Akin Gump, Bankruptcy, Food, Sports

Some Sightings of the Elusive Lawyer Athlete

This is a most hellish contraption.

Obviously, the heartbreaking news this morning is that Twinkies is filing for bankruptcy. Don’t act like I’m the only one saddened by this news. The Wall Street Journal reports that Hostess, the maker of the All-American snack, is carrying $860 million in debt and facing higher costs for sugar, flour, and whatever kind of rendered artery fat they inject directly into the center of those things.

Well, as long as SeamlessWeb is operating smoothly, lawyers will still be able to find adequate ways to become soft in the middle.

But not every lawyer. There are still a few legal types out there who take care of their bodies, and I’m not just talking about Reema Bajaj. I’m talking about lawyers who are actual athletes.

It’s a rare breed, but today we’re going to take a look at two of them. One is an Olympian, while the other is just a record-breaking weekend warrior…

Our Olympic athlete comes by way of Harvard, the University of Texas, and Georgetown University Law Center. His name is Samyr Laine, and he’s a triple jumper. That makes sense for a lawyer: why do something once when you can do it three times, for three times the price?

Samyr Laine (via Getty Images)

Laine is from New York and pursued graduate studies in Texas (at UT) and in D.C. (at Georgetown), but he’ll be representing Haiti in the Summer Games. From BBC Sports:

“Both my parents were born in Haiti, so that’s how I’m able to compete for them,” Laine told BBC Sport.

“I am a US citizen but when it comes to competing or representing Haiti I feel I am an ambassador on an international level. I wear my red and blue on my sleeve and the country is near and dear to me.”

Pseudo-Haitians represent. Party at Wyclef’s house during the triple-jump this summer.

Laine’s making a nice gesture towards the country of his parents’ birth, but he’s also pretty good at looking out for himself:

For many years he combined training with studying at first Harvard University and then the University of Texas in search of legal qualifications. Last autumn Laine passed the New York bar exam, allowing him to practise as a professional attorney.

“My legs have an expiration date and my legal qualification and bar admittance don’t,” said Laine, explaining that at present his sporting career is the priority.

In such a competitive industry, Laine has had to combine his studies with continuing his development on the track. For many years he competed at Diamond League events against rivals who were able to commit to the sport full-time.

Only in the last 18 months has triple jumping taken over his life.

“Track and field wasn’t a detriment to my law studies. Law school did detract from track and field for a little bit,” Laine conceded.

Ah, the classic “law as a fallback” career. Let’s just hope there is a legal market to fall back on when his legs give out.

Still, it’s nice to know that some people can handle all the supposed pressures of going to law school and passing the bar while also training to be world-class athletes.

But that’s not as impressive as running 113 marathons in a year while being a Biglaw partner….

(hidden for your protection)

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