Contests, Fabulosity, Reader Polls, Sonia Sotomayor

ATL’s Lawyer of the Year: The Winner

Lawyer of the Year 2009 AboveTheLaw blog Above the Law ATL.jpgVoting has concluded in our LAWYER OF THE YEAR contest. From over 160 comments, we developed a slate of ten nominees. Over 1,600 votes later, we have a winner.

With so many worthy competitors, the voting was close. These were your top three vote-getters, each with over 15 percent of the vote:

  • The Anonymous Laid-Off Big Firm Attorney: Last year certainly created many more laid-off lawyers — almost 5,000 of them, according to conservative estimates — and also brought to light the stories of many individual laid-off attorneys. E.g., Roxana St. Thomas, of Notes from the Breadline; Mark Levy, former chair of the Supreme Court and appellate practice of Kilpatrick Stockton, who took his own life in April 2009.
  • Sonia Sotomayor: In August 2009, this Wise Latina Woman made history, becoming the 111th justice, the third female justice, and the first Latina justice of the United States Supreme Court.
  • A. William Urquhart: Bill Urquhart, a name partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, is one of the country’s top litigators. In October 2009, he sent out a famous firm-wide email urging all Quinn lawyers to show constant vigilance in checking their email. (This spawned the “CHECK YOU EMAILS” meme in ATL comments, from a typo in his email’s subject line.)

So who prevailed? Make your guess, then learn the identity of the 2009 honoree, after the jump.

sonia sotomayor above the law.jpgThe ten nominees were an interesting mix of the famous and the infamous, the serious and the humorous. The Anonymous Laid-Off Lawyer took an early lead, but in the end, victory went to a nominee whose name is known to all: the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Justice Sotomayor is not your typical Supreme Court justice — and not just because she’s not a white male. How many judges stay up until two o’clock in the morning playing poker with their law clerks? Read more about SS here (highlighting excerpts from, and linking to, a recent New Yorker profile).

Congratulations, Justice Sotomayor!

Earlier: SCOTUS Justice Sonia Sotomayor Has Star Power

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