Lawyers and Reality TV Were Made For Each Other
Do lawyers make particularly good reality-show contestants? (Corollary question: can you make a good reality show about lawyers? Answer: do you remember David E. Kelley's The Law Firm
? Didn't think so.)
Perhaps the stereotypical lawyer skill set -- analysis, negotiation, perfectionism, competitiveness -- is the right recipe for game-show success. On the other hand, like other desk drones, lawyers aren't always models of physical strength and fitness. With that to think about, consider three recent examples:
Attorney siblings Victor and Tammy Jih recently won this season's (fourteenth!) installment of The Amazing Race
on CBS. Victor Jih is a partner at O'Melveny & Myers, while Tammy Jih
is a Quinn Emmanuel associate. The duo outlasted ten other teams to take the big prize. (Schadenfreude
bonus for associates in BigLaw hell: check out this video clip of Victor, the BigLaw partner, fighting off tears
after nearly costing the team the race in the third episode.)
Over in the cable realm, Chicago immigration attorney Carolyn Yamazaki (firm bio; show bio
) can currently be found on Discovery's Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment
She will be helping us figure out whether associate life is tougher
than being dropped into the Alaskan wilderness with eight
near-strangers and no food and told to hike your way out.
The competitive angle has been downplayed here, with no one "winner"
being declared, and no forced winnowing of contestants. Instead,
participants in the month-long "experiment" were given GPS beacons to
signal for a rescue if they couldn't go on. And with four of eight
episodes now having aired, Yamazaki is among the five who have not yet
Finally, we must mention this would-have-been home run of reality
programming: everyone, it seemed, wanted to see
prosecutor-turned-corrupt-governor Rod Blagojevich negotiate the Costa
Rican jungle in the next season of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!
Sadly, we were denied this pleasure by a district court's refusal to modify Blagojevich's bail agreement
Something about a flight risk. It's a shame, of course. It could have
been a real win-win: Blagojevich stood to make a little money to fund
his legal defense, and the world could have watched a truly motivated
attorney at work.