Would you trade in being a pop star to be a legal rockstar? Last week, we wrote about So-eun Lee, a South Korean pop star who left behind her music career to attend Northwestern Law.

We emailed with the now-2L to find out how she achieved pop stardom back in Seoul and whether it seems easier to break into the music industry than the legal industry these days. We also found out she goes by Nikki Lee here in the States.

ATL: How did you break into the music industry in South Korea?

I participated in a national song writing contest when I was thirteen, and it was broadcast on television. I got calls from various recording companies after that went on air, and that was the beginning.

ATL: Why did you decide to leave your music career for the law? Are you glad you decided to go to law school?

I am glad, although I have to admit that sometimes during the last year I wondered why I ever decided to come. I did music for a long time, for eleven years, and I felt and knew that I wanted a change in direction. I was a spokesperson for a couple of organizations as an artist, and I wanted to be able to know and participate in the substantive issues instead of just being the “face” of something, and a legal education seemed like the right path.

So what substantive issues is she diving into this summer?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An Interview With Northwestern’s Resident Pop Star”

We occasionally write about famous law school students here at Above the Law, such as Georgetown rising-3Ls Kaavya Viswanathan (aka the alleged Harvard plagiarist) and Top Model Sara Hallmark, and Southwestern 1L Jerry O’Connell (now on sabbatical).

Sometimes, a law school is graced by the presence of a famous classmate and fellow students are completely unaware of their good luck — if, for example, that law student is huge overseas but little-known on this shore.

When Lee So-eun got into Northwestern Law School, it was national news in South Korea. From the Chosun in June 2009:

Singer Lee So-eun has been accepted at a number of law schools in the United States. Lee’s management on Wednesday said the singer, who debuted as a high schooler in 1998, received offers from Northwestern, Cornell, Georgetown and Notre Dame.

Lee had been preparing for U.S. law school since she graduated with a degree in English Literature from Korea University in 2007. She has chosen Northwestern University Law School in Chicago. “I plan to leave for the U.S. in July, and want to focus on international and human rights law,” she said.

So what did she give up to go to law school?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Student of the Day: Korean Popstar at Northwestern”

Word on the street is that President Obama is about to nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. This makes sense; there are many good reasons to nominate Kagan.

But what if Obama were to think outside the box in terms of SCOTUS nominations? What if he nominated, say, Lady Gaga to the high court? (She is not without ties to the legal world; she is, after all, the unofficial mascot of Cornell Law.)

If Lady Gaga were to become Justice Gaga, we could look forward to Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg filing dispatches for NPR like this:

Wow. That was bizarre. So what’s the story behind this video?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nina Totenberg and Her NPR Colleagues Go Gaga for Gaga”

A few weeks back, a lawyer friend invited us to attend the Air Guitar New York Championships in Brooklyn. It was described to us as “pretty rad.” We declined to attend, but in doing so, missed out on taking part in an activity that seems to be taking the legal community by storm. ESPN recently described competitive air guitar thus:

Writhing and finger-plucking. Wagging tongues and balcony dives. Oh, and male shirtlessness. Lots of male shirtlessness. All of it taking place before hundreds of screaming, chanting spectators… [It] isn’t about music. It’s about world peace (really). And going to Finland (really). And headbands. (So many headbands). Mostly, it’s about rock. Head-banging, face-melting, soul-devouring rock. The mysterious, ineffable feeling therein. What air guitar devotees creatively call … “the airness.”

So which legal eagles have been overcome by this “mysterious, ineffable feeling”? A Georgetown Law student, a University of Colorado Law professor, and New York Times legal correspondent, Adam Liptak.

Liptak has actually been in the judge’s seat for a couple Air Guitar competitions in D.C. How did he gain his expertise in the air guitar? We caught up with him for a brief interview. When it comes to air guitar jurisprudence, Liptak has something in common with Justices Scalia and Thomas…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “All Rise for Air Guitar Judge Adam Liptak
And some other legal eagles who air rock

Facebook is a godsend for office workers. It’s where we flee when we’re bored. It’s where we go for updates on our friends’ lives. And it’s where we vent when work sucks.

Florida state prosecutor Brandon White was marooned in a terrible trial last week, and decided to work through his frustrations creatively, by composing a parody of the Gilligan’s Island theme song worthy of a Law Revue show.

According to the Sun Sentinel, he posted his composition to Facebook on the second day of the trial — Wednesday, April 14th — just after 11 p.m. We apologize in advance for getting the Gilligan’s Island theme song stuck in your head. Lyrics via TCPalm:

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trial,
That started from this court in St. Lucie County.
The lead prosecutor was a good woman, the 2nd chair was totally awesome,
Six jurors were ready for trial that day for a four hour trial, a four hour trial.

The trial started easy enough but then became rough
The judge and jury confused,
If not for the courage of the fearless prosecutors
The trial would be lost, the trial would be lost.

He goes on to describe the others stuck in the same boat as him, including “the gangbanger defendant”…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: Brandon White Stranded in Gilligan’s Trial”

Brooklyn law school logo.JPGYesterday we reported on this announcement by Brooklyn Law School:

This semester we have received several warnings from our Internet service provider that copyrighted movies and TV shows are being downloaded illegally via our wireless network. The Information Technology office is now ascertaining who is doing this. Once we have names of the individuals involved, we intend to give them to the copyright holders for enforcement purposes.

This stance proved unpopular with BLS students, as well as ATL readers. In a poll, about 75 percent of readers answered “yes” when asked, “Should Brooklyn Law School do more to protect its students from being sued for illegal downloading?”
It seems that Brooklyn Law School has had a change of heart. Check out the email that went out this afternoon, plus selected reader comments, after the jump.

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Apparently so. From a student at Brooklyn Law School:

Brooklyn law school logo.JPGToday we received this e-mail from the administration, which is causing quite an uproar among the student body.

The gist of it seems to be that, contrary to the practice of other schools, BLS will begin actively investigating [illegal] downloading and proactively providing names of people to media [companies] so [the individuals in question] can be sued.

I believe the typical practice at other schools (graduate and undergraduate) and institutions is to wait for a subpoena and either cooperate or fight the subpoena, not to go out of their way to inform on their students.

The total cost of attendance at Brooklyn Law for the 2009-2010 academic year, for full-time students not living with their parents (God forbid), is a shade over $66,000. Shouldn’t that buy BLS’s silence?
Or is the law school in the right here? Shouldn’t law students, i.e., future lawyers, know and follow the law?
UPDATE: Brooklyn Law has announced a change in this policy.
Read the email and take a poll, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Is Brooklyn Law School Informing On Its Own Students?”

Antonin Scalia Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.jpgDespite their ideological differences, Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg bond over their shared love for the opera. Both judicial luminaries attended Saturday’s opening night performance of Ariadne auf Naxos, at the Washington National Opera. If you’re into Article III celebrity sightings, the D.C. opera house is where it’s at.
Not only did the justices attend the opera; they also participated. An eyewitness evaluation of their performances, plus a photo of Justice Scalia with a sexy soprano in his lap, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Eyes of the Law: Justices Scalia and Ginsburg at the Opera”

Mainly we’re posting this because it’s a Friday afternoon and rainy (at least here in New York). We figure you need some entertainment to launch you into the weekend.
But there is a legal angle to this music video. It might have spawned intellectual property litigation, if Disney — and Miley Cyrus — didn’t have such a good sense of humor. Enjoy!
(If you like, feel free to discuss “fair use” issues in the music video context in the comments.)

Disney Allows a Gay Miley Cyrus Knock-Off Video to Flourish Online [Media Decoder / New York Times]
Finally, an Excuse to Post This Video of Fire Island Gays Lip-synching to Miley Cyrus [Daily Intel / New York Magazine]
Fire Island Gays Get the Attention of Miley Cyrus With ‘Party’ Video [Towleroad]


If you’re leaving Biglaw and moving to New England to innkeep is not your thing, maybe you should consider moving to Los Angeles to promote music.
The American Lawyer has an interesting piece on a laid-off first-year associate, Brandon Dorsky. He was among the batch of Pillsbury Winthrop associates whose departures were inadvertently leaked by a garrulous partner on the train from D.C. to New York.
Dorsky was doing IP work in Pillsbury’s Los Angeles office. The Ohio native had moved to California with the intent to get into the entertainment industry and so he seized the opportunity provided by being laid off:

After leaving Pillsbury, Dorsky decided to build a practice geared to entertainment clients, while also managing musical acts. He e-mailed friends and business contacts looking for leads. Just three days after leaving the firm, he landed his first client, TRG Sports and Entertainment. A friend from the University of Michigan recommended him to the management company, which was looking for a lawyer to draft a recording contract….
“I’m out most nights,” Dorsky says. “I see five concerts a week. I’m out there looking for new clients and looking for opportunities for existing clients.”

Dorsky’s tale might provide inspiration for other laid-off first years. In addition to working with bands, he’s drafting recording contracts and doing trademark work. Read more about the secret to Dorsky’s success and the importance of being a “hustler” at the American Lawyer.
After the Layoffs [American Lawyer]
Earlier: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to New York
(Or: Pillsbury associates, brace yourselves.)

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