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Highly Interesting Attorney: Jay Bilas

By Brian Kumnick on April 07, 2009 2:05 PM
Next time you're grinding away in a windowless conference room, daydreaming about all the fascinating ways you could be using your J.D., take a moment to click over to Bitter Lawyer's interview with ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas.  It turns out that, in addition to starring as a player at Duke, going pro in Europe, coming back to Duke as an assistant coach, and taking on extensive radio and television duties at ESPN, Bilas has also found time to act in commercials and movies, start a charitable foundation, and, oh yeah, earn a law degree and go to work as a commercial litigator.  He is currently Of Counsel at Moore & Van Allen in North Carolina, practicing law "on the side" when his broadcasting job allows it.  A few highlights:
On the value of law school: "My father talked me into it. He thought it would be a really good education and a versatile degree. He was right. I have never regretted it."

On how an associate finds time to moonlight: "Several years ago, it became too difficult to do 50 games and studio work each year while carrying a full-time law practice."

On how to deal with that difficulty: "I had to make a choice, and I chose the job that got me better seats to games."

On whether potential clients are enticed by his basketball background and ESPN fame: "My job in basketball may be interesting to some, but it is certainly not enough when a client needs quality legal representation."

And for good measure, a quick antitrust analysis of potential minimum-age restrictions in the NBA: "As long as any age restriction is part of the Collective Bargaining process, it will pass antitrust muster."

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