Although we’re now in 2011 — don’t forget to date your checks properly — we can still see 2010 in the rearview mirror. For example, our 2010 holiday card contest is still going on; you can review the contenders and cast your vote here.

And we still have yet to name a Lawyer of the Year for 2010. Thank you to everyone who responded to our call for nominations. We’ve narrowed down the nominees to a field of ten (although you’ll see only nine options in the poll because one is a joint nomination). As in past years, the contenders run the gamut from distinguished to despicable.

The envelope, please….

Here are the nominees for Above the Law’s 2010 Lawyer of the Year. We’ve listed them in alphabetical order, with a brief blurb about each:

  • David Boies: This legendary litigator needs no introduction; he’s been a contender for Lawyer of the Year honors before. For 2010, readers support his candidacy based on (1) his pathbreaking work in advancing LGBT rights and marriage equality, through litigating Perry v. Schwarzenegger, and (2) the Boies Schiller firm’s amazing bonuses, one of the few pieces of good news in a largely gloomy bonus season.
  • Jack Camp: The former chief judge of the federal court in Atlanta (N.D. Ga.) made the federal judiciary a lot more interesting this year. How many federal judges can say they’ve done drugs with a stripper (whom they’ve also done)? Alas, Jack Camp – who pleaded guilty to drug-related charges – is no longer a judge. His Honor will be sorely missed.
  • Chris Christie: Governor Christie, the former U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, is winning favorable reviews – and even generating presidential buzz – for his leadership of the Garden State. (Disclosure: Christie is my former boss, from my days as an assistant U.S. attorney in D.N.J.)
  • Elena Kagan: Release the Kagan! The former dean of Harvard Law School and first woman to serve as solicitor general was confirmed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court last year. ‘Nuff said.
  • Patrick Lynch and Kyle McEntee: These enterprising gents from Vanderbilt Law founded Law School Transparency (LST), a group committed to keeping law schools honest in reporting the employment outcomes of their graduates. Read about their great organization, which has already brought about changes in job data reporting by U.S. News, over here.
  • Ted Olson: One of the nation’s finest appellate advocates, Olson was nominated by readers for his advocacy on behalf of marriage equality, in Perry v. Schwarzenegger – alongside David Boies, his former adversary from Bush v. Gore. Some suggested a joint Boies/Olson nomination, but we’ve broken them out separately. As one Olson proponent noted, “A conservative who bucks the trend is infinitely more impressive than a liberal (Boies) doing what’s expected of him. Olson fought for same-sex marriage when it cost him credibility in the movement that he helped to found, while Boies did what everyone expected.” (Also, some might want to vote for Boies based on the BSF bonuses rather than his Perry work.)
  • Steven Pesner: If you haven’t seen the Akin Gump litigation partner’s remarkable email about the importance of entering time in a timely fashion, check it out here.
  • Irving Picard: A partner at Baker & Hostetler, Picard made headlines in 2010 for his work trying to clean up the Bernie Madoff mess. And his work is far from over; expect Picard to remain in the news this year.
  • Andrew Shirvell: The former Michigan assistant attorney general took a stand in 2010 against the gay agenda — as embodied by Chris Armstrong, the openly gay (and very handsome) student body president at the University of Michigan. Read about Shirvell’s exploits here.

Who should be named Above the Law’s Lawyer of the Year for 2010? Argue the merits in the comments, then vote. We’ll leave voting open until MONDAY, JANUARY 10, at 11:59 PM. Thanks!

Who should be named Above the Law's Lawyer of the Year for 2010?

  • Patrick Lynch & Kyle McEntee (28%, 353 Votes)
  • Ted Olson (16%, 197 Votes)
  • Elena Kagan (14%, 181 Votes)
  • David Boies (11%, 139 Votes)
  • Steven Pesner (8%, 94 Votes)
  • Chris Christie (7%, 82 Votes)
  • Jack Camp (6%, 76 Votes)
  • Andrew Shirvell (6%, 75 Votes)
  • Irving Picard (4%, 57 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,253

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Earlier: ATL Lawyer of the Year: Nominations Needed


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