Today brings more news coverage of Reema Bajaj, the rather attractive 25-year-old lawyer accused of moonlighting as a prostitute. Her story was written up in the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, among other outlets.
Both papers covered the newest development in the case, a court hearing yesterday. Bajaj pleaded not guilty to three counts of prostitution (two misdemeanors and one felony), according to her lawyer, David Camic of Aurora, Illinois.
I have previously expressed my gut instinct that Reema Bajaj is innocent. Maybe I’m guilty of judging a book by its cover, but she just looks innocent — youthful and sweet and wide-eyed. She is a young Midwestern woman, of South Asian ancestry, who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. It doesn’t get much more wholesome than that.
And now I don’t have to rely solely upon
racial stereotyping vague intuitions. Now I have additional evidence, from several sources — including a law school classmate of Reema Bajaj….
Here’s what this latest tipster told us:
I went to law school three years with Reema and also was in a couple of her classes in undergrad as well. She also went by “Nicki,” don’t know if it was a nickname or just an American name.
I was shocked when I found out about the charges. She was a nice, outgoing person, and was thoughtful. She gave me a birthday card one year and I was surprised she even remembered it since we didn’t talk a lot.
I can’t disagree with anything your tipster [also an NIU classmate] gave you in your last article, although I wouldn’t call her a “loner.” The bust size increase [during 2L year] was definitely noticeable, but it might have been natural, because I don’t remember it happening overnight.
I remember her having a boyfriend through most of 2nd and 3rd year, which is another reason I was a bit shocked.
Lucky guy. As several commenters have noted, Reema Bajaj is very pretty — at least “law school hot,” and arguably real-world hot. She even looks cute in her mugshot (at right).
In addition to defending Reema Bajaj, this source also defended their shared alma mater, Northern Illinois University College of Law (NIU):
It was a rough class of 2010; there were other problems besides Reema, Eric Ray [married man accused of molesting a teenage girl], and [REDACTED (a woman accused of stealing a car and resisting arrest)].
I don’t blame the admissions department. I think the bad economy for lawyers in the Chicago area made a lot of people lose focus during the three years. We had a terrible bar passage rate compared to previous years as well.
I still believe NIU has a great law program, and just had a bad year.
Very fair points. There’s a reason why members of the class of 2010, like Reema Bajaj and our tipster, are considered part of the “lost generation” — they were deeply affected, professionally and personally, by the horrible legal market into which they emerged.
So if a 2010 law school graduate were to engage in some outside activities to earn extra cash, that would be understandable, right? It seems that Reema Bajaj did:
Yes, that’s right. According to an entry on RateMyProfessors.com, it seems that Reema Bajaj was working as an adjunct professor on the side, teaching in the Literacy department of Northern Illinois University.
Reema Bajaj was teaching literacy? This might surprise some, given that the statement she posted to her law firm website about the prostitution charges — now removed, but you can access it here (scroll to the very bottom) — contained grammatical errors.
Based on her students’ reviews and scores, however, Bajaj was an excellent professor. She received an overall quality score of 4.6 out of 5, which is quite high, and a perfect 5.0 on helpfulness. And she earned a red chili pepper for hotness, of course. Students praised Bajaj as “a wonderful teacher” who “loves her job” and “is real nice” — further support for my earlier claim that she is “very sweet and wholesome,” as well as “a fundamentally decent person.”
One final piece of exculpatory evidence: her “Easiness” score on Rate My Professors was a mere 3.8. If she were actually a prostitute, shouldn’t she have a 5.0?
The defense rests, Your Honor.
Lawyer charged with prostitution [Chicago Tribune]
Attorney charged with three counts of prostitution [Chicago Sun-Times]
Reema Bajaj [RateMyProfessors.com]