Reality TV

Here at Above the Law, we frequently write about lawyers and law students who have put their legal careers on hold to compete on reality television shows. In the past year or so, we’ve profiled two former Bachelor contestants whose hearts were broken (one from Illinois Law, and one from Houston Law Center); a Harvard Law student who tried to win over his tribe on Survivor; a Northwestern Law student who attempted to weasel his way out of getting fired on The Apprentice; and a former Biglaw attorney whose health-food dishes made the judges want to choke on America’s Next Great Restaurant.

That being said, imagine our surprise when we found out that yet another attorney had decided to make a foray into the wonderful world of reality TV. If you recall, back in May, we brought your attention to a job advertisement for an attorney chef. We thought that was a unique career alternative, but apparently someone had already beaten us to the punch. The latest lawyer turned reality competitor actually is an attorney chef — one who will appear on the new season of MasterChef, which is set to premiere tonight on Fox.

So who is this attorney chef? Was he able to roast the competition like he would have during oral arguments?

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Ladies, Ryan Gosling feels your pain.

* Apparently, it is illegal to father a second illegitimate child in Mississippi. I guess the first one is a freebie or a Mulligan, or whatever. If for some reason I ever have a personal need to know this tidbit, please shoot me in the face immediately. [Legal Juice]

* A class-action lawsuit will be filed tomorrow against the producers of The Bachelor, alleging race discrimination. I’m more concerned about the show’s overall crimes against good taste. (Zing!) [Legal Blog Watch]

* Just like a certain Biglaw firm, Goldman Sachs is dealing with a large number of partner defections. Goldman has a pretty good PR spin though: jumping ship is actually a sign of loyalty to the company. Right, just like the crew of the Titanic. [Dealbreaker]

* Today is #EqualPayDay. If you’re like me and didn’t know what that means, all you need to know is that the fairer sex is still not paid as much as big dumb oafs like myself. If you want to do something to fix this, Ms. JD has some ideas. [Ms. JD]

* Bigotry and prejudice are never okay. UNLESS you want to hate on a new-ish (yet exceedingly popular) religion that is also conveniently in opposition to your liberal political motives. In that case, right this way, sir… [Instapundit]

* If you don’t pay your taxes, the government wants to be able to take away your passport. So, hypothetically, if I were planning to flee the U.S. for, say, Spain, to avoid paying my taxes… I should leave, well, now. Umm, IwillseeyoulaterIhavetorunOKbye. [The Atlantic]

Have you ever watched America’s Next Top Model? We have (but only because of the lawyerly competitors). In recent years, the show has featured a number of plus-size women, with one of them winning the competition in 2008. Many critics have referred to these women as “fat,” wondering if these curvy girls could really stand a chance in the modeling world. But they weren’t actually fat, or even plus-size — realistically speaking, they were quite average. They just didn’t fit the so-called modeling mold.

So what happens when your run-of-the-mill model, a woman who has been called “very skinny, almost anorexically skinny,” is deemed too fat to model by her own agency? This is apparently what happened to the winner of Holland’s Next Top Model, who decided to sue over it.

Who is this skinny-fat model, and what does she look like? More importantly, how did she fare in court? Read on for all of this and more, including some slightly-NSFW pictures (not nude, but racy)….

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The first month of the new year turned out to be a great one for lawyers, but as usual, we don’t exactly mean that in the nicest of ways. January brought us new legal controversies of all varieties, from all kinds of places.

With terroristic threats allegedly made by an associate at one Biglaw firm, and scandalous sexual allegations raised by a partner from another one, we knew that we’d have a crop of crass and sex-crazed behavior for this round of our Lawyer of the Month competition.

That being said, let’s check out our nominees for the month of January….

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Paisley Dickey (left) and Pretty Woman (right)

You don’t have to watch much reality television to understand that these days, many cable networks are trying to capitalize on the drama caused by little girls and their overbearing stage mothers. Take, for example, TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras, a show that that gives viewers an inside look at the often controversial world of children’s beauty pageants. Apparently the resultant mother and daughter tantrums were just too good to keep off the airwaves.

But in late 2011, viewers expressed outrage over the pageant industry’s tendency to sexualize children. After all, with mothers dressing their daughters like surgically-enhanced country singers, fake breasts and all, or hookers with hearts of gold, how could viewers be anything but horrified? In all honesty, some of these little girls — the ones who don’t aspire to be tax lawyers, at least — look like complete prosti-tots (see above).

This backdrop brings us to today’s Lawsuit of the Day, where the mother of one of these tiara-toting toddlers alleges that a well-known celebrity gossip site had a hand in scandalizing her daughter….

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Kim Kardashian

What reputation? She doesn’t have one.

– Legal analyst Joey Jackson, commenting on allegations made in Kim Kardashian’s lawsuit against The Gap. The reality television star claims that an Old Navy commercial featuring a look-alike actress damaged her reputation to the tune of $15-20 million.

(A clip of the commercial in question, after the jump.)

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This Bachelor wasn't impressed with the credentials of one Illini 2L.

Still reeling from the producers’ decision to include one Latino contestant four seasons ago, The Bachelor franchise is back in Narnia this season with another all-white cast vying for the heart of Ben Flajnik, Sonoma’s most eligible winemaker and Geico Caveman lookalike. During the opening montage on the first episode, we see Ben drive a tractor, examine dirt, and wear a dusty leather vest — all key indicators that Ben is serious about his business.

Will such a serious career man be able to find love among this season’s pack of Dental Consultants, Trading Clerks, VIP Cocktail Waitresses, and other C-level executives? Luckily, he doesn’t have to. Also available for fake engagement this season is a sexy, seasoned Biglaw attorney.

Just kidding! Erika Uhlig, 23, is a completely average-looking 2L at the University of Illinois College of Law. Before that, she was a poli sci major at the University of Pittsburgh, and before that, she was Miss Chesterfield, Virginia 2006. Here she is singing the national anthem off-pitch in a dress from Dynasty.

To precisely no one’s shock, one of Erika’s law school classmates contacted ATL and opined that “she’s a b**ch”….

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If you’re a bride-to-be — and let’s face it, even if you’re not — you’ve probably seen at least a few episodes of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress. The show features the goings-on at Kleinfeld, one of the premier bridal salons in New York City, where staff members assist brides in their quest to find the perfect wedding dress.

Imagine our surprise when we tuned in to watch the show, and caught a glimpse of a beautiful lawyer searching for a wedding gown. But this was not just any lawyer — this lawyer used to have an action-packed career as a stunt woman. These days, though, she gets all of her action inside of a courtroom.

So who is this stunt woman turned lawyer? Why did she decide to make such a drastic career change? And how did she snag her husband, the general counsel to a Fortune 500 company?

All of this and more, including some glamorous wedding photos, after the jump….

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Kim Kardashian

* With AT&T’s T-Mobile deal falling apart, in-house lawyer Wayne Watts could be heard singing, “it’s my merger and I’ll cry if I want to,” before more whining to the FCC. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Build us a border fence, and then get the f**k over it. Arizona lawmakers are soliciting the public for donations to keep out the people who would work at low cost to build it. [New York Daily News]

* Ever wonder what’s preventing greater diversity in the law? Apparently the problem is pre-law counselors with advising skills that are crappier than minority LSAT scores. [National Law Journal]

* ‘Til death (and billable hours) do us part: British firms are paying for employees’ divorces. Biglawyers await the day this gets picked up America. [Press Association]

* The star of this year’s Black and Blue Friday was the not-so-wise Latina who decided it was a good idea to pepper-spray her Xbox competition. Best deal ever? No charges brought. [CNN]

* It looks like Kim Kardashian got her Christmas wish early this year. Her soon-to-be ex-husband will not be suing her for $10M over his portrayal on her new reality show. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

Inviting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at your university is one thing. I don’t agree with what the man has to say, and he’s a dangerous crazy person — but he is the leader of a sovereign nation that plays a vital role in an important region. If you want to invite him to your campus, fine.

I bring that up to highlight the fact that giving a platform to an anti-semitic global strongman is less damaging to your reputation than allowing a cast member from Jersey Shore to address your students.

Vinny Guadagnino, the “smart one” from the Jersey Shore who occasionally talks about going to law school, was actually a guest speaker in front of college students at a Columbia University class….

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