Every year since 2011, the legal publisher Fastcase has presented its Fastcase 50 award, which honors 50 individuals who are judged to be the year’s “smartest, most courageous, innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law.”

Today, Fastcase named its honorees for 2020, and the list includes a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, law librarians, judges, bar association leaders, legal innovators, startup founders, and others.

Sadly, this year’s roster also includes four individuals who died this year or last.

“2020 has been an incredibly difficult year, and in times like these, it’s especially important to draw inspiration from others,” said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters in announcing the honorees. “We have lost friends and heroes, learned from the great example of others, and witnessed a year of action on civil rights, criminal justice reform, and access to justice. We are as proud as ever to spotlight the tenth class of the Fastcase 50, highlighting now 500 people who have inspired our profession, since our first class in 2011.”

This year’s honorees are:

  • Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, chief judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
  • Josh Blandi, CEO and cofounder, UniCourt.
  • Cynthia Brown, senior director of research services, Littler Mendelson.
  • Tiela Chalmers, CEO and general counsel, Alameda County Bar Association.
  • Lisa Colpoys, program director, Institute for the Future of Law Practice.
  • Michelle Cosby, director of the law library and associate professor of law, Temple University Beasley School of Law.
  • Andre Davison, research technology manager, Blank Rome LLP.
  • Dave DiCicco, senior director of product planning, LexisNexis.
  • James Dimos (in memoriam), former associate executive director and general counsel, American Bar Association.
  • Ona Alston Dosunmu, executive director, California Lawyers Association.
  • Ronald Drescher, attorney, Drescher & Associates, P.A.
  • Daniel Farris, founder, Proxy and NMBL Technologies; partner, K&L Gates LLP.
  • Alli Gerkman (in memoriam), former senior director, The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System; founder, Foundations for Practice at the University of Denver.
  • Cara Griffith, president and CEO, Tax Analysts.
  • Dave Harriman, retired CEO, Casemaker.
  • Shannon Hein, executive vice president, William S. Hein & Co. Inc.
  • Thelton Henderson, inactive senior district judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
  • Shon Hopwood, associate professor of law, Georgetown University Law Center.
  • Vasu Kappettu, COO and CTO, Justia.
  • Liz Keith, program director, Pro Bono Net.
  • Jeff Kelly, chair, Future of Law Committee, North Carolina Bar Association.
  • Diana Koppang, director of research & competitive intelligence, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP.
  • Steven Lofchie, partner, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP; founder, Cadwalader Cabinet.
  • Catherine Alman MacDonagh, CEO and founder, Legal Lean Sigma Institute LLC.
  • Olga Mack, CEO, Parley Pro.
  • Shane Marmion, president, William S. Hein & Co. Inc.
  • Bridget Mary McCormack, chief justice, Michigan Supreme Court; co-chair, Michigan Post-Pandemic Planning Technology Workgroup.
  • Erie Meyer, technology advisor for Commissioner Rohit Chopra, Federal Trade Commission; co-founder, Tech Ladymafia.
  • Teresa Miguel-Stearns, director, Daniel F. Cracchiolo Law Library at The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.
  • David Miranda, partner, Heslin Rothenberg Farely Mesiti; former president, New York State Bar Association.
  • Kim Nayyer, Edward Cornell law librarian and associate dean for library services, Cornell Law.
  • Kara O’Brien, vice president, programs, Practising Law Institute.
  • Ian O’Flaherty, founder and CEO, LIT Software LLC.
  • Farrah Pepper, chief legal innovation counsel, Marsh & McLennan Companies.
  • David Pinke, product owner, Digital Online, Practising Law Institute.
  • Natalie Pierce, shareholder and co-chair, Robotics, AI and Automation Practice Group, Littler Mendelson.
  • Basha Rubin, CEO, Priori Legal.
  • David Shapiro (in memoriam), professor of law, Harvard Law School.
  • Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer, Microsoft.
  • Graham Smith-Bernal, founder and CEO, Opus 2.
  • Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director, Equal Justice Initiative; clinical professor, New York University School of Law.
  • Matthew Stubenberg, associate director of legal technology, Access to Justice Lab, Harvard Law School; president, MDLegal Apps.
  • John Tran, Judge, Fairfax County Circuit Court.
  • Cathy Underwood, freelance legal editor.
  • Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Penn State Law; Samuel Weiss faculty scholar and clinical professor of law; director, Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic.
  • Noah Waisberg, CEO, Kira Systems.
  • Stephen Williams (in memoriam), senior judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
  • Natalie Worsfold, co-creator, CounterMeasure; product manager, Counter Tax Lawyers.
  • Bob Young, founder, Lulu Press.
  • Rachel Zahorsky, director of marketing and senior leader, Novus Law LLC.

To view profiles of each of the winners and to learn more about the Fastcase 50 award, visit http://www.fastcase.com/fastcase50

Congratulations to all.

Disclosure: I was an honoree in the inaugural 2011 class.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.