Bloomberg Law
July 27, 2023, 9:00 AM

They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40-Brittany Amadi of WilmerHale

Lisa Helem
Lisa Helem
Executive Editor
MP McQueen

Please describe two of your most substantial, recent wins in practice.

In March 2023, we achieved a significant victory for our client Apple in it long-running dispute with VirnetX, when the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidating all challenged claims of two VirnetX patents. The affirmance resulted in vacatur of a district court judgment of more than $500 million against Apple.

In November 2022, we obtained a significant victory for our client T-Mobile in its high-stakes trademark dispute with Simply Wireless, when the district court awarded summary judgment in T-Mobile’s favor on the ground that Simply Wireless had abandoned any rights it had in the asserted mark. T-Mobile, one of the three largest mobile network providers in the US, has made more than $1 billion in revenues from wireless services related to the mark.

What is the most important lesson you learned as a first-year attorney and how does it inform your practice today?

One of the best pieces of advice that I was given as a first-year associate was to be available. It was a very simple, straightforward piece of advice, but was also incredibly useful and impactful as a junior attorney starting out in my practice.

That advice is something that always stuck with me as a junior attorney —adhering to it led me to several opportunities that allowed me to advance as an attorney and to develop my areas of expertise, including by expanding my practice into different areas of law and obtaining my first stand-up opportunities in court and before clients. I have continued to apply that advice in my current practice by continually making myself available to provide assistance to my clients and colleagues.

How do you define success in your practice?

Although my practice is focused on litigation, some of my most successful matters have been matters in which I have been able to provide counsel and assistance to clients that avoid the risk and cost associated with complex litigation. Whether it is counseling clients in connection with a brewing dispute, assisting clients in negotiating a license or commercial resolution, or advising clients on changes or actions that can be taken to avoid the risk of litigation, many successes are achieved outside of the courtroom.

What are you most proud of as a lawyer?

I was very proud to have represented Harvard in upholding its race-conscious admissions program. The district court’s ruling—which was unanimously affirmed by the First Circuit on appeal—upheld Harvard’s consideration of race in admissions decisions and was critical to preserving the ability of colleges and universities across the country to create the diverse communities essential to the success of their students and society. [Ed note: Prior to its reversal at the US Supreme Court in June.]

Preserving the ability of students to live and learn in a diverse environment brings with it benefits for society at large. As a society, it is critical that we have a diverse group of people in leadership positions who are tasked with tackling the many issues facing this country and the world at large—people who can bring different and unique perspectives and solutions to the forefront.

I was very proud to have had the opportunity to contribute, along with the rest of the WilmerHale team, to such an important issue.

Who is your greatest mentor in the law and what have they taught you?

My greatest mentors in the law have been the judges for whom I had the privilege to clerk, Judge Timothy Dyk (Federal Circuit) and Judge Raymond Jackson (E.D. Virginia), both of whom practiced law with the highest degree of integrity and shaped my perspective early in my career.

One thing I learned from Judge Dyk was to never be afraid to think outside of the box to advance novel legal theories, including by borrowing from principles developed in different areas of law. Often lawyers focus too specifically on particular issues within a given area, rather than taking a broad view and looking for parallels in other areas of law to advance their position.

One thing I learned from Judge Jackson was to always be willing to fight for what is right and to use the law as a vehicle to do so. Judge Jackson continuously sought out ways to advance the law in the interest of justice, as evidenced by his decision that ultimately led to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kimbrough v. United States, 552 US 85 (2007), which held that federal judges have discretion to depart from the Sentencing Guidelines which imposed disparate sentences for crack cocaine-related offenses.

Brittany Amadi of WilmerHale in Frankfurt, Germany
Brittany Amadi and Jonathan Hurtarte/Bloomberg Law

Tell us your two favorite songs on your summer music playlist.
Rema, “Calm Down” and Beyoncé, “Heated.”

Brittany Amadi, was a mechanical engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. before entering law school. She helped craft and execute the strategy that led to a jury verdict of non-infringement in favor of WilmerHale’s client Intel Corp. in a $2 billion patent infringement suit brought by AVM. She has collaborated with groups including the ACLU on voting rights projects pro bono, and is an adjunct assistant professor at American University Washington College of Law.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lisa Helem at; MP McQueen at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lisa Helem at; MP McQueen at

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