The latest issues of Super Lawyers Magazine showcase the variety of what makes up a Super Lawyers or Rising Stars selectee. The following three cover stories find an epicenter in the Western United States, but contain connections across the world. Senegal, Cuba, India, Nepal and Columbia are just a few of the locations featured, but the commonalities in work ethic and talent is immediately evident from the top attorneys in the country. Check out each of the stories to see their commitment to and passion for their craft.
Raised in a family of 10, Ibiere Seck grew up with a strong sense of family and self. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to become an attorney.
“My mother planted the seed,” she says. “I think she recognized when I was young that I could have this amazing opportunity to have an incredible education, and do good work in my community.”
But it was the 1995 trial of one O.J. Simpson that captivated Seck, a teenager in Seattle. She was mesmerized by Johnnie Cochran.
“He had a way about him,” she says. “I felt like: That’s what I want to do.”
She became determined to follow in his footsteps and followed them a little closer than she ever expected. Not only did she attend Cochran’s alma mater, Loyola Law School, but she now practices law in his city and works at his firm: The Cochran Law Firm in Los Angeles.
“Johnnie Cochran’s office is still in the same condition it was when he passed away [in 2005], and my office is right next door to his,” she says. “To be able to go into work and know that just on the other side of that wall, Mr. Cochran sat-it’s humbling. It never gets old for me.”
Learn more about Seck’s story, from reengaging with her Senegalese roots, to fighting for the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute at Northeastern University, to winning a $2.6 million verdict in a sex abuse case, in the 2018 Southern California Rising Stars Magazine.
The 2018 Washington Super Lawyers Magazine gives a group of Washington attorneys a chance to share their experiences immigrating to the U.S. With Washington state’s immigrant population more than doubling since 1990, the same boom is reflected in its legal community, whose immigrant members have journeyed here for a variety of reasons.
Hector Quiroga came in 2000-when narcoterrorists were assassinating officials in Colombia, where his dad had been a judge and senator. Kripa Upadhyay‘s parents were activists under a repressive government in Nepal. Her family was targeted with pressure-cooker bombs and home shootings.
Others came for the opportunity. “My husband had just gotten a job at Microsoft,” recalls Pallavi Mehta Wahi with K&L Gates, who moved here from New Delhi. “It just felt to me and my husband like America was a better option for us long-term. Very cliché: We saw a land of opportunity, and we saw a place that was very welcoming to immigrants.” One attorney–Chi-Dooh “Skip” Li at Ellis, Li & McKinstry–wrote a book titled Buy This Land, describing his personal journey and his organization that makes farmland available to the poor in Central America.
Access the issue to read stories from eight attorneys who came to the States from India, Nepal, China, Colombia and elsewhere.
David Nevin doesn’t shy away from difficult cases.
Nevin, a founding partner in the Boise, Idaho, firm Nevin, Benjamin, McKay & Bartlett, is often in Cuba to visit his client Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, described in the 9/11 Commission Report as the “principal architect” of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
If you only knew Nevin by the kind of cases he takes, you may think he’s the type of guy looking an argument. On the contrary, he’s warm, amusing and earnest.
Not that he minds a fight.
He represented Kevin Harris, whom the government tried for killing a deputy U.S. marshal at Ruby Ridge in 1992. Nevin poked holes in the government’s case and provided evidence that Harris was defending himself against unknown assailants. Ultimately, Harris was acquitted on all charges and he received a sizeable payout. In 2004, Nevin successfully defended Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, a Saudi grad student whom the government charged with raising money and recruiting newcomers for terrorist groups.
Nevin’s representation of Mohammed in particular has brought him vitriol as well as condemnatory op-eds. But Nevin believes it would be wrong to go through the motions when representing the alleged perpetrators of even the most heinous crimes.
“Every case is a link in a chain, and the chain is only strong as the weakest link,” he says. “I have gotten the occasional death threat, but mostly I get support. I think Americans, generally speaking, recognize that the system isn’t perfect, but way ahead of what’s in second place.”
See how Nevin got his start in the law and why he’s so interested in bird-watching in the 2018 Mountain States Super Lawyers Magazine.
And to read all the articles in issues of Super Lawyers Magazine, access the digital editions online.