The cast for the latest season of Survivor, which premieres on September 17, has been announced. This season, the show’s nineteenth, takes place on the tropical island of Samoa.
Four of the 20 contestants, or a fifth of the field, are either lawyers or law students. Is appearing on a reality television show the best way to wait out the recession?
We believe this to be the highest number of law-related contestants in a single season. We reached out to Charlie Herschel — the former Survivor contestant and current Weil Gotshal associate, who has encyclopedic knowledge of the show — and he said that, as far as he knows, four would be a record. Herschel explained:
Lawyers are making a better showing than bartenders for once on Survivor! There was a lawyer on the first Survivor who sued producers for rigging the show. Word was that they avoided casting lawyers after that.
Also, it’s generally difficult for lawyers to drop everything at a moment’s notice for the casting process and also for the show (which is required), so they have trouble casting lawyers. Most of the lawyers on survivor dont practice anymore.
Perhaps you know one of these four. Let’s learn more about them, shall we?
Lawyer turned Survivor contestant Charlie Herschel, right, with your above-signed writer (in the yellow Survivor do-rag).
As previously reported in these pages, Charlie Herschel — a 29-year-old, openly gay associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York — is a contestant on Survivor: Gabon, which had its two-hour season premiere last night. We’re pleased to report that Charlie is still in the running for the one million dollars. To read more about our handsome hero, including details of his friendship with fellow gay Clay Aiken, check out this interesting interview with Herschel in The Advocate.
Last night, we headed over to Professor Thom’s in the East Village, to attend a “Survivor” premiere party in Charlie’s honor. It was hosted by his employer, Weil Gotshal — which is doing well in the downturn, thanks in large part to its top-flight bankruptcy practice.
Correction: The party was not officially hosted by Weil, although many WGM attorneys were in attendance.
More discussion, plus a slideshow of party pics, after the jump.
Charlie Herschel has been a fan of SURVIVOR since the first season and has been training for it ever since. A lawyer for one of the top 10 most prestigious law firms in the world, Herschel is ready to try his persuasion skills on a different type of jury.
This 29-year-old, marathon-running attorney and University of Pennsylvania graduate says he is above nothing when he gets to the island. Charlie’s strategy is to be authentic but with a twist. “With high risks, come high rewards, but the risks must be calculated.” The middle son of three boys and a native New Yorker, the Ivy Leaguer is not afraid to claw his way to the top.
If Herschel can survive in the Biglaw jungle, Gabon should be a piece of cake. And there’s precedent for lawyers faring well on Survivor. E.g., Yul Kwon (winner of Survivor: Cook Islands, and a year behind us at YLS).
Now, large law firms can be a bit stodgy. Some don’t react well to their associates’ forays into reality television. See, e.g., David Otunga (from I Love New York 2, and no longer at Sidley); Jeremy Anderson (from The Bachelorette, and no longer at Hunton & Williams). But see Denise Gitsham (welcomed back by K&L Gates, after appearing on The Bachelor); Stacy Rotner (still at Sidley, after appearing on The Apprentice; guess it’s more respectable than I Love New York 2).
What was Weil’s response to Charlie Herschel going on Survivor? Find out — and ogle photos of a shirtless Herschel — after the jump.
“Survivor” champ and YLS grad Yul Kwon made a triumphant return to his law school alma mater last week. In a speech entitled “How I Survived Survivor and Other Professional Challenges,” Kwon, who was introduced by YLS Dean Harold Koh, spoke about breaking down negative stereotypes about Asian Americans.
At this point in his speech, Kwon suddenly went off-script and tried to bestow his wisdom on the crowd of predominantly law students.
“Make the best of it,’ he said. “Think outside the box.”
Profound. We can only hope that when he worked for McKinsey, his paying clients got a little more than that kind of “wisdom.”
Speaking of stereotypes, someone did research on how much money men of various races need to make if they’re trying to attract a woman of a different race:
For equal success with a white woman [relative to a white man], an African-American needs to earn an additional $154,000; a Hispanic man needs $77,000; an Asian needs $247,000.
For equal success with an Asian woman [relative to an Asian man], an African-American needs no additional income; a white man needs $24,000 less than average; a Hispanic man needs $28,000 more than average.
This has nothing to do with Sectiongate. It’s actually about something of greater significance, if that can be believed.
Alex Angarita — a Harvard Law School graduate, former associate at O’Melveny & Myers, and star of the “Survivor: Fiji” reality TV show — has been arrested. From TMZ.com:
“Survivor: Fiji” star Alex Angarita faced off with a judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court today after cops claim he attacked a peace officer who responded to a 911 call on February 9.
According to the felony complaint, Angarita, a Harvard Law grad, “used threats and violence to deter and prevent” two officers from performing their duties. The 28-year-old reality star was charged with two felony counts of resisting arrest, one felony count of battery with injury on a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana. It is unclear why the police were called, but the National Enquirer reports that Angarita was involved in a “brawl” with his girlfriend.
Angarita spent three hours behind bars at a Los Angeles County Jail, before he was released on $20,000 bail.
The week before a major holiday is usually pretty slow. And the Friday before the holiday weekend is usually dead — the perfect time for Mike Nifong to announce he’s dropping the rape charges against the Duke lacrosse team defendants.
Other highlights from the past week in legal news and ATL:
* Get to know this year’s Alito clerks!
* And help us get to know the current Breyer clerks.
* Dean Harold Koh’s Christmas gift to Yale Law School conservatives: newfound warmth and friendliness.
* Speaking of Yale Law School, YLS grad Yul Kwon just won Survivor. Congrats, Yul!
* Stuff you knew already: Supreme Court clerks are cooler than you. Lawyers have mediocre sex lives. Pro se litigants are insane.
* Last week dragged in a few more law firm bonus announcements, but nothing exciting. To skim the coverage, click here, then scroll down through the headlines.
* On the subject of bonuses, Biglaw associates: Please take our 2006 bonus poll (first announced here):
Actually, no, we didn’t ask him that. But the question we did pose was just about as goofy. It felt sort of like Punk’d: Supreme Court Edition.
First, some background. As previouslydiscussed, this past weekend we attended Jeffrey Toobin’s interview of Justice Stephen G. Breyer, part of the New Yorker Festival. It was an interesting talk, even if it may not have met our (perhaps unrealistic) expectations.
We may write even more about the interview later (because it did go on for about an hour and a half). For now, though, we’ll share with you what happened when we got up during the Q-and-A session and posed a question to Justice Stephen Breyer.
Check it out, after the jump.
Attention reality TV junkies: the new season of Survivor debuts tonight.
This edition is formally called “Survivor: Cook Islands.” But as some have noted, you may know it better by its nickname: “Survivor: Race Wars.”
Tonight, CBS kicks off the social experiment/ratings gimmick that is executive producer Mark Burnett’s latest and brashest attempt to give his reality show an attention boost.
This time, blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians will initially be separated into four tribes. That’s 20 contestants divided along racial and ethnic lines, an idea that’s stirred up a hot stew of outrage and curiosity.
We’ve never been that into “Survivor” (despite a general weakness for reality television). But maybe we’ll tune in tonight. Why? Because two of the contestants are lawyers — including a guy we went to law school with!
The two attorney contestants are both Asian-American — and ridiculously good-looking. This is interesting, since (1) law isn’t a profession widely associated with Asians, and (2) not many lawyers are ridiculously good-looking (ERISA hotties excepted).
Their names are Becky Lee and Yul Kwon. You can read more about them — and check out their photos — after the jump.
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In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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