Dewey & LeBoeuf, Donald Trump, Hotties, Layoffs, Liza Minnelli, Reality TV, Television

Congrats to Brandy Kuentzel, Laid-Off Kirkland Lawyer Turned Apprentice Winner

Brandy Kuentzel, laid-off K&E lawyer turned reality TV star.

Apologies for this very belated coverage of the season finale of The Apprentice, which aired last week. Alas, no member of Team ATL — not even Marin, our resident reality TV addict — actually watched the show. The final episode was a bit like the proverbial tree falling in the forest without anyone around to hear it.

But it seems numerous ATL readers tuned in, even though ratings for the show are down 75 percent since the premiere season. So here’s a post, triggered by your many email pleas for coverage.

We extend warm congratulations to Brandy Kuentzel, the Chicago Law alumna and laid-off Kirkland & Ellis associate who emerged victorious in the reality TV competition. In the finale, Kuentzel defeated a fellow lawyer, Clint — a 40-year-old SMU Law grad described in his NBC bio as “living off of credit” — for the opportunity to work for Donald Trump.

One Brandy fan gave us some background on her: “She went to University of Chicago, started at Kirkland SF as transactional associate. After she got laid off, she started a mobile truck cupcake business.” (Digression: Why is driving a cupcake truck such a popular fallback option for lawyers? See also Kate Carrara, of Philadelphia, and Lev Ekster, of New York.)

Continued our tipster: “Brandy has an insane background story. She’s from Alaska, and moved out at an early age to self-finance her education, after graduating as valedictorian of her high school. Oh, and she is insanely hot. Google her.”

As you can see from her photo, Brandy is most definitely a hottie. But, interestingly enough, Brandy Kuentzel wasn’t quite as smoking hot back in her law firm days….

You can check out Brandy’s law firm bio on the right; click to enlarge. It seems that Kuentzel was cute rather than hot during her Kirkland & Ellis stint. Working at K&E does not seem to be a recipe for personal beautification.

Jeez, Kirkland people, calm down! Don’t take that last line personally — it could be said of working at pretty much any large law firm. Why do you have to be so sensitive? ;-)

Indeed, one commenter blamed our lack of Brandy Kuentzel coverage on anti-Kirkland bias. To quote Justice Alito, “not true, not true.” I can assure you that I hold Kirkland in the highest esteem. It’s one of the nation’s preeminent law firms, in prestige and in profits; it’s the leading law firm in Chicago, where it still has a major presence; and its D.C. office is top-notch too.

Although Kirkland conducted significant layoffs during the recession, the firm never publicly admitted doing any lawyer layoffs. By not covering Brandy Kuentzel, a Kirkland alum who may now be America’s most famous laid-off lawyer, we were actually doing K&E a favor. It’s a bit ironic that Kirkland, which has never acknowledged lawyer layoffs, is now the poster child for laid-off lawyers, thanks to Kuentzel.

Anyway, back to Brandy. It seems that her victory — over several other lawyers, including the outspoken Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy and the dreamy James Weir (who was interviewed by our very own Marin) — was well-deserved. In the words of another Brandy admirer, Kuentzel is “a great, down to earth, and very attractive person.”

Great, down to earth, and very attractive — she’ll fit right in with Donald Trump. Congrats again, Brandy!

P.S. In addition to all the layoff victims, this past season of The Apprentice also featured gainfully employed Biglaw attorneys. As a tipster pointed out to us:

[T]wo Dewey & LeBoeuf partners — Art Hazlitt and Linda Sciuto –were on [the second-to-last episode of] The Apprentice, as Liza Minnelli’s managers…. If you watch the episode on Hulu, they’re introduced around minute 19.

In case you’re wondering, Liza Minnelli was on The Apprentice because one of the final challenges was to organize an event at which she would make an appearance. How fabulous!

Laid Off Kirkland Associate Lands Job—as Trump’s Apprentice [ABA Journal]
Five Reasons Why ‘The Apprentice’ Needs to Retire [TV Squad]
Brandy M. Kuentzel bio [Kirkland & Ellis]

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