Biglaw, Law Schools, Partner Issues, Public Interest

The Ice Bucket Challenge Takes The Legal World By Storm

The ALS Association’s “Ice Bucket Challenge” has been wildly successful, raising more than $107 million to support the nonprofit and its great work fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The success even prompted the association to file trademark applications for “Ice Bucket Challenge” and “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” (ultimately withdrawn, so as not to stop other worthy causes from using the challenge).

As we reported last month, the Ice Bucket Challenge has been very popular within the legal profession. Even your Above the Law editors got into it. I was challenged by Travis Lenkner of Gerchen Keller Capital, the litigation finance firm, and I responded to that challenge by making a donation in lieu of icing myself. I then challenged my colleague Staci Zaretsky, who responded by dumping ice on herself (and contributing too).

We were joined by many other lawyers and law students in this endeavor. Here’s a round-up of Ice Bucket Challenges from around the legal world….

The legal profession is full of competition — law firms compete for clients and talent, and law schools compete for students and faculty. Taken collectively, the Ice Bucket Challenge videos are a nice reminder that despite all this competition, the law is also a community — a community that has the power to do a great deal of good in the world, when firms and schools push each other to make a difference.

There have been so many wonderful challenge videos that we can’t mention them all here. We’ll just share with you a representative sampling, mainly ones that were brought to our attention by email (see — good publicity comes to those who email Above the Law). If you have additional videos that you believe deserve recognition, please post them in the comments to this post.

Here are some of our favorite Ice Bucket Challenge clips, in alphabetical order by institution (click on each person’s name to be taken to their video):

Arnold & Porter: Stewart Aaron, head of the New York office; Tim Macdonald, head of the Denver office.

Cooley LLP: Denver partner-in-charge Michael Platt, joined by several other partners, in response to a challenge from MoFo (see infra).

Cozen O’Connor: Michael Heller, CEO, and Vince McGuinness, managing partner — who challenged all Cozen O’Connor employees to take the challenge.

Crowell & Moring: management board member Scott Winkelman, joined by adorable helper Elizabeth Walther (and a rubber ducky).

Hastings College of the Law: Clifton Smoot, a 3L, took the challenge in honor of his grandfather, who died of ALS in 1990. Clifton challenged Dean Frank Wu.

Latham & Watkins: the first-year associates of the Chicago office, a fresh-faced and attractive group of lads (mostly lads).

Morrison & Foerster: various lawyers and recruiting staff members, using “repurposed water” — repurposed from what, I’m not sure I want to know — due to the drought.

Orrick: various lawyers and staff, also using recycled water, in response to a challenge from MoFo (see supra).

Seton Hall Law School: the members of the law review took up the challenge.

University of Chicago Law School: Amy Gardner, dean of students, and many others (with generous support from Skadden’s Chicago office).

University of Virginia School of Law: Kevin Donovan and Joby Ryan of the career services office (as previously reported).

Wiley Rein: ten lawyers and staff, including managing partner Peter Shields and chief marketing officer Alina Gorokhovsky.

Wilson Sonsini: the man himself, Larry Sonsini, joined by many others, in response to a challenge from Orrick (see supra).

Congratulations and thank you to all the lawyers, law firms, and law schools that participated in this noble project. If you have more ice-bucket news to share, please post it in the comments to this story, since our coverage is now concluded. Thanks!

Throwing Cold Water on the Ice Bucket Challenge [Corporate Counsel]

Earlier: The Career Services Ice Bucket Challenge Is On

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