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The Lawyers of the Century: The American Lawyer Names Thurgood Marshall, Richard Posner, Ralph Nader, Ruth Bader Ginsberg to Its List.

NEW YORK, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Lawyer(R), the nation's leading legal monthly magazine, closes out the millennium with a special look at prominent leaders of the bar and bench over the past 100 years. Highlighting the December issue are profiles of "The Lawyers of the Century" - men and women whose innovations in the law brought about sustained impact on business, society and politics.

"The Lawyers of the Century" represent a broad cross-section of legal accomplishments and contributions, including obvious legal giants, such as the late U.S. Supreme Court Justices Earl Warren, William Brennan, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Thurgood Marshall, who made the list for his achievements as a lawyer on the frontlines of the fight for equality during the tumultuous civil-rights movement. Richard Posner, the federal court of appeals judge recently appointed to mediate the U.S. government's landmark antitrust suit against Microsoft Corp., made the cut as an influential founder of the law and economics movement and as one of the bench's most often-cited jurists (with 30 books and 1,680 opinions under his belt). Joining them are also less predictable picks such as the late flamboyant king of personal injury law, Melvin Belli.

Modern consumer-rights icon Ralph Nader earned a place for advocating the passage of the Freedom of Information Act, highway-safety legislation, and clean air and water laws. Clarence Darrow, the great orator who blazed trails as a civil-liberties, labor and criminal lawyer before he was tried for jury tampering in the early 1900s, also was named a lawyer of the century.

In a traditionally male-dominated profession, four women emerged to claim spots on the historic list:

-- Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for helping to forge the foundations of sexual-

discrimination law before she became a U.S. Supreme Court Justice

-- Catherine MacKinnon, for being at the forefront of the development of

sexual harassment as a cause of action

-- Florence Kelley, for helping to shape labor laws and legal victories

for working-class men and women in the early 1900s

-- Soia Mentschikoff, for her work with her husband, Karl Llewelleyn, in

forging a legal code for merchants and for their teachings on

professionalism to young lawyers

"With the help of prominent practitioners and academics, we sought to identify lawyers who were, in the jargon of the moment, agents of change - important changes for the better, we think," says Aric Press, editor in chief of The American Lawyer. Most of the essays are written by leading legal scholars and practitioners, such as Judith S. Kaye, Charles Alan Wright and Randall Kennedy.

Mr. Press says that The American Lawyer seeks to cover not just "the work of lawyers but also their business." So the magazine recognizes Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom partner Joseph Flom as a lawyer of the century for converting his rejection in the 1940s by Wall Street's blue-blood firms to success by building Skadden, Arps as a global meritocracy on the strength of the savvy mergers-and-acquisitions tactics he created. Posthumous honors go to Paul Cravath, the inventor of the big-firm system and one of Cravath, Swaine & Moore's forefathers; and William Nelson Cromwell, international developer who also founded Sullivan & Cromwell, the archetypal white-shoe firm.

The full report is available in the December issue of The American Lawyer magazine, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and online at

"The Lawyers of the Century" roster also includes:

-- Thurman Arnold

-- Hugo Black

-- Louis D. Brandeis

-- Benjamin N. Cardozo

-- Charles Clark

-- Felix Frankfurter

-- Arthur Garfield Hays

-- Charles Evans Hughes

-- Judge Frank M. Johnson

-- Elihu Root

-- Jerome Rubin

-- Reginal Heber Smith

-- Edward Sparer

-- Telford Taylor

To subscribe to or request back issues of The American Lawyer, please call 800-755-2773. For advertising information, please call 212-545-6269. The American Lawyer magazine is published monthly by American Lawyer Media, Inc. (ALM).

Headquartered in New York City, ALM is a leading integrated media company. ALM currently owns and publishes 22 national and regional magazines and newspapers, including The American Lawyer(R) and The National Law Journal(R). The Daily Deal(TM), a new ALM daily newspaper and Web site focused on transactions and dealmakers, launched in September. ALM's other businesses include book and newsletter publishing, production of legal trade shows and conferences, educational seminars and distribution of content related to the legal industry. ALM was formed in 1997 by U.S. Equity Partners, L.P., a private equity investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein Perella & Co.
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 3, 1999
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