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Power Lawyers 2011

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    Talent
    Melanie Cook
    Melanie Cook
    Ziffren Brittenham

    You'd think with a year like she's had, Cook would be flying high. After all, she closed a first-look deal for producer Scott Rudin with Sony; a pact for Rudin and his Social Network scribe, Aaron Sorkin, to team on an HBO series; and a third for Rudin and fellow client Stephen Daldry to make Extremely Loud and Dangerously Close -- not to mention other huge projects such as helmer Tim Burton's Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie. But the very reason these clients are drawn to her -- her exceptional empathy -- is what has been dragging her down. Cook, who agreed to spend a year working with a teenage girl from an inner-city school via THR's mentorship program, is reeling from the devastating news that her mentee has multiple sclerosis -- discovered just after she'd gotten into Berkeley and won a scholarship that Cook set up in her mother's name. "You invest so much," she says. Compared to that, "I can't even remember what I did this year."

     
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