Reality TV

Most New York lawyer types have given up on the idea of cooking for themselves; they’re far more likely to get their dinner from Seamless Web than from their own fridge and stovetop. But not Serena Palumbo. She’s now in-house counsel for an Italian bank, and has persevered in making nightly home-made dinners, despite prior stints at Schulte Roth and Shearman & Sterling.

And her perseverance has led to a possible career opportunity: TV celebrity chef. She’s one of the competitors in The Next Food Network Star, a Bobby Flay and Giada de Laurentiis-hosted reality competition, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Palumbo looks great in photos, but a former colleague who caught the premiere told us she struggled a bit in the first episode:

Wolfgang Puck told Giada that the Food Network might have to make room for a new Italian princess.

She did a good job with the food but struggled in front of the camera; she came across a bit forced so she’s not a front-runner but can probably turn things around.

Curses. Corporate lawyers don’t get to spend time in a courtroom, practicing their TV face in front of a jury.

We caught up with Serena by phone this week and asked her how she got onto the show, and more importantly, how she finds time to cook dinner every night at home in Manhattan…

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Victoria of MTV's Downtown Girls

With job prospects bleak and the allure of fleeting fame high, some lawyers have considered sending their résumés to reality TV show casting companies instead of legal recruiters. But competition is tough in the realm of trashy television, too.

One unemployed New York lawyer is living the reality TV star dream. Meet Victoria. She is one of the stars of Downtown Girls, a new MTV series about hot girls living in TriBeCa. Sounds like a winner!

Let’s take a look at her bio:

An aspiring attorney, Victoria is Shallon’s other roommate, whose eccentric ways provide a source of rattlebrained comic relief. Victoria recently graduated from law school and is currently awaiting the results of her second attempt at the bar exam. Like her roommates, Victoria is also single, and is infamously known as the “queen of the first date.”

Really? You’re going to include the fact that you failed the bar exam in your MTV website bio?

Can it get worse?

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This past Monday, middle-aged housewives, quadriplegics who were not able to turn the channel, and yours truly tuned into the 763rd 20th season of The Bachelor franchise.

This season stars Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky, an unemployed 25-year-old who quit her job at Facebook and moved back in with her parents to be on the show. Fans of the series will recall that Ali was a castoff from last season’s Bachelor, where she endeared herself to fans by wearing low-cut dresses, crying frequently, and vaguely resembling a poor man’s Reese Witherspoon as seen in dim light through cataracts. Anyhow, she’s back this season and more determined than ever to find love with one of 25 white bachelors, not including the one Hispanic dude, Roberto.

Figuring that regular guys might be intimidated by Ali’s professional ambition and success, the Bachelorette producers assembled a squad of gentleman callers that simply cannot fail to impress. There is the “outdoorsman,” the “dental sales associate,” the “medical sales associate,” the landscaper, the “internet account executive,” and even the weatherman. Also vying for Ali’s heart are two of our very own kind: LAWYERS.

So, who are these guys?

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A local woman is suing the producers of The Real World D.C. over her portrayal in the show. I don’t really care about this woman’s claims or why she thinks she’s owed $5 million, but in case you’re interested, DCist reports:

In the suit, Golzar Amirmotazedi, 22, says that during one episode, cast members Andrew and Josh plied her with alcohol at a bar, brought her home, kicked her out after she refused sex and then proceeded to make fun of her. As a consequence of her brief appearance on one of the episodes (our recap of the episode in question is here; it’s the second of the two), the suit claims that Amirmotazedi was subject to ridicule in online forums, lost her self-esteem and became depressed, left her job and was denied other employment, had trouble sleeping, and suffered from nausea.

Yes, yes, yes. Terrible. Men are pigs, they only buy girls drinks in order to sleep with them and get pissed off when they don’t put out. (Kash here: I felt duty-bound to watch this season as it was set in my old hometown, and if I remember that episode correctly, Andrew was playing wingman to Josh, and thus entertaining Golzar while greasy Josh hooked it with her friend. Golzar was trying her best to get Andrew to dump his gf and hook up with her. He declined, because he surprisingly had a very hot gf.)

But can we get to the waiver this woman signed? That’s what allowed MTV to air her decision to play a drunken cock-tease in front of the cameras…

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Are you desperate enough to apply?

Donald Trump is in the market for a lawyer, and if you’re unemployable, laid-off, or suffering because of the recession, you might just be the attorney for him. The next iteration of “The Apprentice” will be devoted to recession refugees, and the producers are looking to cast some legal types.

If your world has been rocked by the recession, maybe it’s time to seek out a reality TV gig. You could try to get on a game show for a one-time payout — like the UC Hastings grad who will be applying her Wheel of Fortune winnings toward her student loans — or you could try to get on a show that promises full-time employment a one-year contract to its winner. Assuming that you fare better than lawyer-turned-Playboy model Kristine Lefebvre, a loser from The Apprentice: Los Angeles.

An “Apprentice” rep tells us:

We are very interested in laid-off lawyers. Even lawyers that might have their own firm, but maybe business has suffered since the recession. As long as the downturn in the economy has affected them in one way or another, we can consider them.

The show will be filming for six weeks in May, June and July. Details on applying and a look back at reality TV winners with JDs, after the jump.

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ronnie ortiz-magro jersey shore.jpgWe reported this morning that a victim of a Jersey Shore beatdown was trying to prevent the Tuesday DVD release of the popular MTV reality series. Stephen Izzo, Jr., 26, was attacked by Ronnie “Don’t fall in love at Jersey Shore” Ortiz-Magro during the show’s first season.
In the episode, Ronnie bragged that he knocked Izzo down with “one shot.” But then Ronnie got knocked down — with a charge for aggravated assault.
Izzo’s lawyer asked a judge to block the Jersey Shore season one DVD release tomorrow because “the law prohibits people from profiting from a criminal case.”
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Joseph L. Foster did not fist pump to that claim….

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legal grind jeff hughes.jpgJeff Hughes graduated from Loyola Law School – Los Angeles in 1992. Then, like now, law jobs were hard to come by. Hughes didn’t need an LLM in entrepreneurship to come up with an interesting business idea though. He and his paralegal wife decided to start a “coffee & counsel shop” aimed at middle class customers in need of legal services. It sounds like Starbucks, except you can get a skim latte with a shot of probate law.
Improbably, this California business succeeded. Fourteen years later, the baristas are still serving up espresso and express legal services.
Perhaps frightened by the competition, Jeff and Anne Hughes decided to go on the Shark Tank to get help franchising their business of serving up cheap legal services in a coffeehouse setting.
For the uninitiated, the Shark Tank is an ABC reality show, in which entrepreneurs present ideas to a panel of venture capitalists in hopes of getting funding. As you might expect based on the name, the VCs are not cute and cuddly.
When the Hughes made their pitch for $200,000 this week, the VCs smelled blood in the water. The gruesome footage, after the jump.

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Vinny Guadagnino Vinnie Guadagnino law student law school lawyer.jpgAre you one of the 21 percent of law school students who, due to the changing legal job market, regret going to law school? If going to law school was a stupid decision decision for you, then congratulations — Vinny Guadagnino, the “self-confessed mama’s boy” of Jersey Shore fame, is smarter than you are.

We mentioned his recent interview with Us Magazine before, but in case you missed it — and, judging from all the emails we’ve been getting about it, it seems many of you did — let’s go over the highlights.

Like his undergraduate GPA — which is probably higher than yours….

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Snooki Jersey Shore NYU Law.JPGOver the break, one NYU Law student started a movement to bring Nicole Polizzi (a.k.a. Snooki from the cast of Jersey Shore) to an NYU party. NYU students thought they could hang out with a drunk girl who likes to party, for just $2,000. Here’s the email that was sent to the NYU Law listserve:

Apparently, Snooki(e) from the Jersey Shore is charging $2,000 to make “personal appearances.” Basically, for 2-large, she will come to your party and get drunk and do cartwheels and fistpump and “battle on the floor” to techno “music” and try in vain to hook up with people and be generally awesome and delightful.
Here is where I got this information from:
I want to note, first and foremost, that I neither agree with nor condone the general tone and candor of the Perez Hilton post. I think it’s not only distasteful and hateful, but dead wrong. Snooki(e) is one of the most delightful human beings ever to walk planet Earth and I need to hang out with her. I’m comfortable calling anyone who wouldn’t want to hang out with
her a “Silly Goose.”
That being said, $2,000 sounds like an absolute steal to me, so long as a good deal of people are willing to get together and throw down on bringing her in for a private party (we could rent out a small open bar somewhere). I have spoken to a number of friends already about this, several of whom are interested, which prompted me to see if Coases might be a fruitful avenue to pursue further subsidization of this event/personal dream of mine that I never knew I had until three weeks ago. If other people are down to get in on this heroic endeavor, which is sure to greatly enhance the lives of all those involved in ways we could never even dream of, please e-mail me saying so and letting me know the max you’d be willing to kick in towards the effort. I would genuinely like to see if we can make this thing happen.

Did they hit that? Details after the jump.

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Cardozo school of law logo.JPGYesterday, we reported on a meeting at Cardozo Law School between the law school administration, student leaders, and MTV producers regarding the possible filming of a reality TV show at the school. It would focus on the “true life” of New York law school students.
We polled our readers. Almost 60% of the 2,000 who voted said a reality TV show at Cardozo would be a bad idea.
The folks at Cardozo agree. Tipsters report that word spread on campus and that most students were strongly opposed. Today, the dean of the law school sent out an email telling students not to worry.

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