Joshua Redman quartet Josh Redman Harvard College Yale Law School.jpgAs Clarence Darrow once said, “Inside every lawyer is the wreck of a poet.” Indeed, many lawyers harbor frustrated creative ambitions. Sure, they went to law school, and now they’re out practicing. But they could have been novelists, or painters, or pastry chefs.
Or successful jazz musicians. From

Joshua Redman is quite the brainy guy, who very easily could have been some hot-shot attorney — or judge, perhaps?– living lavishly in New York City.

But the music bug took a big bite out of the summa cum laude Harvard grad, who scored a perfect 180 on his Law School Admissions Test to earn entrance into Yale Law School.

“I had moved to New York City and was on my way to law school,” Redman says. “But during that year I had this incredible opportunity to play with some great musicians. The encouragement and support I got from them motivated me to continue. So, I decided not to go to law school.”

And he’s never looked back:

Almost 16 years later, it isn’t a decision the acclaimed saxophonist has regretted.

“I probably wouldn’t have been such a good lawyer,” he jokes. “At the time, I essentially went to law school because, like others, I kind of didn’t know what I wanted to do.”

We can relate — and we’re guessing that many of you can, too. Law school was once described to us by Tony Kronman, then the Dean of Yale Law School, as “the great American default option.” He added that law school is a popular path for smart and motivated young people “who can’t stand the sight of blood.”
So why did you go to law school? Are the reasons that you articulated for going — in, say, your law school application essays — ones that continue to motivate you today? Are you happy with your decision?
He’s smart enough to skip law, and choose music [Hudson County Now via]
Do You Believe in Life After Law? [New York Observer]

Up until this point, we had perhaps shaky evidence that Nina Totenberg, legal affairs correspondent for NPR, is a diva.

There was the (now closed) ATL reader poll, in which 30 percent of you declared La Totenberg to be a true diva. There were various stories of diva-like behavior. There was her recent, diva-licious appearance on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, in which she gave Scooter Libby prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald a piece of her mind. (Click here, select “Not My Job: Patrick Fitzgerald,” and skip ahead to the 7:30 mark.)

But now it’s official: Nina Totenberg really IS a diva, narrowly defined as “[a] female opera star of great rank or pretension.” Click here, and listen to her operatically trill the four finalists for a new “All Things Considered” jingle.

Although some of the notes in Nina’s upper register sound a little thin, on the whole she’s in fine voice. We’re very impressed!

From one tipster: “Can I suggest a barbershop quartet, consisting of Nina Totenberg, Joan Biskupic, Jan Crawford Greenburg, and Linda Greenhouse?” Or maybe a sing-off between Nina Totenberg and Judge Marjorie Rendell (3d Cir.), another diva in the figurative and literal senses of the word?

Now if only we can get Nina Totenberg to sing Everyone’s A Winner at Nixon Peabody

Vote for ‘All Things Considered’ Theme Song Lyrics [NPR]
Not My Job: Patrick Fitzgerald (around 7:30 mark) [Wait Wait Don't Tell Me / NPR]

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Nina Totenberg (scroll down)

* Sadly, the Nixon Peabody theme song didn’t make the cut. [TechnoLawyer]
* “Sonnenschein sued for millions by former partner.” [Legal Times]
* News you can use: “How much income can parents have before losing all financial aid for their kids’ college?” [TaxProf Blog]
* We’re late in linking to this, but here’s Blawg Review #124. [George's Employment Blawg via Blawg Review]
* We’re REALLY late in linking to this, but it’s timely once again in light of the imminent announcement (tomorrow) that he’s officially running for president. Here are some interesting reflections from Fred Thompson on the law and his career as a practicing lawyer. [Power Line]

X Men small X Summers X Summer Associates Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgFor those of you who might be interested, here’s another version of yesterday’s story about the Bruised Booze Cruiser — a Kirkland & Ellis summer associate who got slugged by a local lass in Chicago (after getting drunk on the firm-sponsored booze cruise and calling said woman a “fat bitch”).

We actually received many accounts of this event. The one that we decided go with came from someone who was at K&E this summer and attended the events in question, so we viewed it as fairly reliable.

But here’s a second version, also from someone who claims to have been there. And we like it — in some ways, it’s even better than the original — so we’re passing it along.

According to our latest tipster, the Bruised Booze Cruisier (hereinafter “BBC”) was acting up even before the after-party where he got punched by a girl woman. From this second source:

[The BBC] had upset one big-time partner before ever getting to the bar that night (and, if the golf outing story is true, he had notes from two partners sent to recruiting). The cruise ship played music during the 3rd of July fireworks, and at one point, the “Imperial March” from the Star Wars movies came on.

The summer (maybe a big fan of the movies?) decided to narrate the song by attempting to recreate Darth-Vader-esque breathing noises. His wanting everyone to hear, though, meant the noises were less breaths and more zombie moans, which weren’t appreciated by the young children on board.

A senior partner near the summer, whose children were frightened and upset by the noises, wrote to recruiting about the guy before the story of the bar fight ever came out.

That’s pretty great — but there’s more. Check it out after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Bruised Booze Cruiser: An Alternate Account”

X Men small X Summers X Summer Associates Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgLabor Day has come and gone. But even though summer is unofficially over, we still have a few summer associate stories for you.
We heard lots of rumors about the Chicago summer who, as described by one source, “got decked by a girl” after a firm-sponsored, Fourth of July boat cruise. According to one version of the story, he showed up to work the next day black and blue.
After poking around, we’ve assembled what we believe to be a fairly reliable account of the incident. The black-and-blue part isn’t true, but the general outlines of the story are accurate:
1. Superhero name: The Bruised Booze Cruiser
2. Special power(s): Improvised musical composition; ability to take it on the chin, from a member of the fairer sex.
3. Summered: Kirkland & Ellis, Chicago, summer 2007
4. Claim to fame: From our tipster:

After the Fourth of July boat cruise, one of the summers tied one too many on. At the after-party, while passing a drink to a friend, he stuck it right across the face of a girl standing nearby.

Understandably annoyed, the girl said something sort of snarky. He responded by a signing an improvised song to her, which went something like, “Fat bitch, fat bitch, you are such a fat bitch.”

After he went on for about a minute, she decided she had had enough of his ditty. She emptied her drink over his head — then socked him in the jaw.

Awesome. We’re applying the “You Go Girl” tag to this post.
Find out the Booze Cruiser’s fate, both medically and professionally, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “X-Summers: The Bruised Booze Cruiser”

From the National Examiner:

The American Tort Reform Association has posted Weird Al’s “I’ll Sue Ya” on its Web site, suggesting that the tune be “adopted as a theme song by America’s personal injury lawyers.”
“It’s been awhile since I’ve personally kept up with Weird Al’s work, but it’s nice to know he hasn’t lost his genius,” ATRA director of communications Darren McKinney said.
“Like all good comedy, Weird Al builds on a foundation of truth,” he added.

What foundation of truth, that there are too many lawsuits in this country, or that Korn sucks?
Check out the music video for Weird Al’s tune after the jump.
American Tort Reform Association
“Weird Al” Yankovic

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Weird Al Song Becomes Tort Reform Anthem”

If the Nixon Peabody song were lawyer advertising — which, of course, it is not — it would be the best lawyer advertisement ever.
And this, which a helpful reader emailed to us, would be second best:
ONeal Legal LLC Peter John Peter P'Ta Mon John JD MBA Above the Law blog.JPG
In case you can’t read the fine print at the bottom — which offers some helpful tips on staying out of trouble with the law, but which should NOT be construed as legal advice — here’s a close up:
ONeal Legal LLC 2 Peter John Peter P'Ta Mon John JD MBA Above the Law blog.JPG
Right now you’re probably thinking: This CANNOT be for real.
But it is, dear readers, it is. We confirmed the authenticity of this advertisement with Mr. Peter John himself.
You can check out our short interview with him, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: Peter ‘P’Ta Mon’ John”

Best Week Ever Nixon Peabody Above the Law blog.jpgCongratulations to Nixon Peabody. All of the “winners” at that venerable law firm are winners once again. VH1′s Best Week Ever just named the firm’s non-theme-song song its Favorite Jam of Summer ’07!
We kid you not. See here:

“Everyone’s a Winner at Nixon Peabody” is officially our Favorite Jam of Summer 07! The type of tune that makes you want to get out the Bartles & James, brush n’ braid your long gray hair, tear off your stirrup pants and miniature horse cardigan, and make out with your 77-year-old husband on a nude beach somewhere in Pueto Vallarta.

You can read the full post here. Once again, congrats to NP!
Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s Never Too Late for a Hot Summer Jam, Courtesy of Blood-Sucking Law Firm [Best Week Ever]

Nixon Peabody LLP horrible theme song Above the Law blog.jpgRight now some of you are probably thinking: “Enough already about Alberto Gonzales and Michael Vick! Isn’t there anything else you can write about?”

Of course. Let’s go back to the story of Nixon Peabody, and its ridiculous law firm theme song!

(In preemptive response to those of you who are sick and tired of this story: relax. It’s on its last legs. But if the New York Times writes about us, of course we’re going to acknowledge it. Capice?)

For those of you were on vacation last week — and we know many of you were, based on all the “Out of Office AutoReply” messages we received — you missed a fun story here at ATL.

But don’t worry. If you don’t have time to read our voluminous coverage of the Nixon Peabody theme song, here are some cheat sheets.

You can read this New York Times story, by Michael de la Merced, which nicely summarizes the saga. Or this post, by Peter Lattman, over at the WSJ Law Blog.

Best of all, for those of you who can watch videos — some of you can’t, ’cause you don’t have a private office — check out this awesome video. It appeared over the weekend, but we’re reposting it, because many of you don’t visit ATL on the weekend (and it would be a shame for you to miss it).

Unauthorized Enjoyment of Song Irks Law Firm [New York Times]
Everyone’s a Winner at Nixon Peabody! [WSJ Law Blog]
Re: Nixon Peabody [YouTube]

Please see the short parody video posted below. Is this a casebook-ready example of “fair use,” or what?
To ChurchHatesTucker, who produced the video: You are a genius and a god.
(Please note that we had no hand in making this video. ChurchHatesTucker acted sua sponte, after reading this Techdirt story.)
Update: Blawg Review, quoting from Nixon Peabody’s own Copyright & Internet Law Glossary, explains why the video is fair use over here.

Re. Nixon Peabody [YouTube]

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