Bloomberg Law
July 14, 2021, 8:46 AM

They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40—Meet Our Honorees

Lisa Helem
Lisa Helem
Executive Editor

Today, we’re excited to launch our inaugural edition of “They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40,” Bloomberg Law’s award recognizing the accomplishments of sterling young lawyers nationwide.

Our process began back in December 2020, when we asked law firms and companies to nominate lawyers that they worked with aged 40 and under for the award by last March. Just after that, a newsroom-wide team of Bloomberg Law editors and reporters spent months closely reviewing the many nominations received. We examined the applicants’ records of success for their clients. We weighed their leadership contributions to their firms and their communities. And we considered their thoughts on what they’re most proud of as lawyers, the lessons they learned as first-year attorneys, how they define success and which mentors have influenced them the most.

These 40 honorees represent the best of the future of the legal profession. Culled from a strong pool of applicants, they are first and foremost stellar young lawyers. They are also innovators and pro bono advocates. And many are diversity and inclusion champions who invest their time into making the legal profession a better reflection of our world.

Honorees from 2021 They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40. Top row, from left: Sarah Harris of Williams & Connolly; Michael Gervais of Susman Godfrey; Cecilia Sanabria of Finnegan and Jonathan Davis of Kirkland & Ellis. Bottom row, from left: Ishan Bhabha of Jenner & Block; Melissa Colón-Bosolet of Sidley Austin; Jeffrey Bank of Wilson Sonsini and Bina Palnitkar of Greenberg Traurig.
Jonathan Hurtarte / Bloomberg Law

They comprise a talented and diverse group — from cultures and life experiences to practice areas, law firms and client matters. Our inaugural group includes litigators and labor & employment attorneys who score key victories for client companies and plaintiffs. They’re M&A mavens taking the lead on some of the most substantial deals of our time. They’re appellate aces who’ve excelled in matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and in federal courts of appeal. And they’re intellectual property lawyers, using incisive strategies to propel business.

They’ve got now and they’ve got next.

Introducing Bloomberg Law’s 40 Under 40. Scroll down to read more from our class in their own words, grouped by practice area.

Next, check out what key legal industry leaders had to say about our inaugural class of honorees in a companion piece here. And take a look at some fun facts about our inaugural class, in a second sidebar, “They’ve Got Next: By the Numbers.”


Elaine Ewing of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Jeffrey Bank of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati


Sarah Harris of Williams & Connolly
Ishan Bhabha of Jenner & Block
Yaakov Roth of Jones Day
Mel Bostwick of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe


Jamila Willis of DLA Piper
Lara Samet Buchwald of Davis Polk & Wardwell


Karl Fowlkes of The Fowlkes Firm

Health Care & Life Sciences

Kristen Riemenschneider of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

Intellectual Property

Cecilia Sanabria of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner
Vishal Gupta of Steptoe & Johnson
Tom Gorman of Keker, Van Nest & Peters
Keyonn Pope of Reed Smith

International Disputes

Nicolle Kownacki of White & Case

Labor & Employment

Alexandra Harwin of Sanford Heisler Sharp
Amber Rogers of Hunton Andrews Kurth
Jocelyn Cuttino of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Menaka Fernando of Outten & Golden


Bina Palnitkar of Greenberg Traurig
Ryan McLeod of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Rakesh Kilaru of Wilkinson Stekloff
Michael Gervais of Susman Godfrey
Moira Penza of Wilkinson Stekloff
Patrick Arenz of Robins Kaplan
Quentin Smith of Vinson & Elkins
Michelle Park Chiu of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Bryan Heckenlively of Munger, Tolles & Olson
Daniela Paez of Ulmer & Berne

Mass Torts

Jonathan Schneller of O’Melveny & Myers
Emmy Levens of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll

Mergers & Acquisitions

Sebastian Fain of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Sonia Nijjar of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Jonathan Davis of Kirkland & Ellis
Jennifer Cheng of Reed Smith
Dotun Obadina of Jones Day
Alex Kelly of Latham & Watkins

White Collar, Investigations & Crisis Leadership

Melissa Colón-Bosolet of Sidley Austin
Lillian Hardy of Hogan Lovells
Brian Mahanna of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

To contact the editor and reporter on this special report: Lisa Helem at

Andrew Small and Darren Bowman also contributed to this special report. They can be contacted at and