practices in the health care area at Groom Law Group in Washington, DC ,where she is a second year associate.”
“The Washington Junior Miss 1996 (didn’t think we knew that, didja Heather?) isn’t just another pretty face. Whip smart and wickedly funny, she is wildly entertaining. Do yourself a favor and bestow the honor of ERISA Hottie on her in person over drinks at the Big Hunt. You won’t regret it.”
colleen medill.gif9. Colleen E. Medill
Title: Professor, University of Nebraska College of Law, Lincoln, NE
“Colleen Medill is a leading ERISA academic. She’s had a smoking-hot career, ever since she graduated first in her class from the University of Kansas School of Law (and won the C.C. Stewart Award, given to the Law School’s outstanding graduate). She clerked on the Tenth Circuit, for Chief Judge Deanell Reece Tacha, and worked in private practice, before turning to legal academia.”
“Oh yeah, the hottie part. As you can see (picture attached), Colleen is highly attractive. She’s not smouldering hot, in some ‘tacky centerfold’ sort of way. Instead, she is exceedingly pretty, in the tasteful, professional, dignified way that one would expect of an ERISA attorney. And this is why she deserves to be the number one ERISA hottie: she is undoubtedly ‘hot,’ but in a manner consistent with the statutory framework.”
elizabeth palmer.jpg10. Elizabeth R. Palmer
Title: Partner, Merrill, Arnone & Jones, Santa Rosa, CA
“Brains, beauty, compasssion and fun are the attributes of this nominee. A graduate of Cal (Berkeley, the school for really, really smart people) and Golden Gate University Law School for her JD and her Masters in Taxation, Elizabeth Palmer first cut her teeth in the hottie-in-a-numbers-industry as a benefits consultant for then-Coopers & Lybrand, now PriceWaterhouseCoopersAndGodKnowsWhatOtherNamesThey’veAddedByNow.”
“Ms. Palmer went to law school while still working, did that whole ‘top whatever percentage of her graduating class thing,’ including winning the university’s moot court competition (or whatever they call it…these damn lawyer types have a lexicon from Mars), and worked for a law firm in downtown San Francisco until moving to the North Bay seven years ago, where she became the firm’s first female partner. Clients throughout Northern California love her for her tenaciousness, sense of humor and remarkable analytical skills.”
“As if her brains and hottieness were not enough, she just finished serving the longest term as Board Chair for the Sonoma County Chapter of the American Red Cross, and is actively involved, for more than seven years, as a board member of the country’s oldest wild horse sanctuary (located in Shingletown, CA). She still finds time to ride her own horse in something called Dressage competition — AND make it to the health club.”
“Sheesh — on top of all this, she has stellar, mesmerizing blue eyes!”
lisa rhein11. Lisa J. Rhein
Title: Associate, LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene and MacRae, LLP, Jacksonville, FL
Testimonials: “I am married man, so a detailed testimonial could result in alimony payments. You can get a testimony from one of the many men who have pursued Lisa and been crushed underfoot by her pointy heels. She is a bit enigmatic, since she spends many hours a week engaging in mental gymnastics over complex issues of tax law, and still finds time to party like a rock star.”
“I am not sure if this is a legitimate competition or a devious plan to compile a list of hot ERISA lawyers to pursue. If it is the latter, I am not sure whether to despise or applaud the effort. Regardless of the reason, I think Lisa is a worthy candidate.”
jennifer stojak.jpg12. Jennifer A. Stojak
Title: Associate, McGuire Woods, Chicago, IL
Testimonials: “This may be an expression of matrimonial devotion far too plain and sincere for a blog of your snarkiness, but I would like to nominate my wife, Jennifer Stojak, as an ERISA hottie. Her firm’s webpage for her (and her photo) is
“Jennifer is a leading light in the department, beautiful and clever beyond words, and a wonderful wife to whom I am a very, very lucky man to be married.”
Awww, that last nomination sure is sweet, isn’t it? But don’t be swayed by sentiment; cast your vote based on the merits of the candidates.
We reserve the right to hold a runoff if necessary. Without further ado, here’s the poll:

Who is America’s hottest female ERISA lawyer?
Iris Barber
Julia Cox
Rebekah Crawford
Sarah Downie
Janell Grenier
Jessica Janov
Andrea Laiacona
Heather Meade
Colleen Medill
Elizabeth Palmer
Lisa Rhein
Jennifer Stojak
Free polls from

Update: The contest is over. Your winners are here.
Earlier: ERISA Hotties: Your Male Nominees
Above the Law Hotties: ERISA Lawyers

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