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Above the Law’s 2013 Lawyer of the Year Contest: The Finalists!

The year is quickly drawing to a close, but we have unfinished business to conduct here at Above the Law. We still have to crown our Lawyer of the Year for 2013.

Thank you to everyone who responded to our call for nominations, in the comments or via email. We’ve narrowed down the nominees to a field of ten. As in past years, the contenders run the gamut from distinguished to despicable.

And the nominees are…

Let’s get right to it. Without any further delay, here are the nominees for Above the Law’s 2013 Lawyer of the Year. We’ve listed them in alphabetical order, with a brief blurb about each:

  • Reema Bajaj: This is the second time that Bajaj and her beautiful bajayjay have been nominated as Lawyer of the Year finalists. Back in 2011, the hot young lawyer was merely accused of prostitution. Down she went in 2012, after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge. In 2013, she was accused by a lawyer ethics commission of trading sex for office supplies (possibly the saddest trade for sex in the history of man). A vote for Reema is a vote to keep the thrills coming.
  • Preet Bharara: One of the nation’s most prominent prosecutors, the U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y. maintained his undefeated record in insider-trading trials, burnishing his legacy as one of Wall Street’s top cops. (Perhaps we’ll see Mary Jo White in next year’s contest, depending on how successful her SEC tenure is.) More recently, Bharara has found himself in the headlines over his office’s handling of the controversial case against Devyani Khobragade, an Indian diplomat accused of underpaying her domestic help (and lying about it to the feds).
  • David Boies and Ted Olson: All hail the Biglaw besties responsible for successfully litigating the Hollingsworth v. Perry case (aka Proposition 8). The prestigious pair, respectively hailing from Boies Schiller & Flexner (home of the $300K bonus) and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, helped bring about marriage equality in California, and for that, we thank them. Next stop, Virginia!
  • Chris Christie: The Governor of New Jersey did many influential things in 2013, including allowing gay marriage to come to the Garden State. After proving through his successful handling of Hurricane Sandy relief that his state was “stronger than the storm,” the former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey (and boss of Lat) won reelection in a landslide. Christie is now regarded as a frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Our favorite Supreme Court justice has had quite the year. After offering up some diva-like dissents, the esteemed Notorious R.B.G. revealed that she could do 20 push-ups, which is impressive for a woman of her age. Speaking of her age, don’t even think about telling her it’s time to retire. As she’s stated multiple times, she’s not going to do it.
  • Roberta Kaplan: The BlackBerry-toting Paul Weiss partner behind the Windsor case thought that it would be “simple,” but it took much longer than she thought it would to topple the Defense of Marriage Act. She thinks of her client, Edie Windsor, as a second mother, and her victory in the case has been a major milestone for the gay rights movement in America. Congratulations!
  • Stephen Kaplitt: He’s the man, the myth, the legend, the lawyer behind the cease and desist response letter seen around the world. Never before has the use of sarcasm turned out so well for a lawyer of such prestigious pedigree (Weil Gotshal; Cadwalader; U.S. State Department). Global fame for snark? Yes, please! After seeing Kaplitt’s epic response, we’d love to see more.
  • Lawrence Mitchell: This is Mitchell’s second year in a row as a finalist in this competition. Last year, his outstanding performance in the pages of the New York Times op-ed section, where he tried to convince people that law school is still a good investment, earned him a nomination. This year, his law school sexual harassment scandal earned him the honor. The dean has since taken a leave of absence, but he’ll remain forever near our hearts — perhaps inappropriately so.
  • Juan Monteverde: Perhaps better known among our readers as Don Juan Monteverde, this “legend of the bar” was allegedly involved in a major sex scandal at Faruqi & Faruqi, according to a super-salacious suit filed by a former associate. He’s been dragged through the mud on this case since March, and unlike the carpet in his office, his reputation might never be wiped completely clean.
  • Brian Zulberti: No résumé? No problem. Send a selfie! This is the lesson we learned from Zulberti in 2013. After sending a picture of his biceps to all members of the Delaware bar, this young stud opted to start a social media movement by posting his nude pictures online. What’s on his agenda for 2014? He’s running for elected office, and he wants “a blunt on every window sill.” GFL, friend.

Who should be named Above the Law’s Lawyer of the Year for 2013? Argue the merits in the comments, then vote. We’ll leave polls open until SUNDAY, JANUARY 5, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern time). Thanks!

Who should be named Above the Law’s Lawyer of the Year for 2013?

  • Roberta Kaplan (48%, 750 Votes)
  • David Boies and Ted Olson (13%, 204 Votes)
  • Stephen Kaplitt (8%, 133 Votes)
  • Reema Bajaj (7%, 110 Votes)
  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (6%, 97 Votes)
  • Preet Bharara (5%, 83 Votes)
  • Chris Christie (4%, 64 Votes)
  • Juan Monteverde (4%, 56 Votes)
  • Brian Zulberti (3%, 47 Votes)
  • Lawrence Mitchell (2%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,572

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Earlier: Above the Law’s 2013 Lawyer of the Year Contest: Nominations Needed

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