How has appellate advocacy changed since you began the practice?

New York appellate attorney Joshua Rosenkranz of Orrick discusses the ways in which appellate advocacy has changed since he started practicing.

Contact Joshua Rosenkranz

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (212) 506-5380


So, when I started practicing law, there were a handful of law firms that had begun to invest in branded appellate practices, people who were appellate specialists who were called in to take over appeals or assist on appeals after there was some big loss or some big win. But it was just a few and they were very, very successful over the years. When I decided to go into private practice 11 years ago, a transition was beginning to start, and I actually predicted it. I said to the various law firms that I interviewed with, “Mark my words. This is now a trend in D.C. and in San Francisco, and there are some Chicago firms, but this is gonna sweep the nation because, increasingly, clients are going to come to realize that, when you’ve got a high stakes appeal, you don’t want the trial lawyer who lived with the case – who may be a phenomenal trial lawyer – but it’s a very different skill set from arguing before an appellate court. You want to at least involve an appellate lawyer.” And what’s happened since I went into private practice is exactly what I predicted. Now every major litigation firm in the country has come to conclude that they need an appellate practice. And the ones that are way ahead are the ones that decided 10 years ago or 6 years or 20 years ago to invest in that.