L. Rachel Lerman is a litigation partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Los Angeles office, and co-chairs the firm’s national Appeals and Critical Motions Practice Group. Formerly a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, she focuses on appellate practice and trial strategy in complex civil cases. She has handled writs and appeals in commercial, bankruptcy, intellectual property, labor, insurance, white collar, environmental, and family law cases in state and federal courts nationwide. She regularly does pro bono work on behalf of refugees and non-profit organizations filing amicus briefs in civil cases in state and federal courts.
Ms. Lerman earned her B.A., cum laude, from Yale College and her M.A. and M.F.A. from Syracuse University. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was an editor of the Berkeley Women’s Law Journal, a Schurman Scholar for International & Comparative Law at the Universitæt Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany, and a doctoral candidate in Jurisprudence & Social Policy. After law school, she clerked for the late Honorable T.G. Nelson, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ms. Lerman is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Appellate Courts Committee. She is a Director of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, where she heads the committee responsible for creating a nationwide appellate specialist exam. She is Vice-President of the Louis D. Brandeis Center, and frequently volunteers as a moot court judge in mock trial competitions.
Ms. Lerman has received numerous awards and honors, including selection to the California Super Lawyers magazine’s “Super Lawyers” list every year since 2003. She received the ACLU’s First Amendment Award in 2012. At her former firm, she received the Pro Bono Partner of the Year in 2011 and the Partner Recognition Award for mentoring and leadership in 2006. Ms. Lerman is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America.
She is admitted to practice in the state of California and before the U.S. Supreme Court, all federal Courts of Appeals, and the California District Courts. Ms. Lerman is chambers-ranked for appellate law.