Top 40 Lawyers Under 40

Washingtonian Magazine names Lisa J. Banks "Washington's hottest young employment lawyer" in its "Top 40 Lawyers Under 40" article. The Washingtonian stated that Banks "has made Wal-Mart and other "big box" retailers a target of sex- and disability-discrimination claims. A former appellate attorney at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Banks has been suing companies for violations of federal worker-protection laws since she was 28."

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by Kim Isaac Eisler
June 6, 2006

In law, as in so much else in Washington, seniority has ruled. But that's changing. Here are fresh faces - 40 LAWYERS UNDER 40 who are making names for themselves. One secret: Find the right mentor.

Competence and confidence are found an abundance in our 40 top young lawyers. They were selected on the recommendations of senior partners, lawyers previously on this list, and others. Some are in private practice, some in government. In the decades to come they will probably be leaders of Washington's most powerful legal institutions.

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Lisa Banks, 38 Washington's hottest young employment lawyer has made Wal-Mart and other "big box" retailers a target of sex and disability-discrimination claims. A former appellate attorney at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Banks has been suing companies for violations of federal worker-protection laws since she was 28.

A native of Canton, Massachusetts, whose father worked for the Bay State Gas Company, Banks came to Washington after law school at the University of Denver to work for the EEOC. There she gained the attention of the Washington employment law team of Lynne Bernabei and Debra Katz, who brought her into their firm, which was legendary for besting the pinstriped attorneys for such organizations as Toyota, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, and the Washington National Opera.

Now Banks and Katz have struck out on their own in new offices in Dupont Circle. It wasn't the most convenient move for Banks, who for years lived with her Labradoodle, Rocky, on the same block as her old office. "I was one of the few people in town," she says, "who could get through a whole day and never have to cross a street."

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