Court steps
Illustration by Kate T. Williamson
Argued your first case before the Supreme Court?
"The case centered on whether an immigrant who had fled persecution in his home country could remain in the United States while his immigration status was decided. After I took my place at the podium, I could hear the court fill with spectators behind me. My heart started to beat faster, but I tried not to turn around. When the justices walked in, they sat just five feet away. I felt starstruck, but they smiled at everyone. I read one sentence from my notes, but after that I found myself just talking to them as if they were interested colleagues. They interrupted with rapid-fire questions, but it actually felt like the ten of us were figuring out the answer to a puzzle. I kept telling myself that if I could convince the justices I was right, I could potentially save a man's life. I thought of my late grandfather, a lawyer in the Soviet Union who came to the United States to provide opportunities for his children. It would have been such a thrill for him to be there. But his spirit was with me." — Lindsay C. Harrison, an associate at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C., who successfully argued the pro bono case Nken v. Holder before the court when she was just 30

Were stuck in a tent for ten hours while two lions circled outside?

"We were putting out the campfire and someone yelled, 'Oh my god, lion!' The group leader told us to go to our tent, where we huddled together, terrified. Within minutes I could feel the ground shake, and then there was this boom. I never heard a roar, but the lioness's grunt was so fierce and deafening, we were shaking from the power. Here I was in a four-foot-tall weathered tent, bordered from a lion by a piece of nylon. We gravitated toward the middle. If we stayed by the sides, our limbs might accidentally touch the lion. After a couple of hours, we heard something new on the other side of the tent-a second lioness. Every 90 minutes, one of us mustered the courage to stick an eyeball out, only to realize time and time again that they were directly outside our tent-waiting for us. They each weighed about 300 pounds and stood around eight feet long. The pacing and rustling continued hour after hour. At first we whispered back and forth, but then we tried to keep silent. When it got dark, there were no lights, and the cats have night vision. It wasn't safe to check for them, so we just stayed put. When dawn broke around 4:30 a.m., someone peered out and announced that they had gone. There was an exhausted cheer. We could finally breathe." — Paul Rubio, who was working with the Kenyan wildlife service and camping on the outskirts of the Masai Mara when the lions arrived

Landed a twin-engine turboprop plane (after the pilot died mid-flight)?


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