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Big Move: Estrich Leaving Quinn Emanuel for Boies Schiller

Oct. 10, 2018, 8:57 AM

Susan Estrich, a star litigator who has scored some firsts for women in politics and the law, will soon leave Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP to join Boies Schiller Flexner, where she’ll help lead the firm’s California practice.

Estrich has been elected to the firm’s partnership, Boies Schiller said. She’ll remain in Los Angeles where she’s been a partner at Quinn Emanuel.

“It’s the right time. For me, a new chapter and an opportunity to work with (David Boies), who I have respected since I worked with him in 1979, and who looks at practice and the profession as I do,” Estrich told Bloomberg Law.

Jonathan Schiller, managing partner at Boies Schiller, called Estrich a “star in her field,” which includes appellate, investigative work and litigation.

“And on our platform, our core clients will reach out to her for help in those subjects. She is a brilliant and successful lawyer which excited our partnership, and that’s why we brought her on,” he said.

While studying at Harvard Law, she was the first woman to helm the law review. After clerking for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Estrich became the first woman to manage a presidential campaign, running Democrat Michael Dukakis’ 1988 bid.

In 2016, Estrich was hired by then Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes to defend him against workplace sexual harassment allegations. Estrich’s decision to represent Ailes drew criticism from feminists, who also decried her public criticism of the journalist who first reported on the alleged misconduct.

Many critics called Estrich’s defense of Ailes hypocritical, given her decades of work expanding legal protections for women. She is the author of several books, including “The Case for Hillary Clinton” and “Real Rape: How the Legal System Victimizes Women Who Say No,” which includes an account of her own sexual assault.

Estrich also represented former federal appeals judge Alex Kozinski after he was accused of sexual harassment.

In addition to her work as a litigator, Estrich is the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California. She frequently appears as a legal analyst on Fox News.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at