About Nancy Rommelmann

Nancy Rommelmann Articles written 25

Nancy Rommelmann writes for Reason, Bari Weiss’s The Free PressThe New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. She is the co-host of the podcast, Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, and writes the Substack Make More Pie. Her most recent book is To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder. She lives in New York City.

Articles written by Nancy Rommelmann

A Long Way from the Mole Hole

Five legendary Georgia attorneys on practicing law for half a century

Most became lawyers by accident—although one, with tongue firmly in cheek, says it was destiny. Another chose law because he’d heard it was less anti-Semitic than other professions—but anti-Semitism was still prevalent. So was sexism and racism. Bobby Lee Cook remembers segregated drinking fountains in courthouses. Miles Alexander of Kilpatrick Stockton says, “I’m very careful not to use the term ‘good old days’ when I talk to students who have just passed the bar. Most of them …

Dina Alexander Leans In

The real estate attorney helps guide Portland through its growing pains

In 2002, shortly after Dina Alexander returned to Portland following stints with real estate firms in hot, techy markets (Seattle 1996; San Francisco 1998), Robb Ball, founding partner of Ball Janik, the firm that wooed her back, stopped by her office. He was going on sabbatical and had a small favor to ask: “Can you cover this work while I’m away?” “This work” turned out to involve the South Waterfront Central District, a parcel of land running alongside the Willamette River south of …


Three attorneys who decompress by revving up

By the time this magazine is published in late January, many of us will have slacked off on our New Year’s resolutions to exercise more. Not Adam Grant.   The shareholder at Alpert Barr & Grant in Encino will be busy in February swimming a 6.2-mile loop around Lake Conway in Orlando, biking 261 miles during the next day and a half, and finishing up on the third day with a mere double marathon run of 52.4 miles. It’s called “Ultraman Florida” and it’s for those who think Ironman …

Sullivan for the Plaintiff, Angeli for the Defense

How two employment attorneys from across the aisle joined forces

As a student at New York University School of Law, Dana L. Sullivan never took an employment law class. “I had no interest in it,” she says.  By her second year at the University of Michigan, after taking a class taught by feminist legal scholar Catherine MacKinnon that examined early case law in sex discrimination, Courtney Angeli knew the field was for her. “I took every [employment] law-related class my school offered: individual employee rights and responsibilities, labor law and …

Boutique Buddies

Four of Oregon’s top attorneys, from different practice areas and boutique firms, have been getting together for decades

The lobby of the Arlington Club, a private Portland organization founded in 1867, is both grand and subdued, and nearly silent on a late Monday morning in early March. On the third floor, however, laughter fills the Field & Stream Room. That laughter continues almost without cease for the next 90 minutes. “I’m a water guy,” says Ward Greene, after the waiter asks what he’ll drink. “That’s because it’s free,” says David Markowitz. Attorneys Greene and Markowitz, along with Ed …

Mission: Control

Aviation attorney Michael L. Slack, a former NASA engineer, shoots for industry reform as well as client compensation

“I didn’t care about anything other than the space program—that was my world,” says Michael L. Slack from his office in Austin, recalling how he grew up in front of the television watching the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions; and how, just weeks after he graduated from high school, Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. Steps Slack planned to follow in. The trip from space-struck kid to one of the nation’s top aviation litigators includes stops at NASA, Belize and an airstrip where …

When You Say “I Do,” But Now You Don’t

Family law attorney Tom Bittner tells his clients, “It’s never going to hurt me like it hurts you”

The fifth floor conference room of Schulte, Anderson, Downes, Aronson & Bittner has one of the best views in Portland: a wall of windows that overlooks the Willamette River—deep teal this afternoon and running fast—and 100 miles to the east, Mt. Hood covered in snow. “The firm has some nice conferences in here,” says Tom Bittner, rolling the office chair he’s in right up to the window, like a kid getting close to the TV. Quick to mention that after 25 years of practice he is …

Trying to Set Things Right

Montana employment and labor law attorney Jean E. Faure knows about work trouble

Asked to consider her accomplishments thus far—the teaching fellowship in graduate school, serving as president of the Montana Defense Trial Lawyers Association—Jean E. Faure quotes Robert Browning: “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” That the employment and labor law attorney references the British poet and playwright is not incidental. With a master’s degree in English Literature, Faure sees the complex and dynamic relationships between fictional characters mirrored in the …

Rodeo Mentality

After a rodeo injury, Wyoming's J. Kent Rutledge decided to go to law school

“Growing up on a ranch you learn very early about responsibility,” says J. Kent Rutledge. Raised on his family’s cattle ranch in southeast Wyoming, the attorney did what ranch kids do: made sure the livestock had food and water, shelter and veterinary care. “Nothing was more rewarding to me than going out on horseback and bringing cows and calves in when there was a storm and saving a baby calf that was wet and freezing cold,” he says. “Being diligent and responsible was not only …

The Higher Law

"You get people at the absolute lowest points of their lives," says Utah family law attorney Sharon A. Donovan

“There was a moment I knew I wanted to be a lawyer,” says Sharon A. Donovan, a family law and alternative dispute resolution attorney in Salt Lake City. “I was a junior at the University of Utah, and my boyfriend at the time said, ‘So, what are you going to do with that poli sci degree? You should go to law school.’ And I thought: good idea!” It was a good idea both because her older brother, whom Donovan idolized, was just back from traveling in India and was considering law …

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