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An attorney who is the youngest-ever dean in Columbia Law School history. The first woman to become attorney general of Illinois. The lawyer who successfully argued the Blakely and Crawford cases in debut Supreme Court appearances. Apart from the law, what do they have in common? They’re all in the top lawyers under 40 list.

The attorney who successfully argued the Blakely and Crawford cases in debut appearances before the Supreme Court. The youngest dean in Columbia Law School history. The first woman to become attorney general of Illinois.

These attorneys and others, who’ve made partner, overseen multibillion-dollar mergers and coordinated cases on multiple continents, all before age 40, are among the people spotlighted in this National Law Journal survey.Of Special Note:

David Anders, 35
Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York
Bagging corporate criminals is his game

Alice Fisher, 38
DOJ’s Criminal Division
Nominated to be chief of DOJ Criminal Division

Jeffrey L. Fisher, 34,
Davis Wright Tremaine, Seattle
In his debut before the U.S. Supreme Court, he won two key cases

Thomas C. Goldstein, 34
Goldstein & Howe, Washington
Finding a second home at the high court via the “nation’s only Supreme Court litigation boutique”

Jameel Jaffer, 33
American Civil Liberties Union
Watchdog leads charge over civil liberties

Lisa Madigan, 38
Illinois attorney general
State’s first female AG puts in long hours as “the people’s lawyer”

Kevin J. Martin, 38
Federal Communications Commission
New FCC chairman faces digital age issues

Patricia Menendez-Cambo, 38
Greenberg Traurig
Combining corporate sense and international perspective to do big deals in Latin America

Faiza Saeed, 39
Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Mergers and acquisitions? We’re talking “billions” with a “B”

David Schizer, 36
Columbia Law School
Columbia’s youngest dean compels his students to look to “the real world”

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.

One of the authors claiming Dan Brown’s bestseller The Da Vinci Code copied his ideas has admitted he exaggerated his case in an interview with a journalist.