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This Student Is Surviving Law School and the 'Survivor' Show

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

What is it about 'Survivor' that attracts law students?

Is it the dog-eat-dog drama that mirrors their law school experience? Is it the chance to run wild in a highly competitive environment where you can fail and still become a celebrity?

For Bradley Kleihege, the second law student to score a spot on the show, there's a more practical reason. He needs the prize money to pay off his student loans.

"Threatening Skill Set"

Kleihege, a third-year student at UCLA School of Law, passed on a summer internship last year to join the Naviti tribe on "Survivor: Ghost Island." He has watched almost every episode of the show, and he hopes to become the second law student to win the $1 million prize.

He reportedly lied to survive on the show by telling the other players that he was a geography student, not a law student. (Don't worry, ethics people. Lying is an acceptable strategy in the game.)

'I think most people think of law students or lawyers as very analytical ... they know how to read people, they know how to ask the right questions -- which is perceived in the game of 'Survivor' as being a threatening skill set," he told the Daily Bruin.

Plus, he added, "nonlawyers have the perception that all lawyers are super wealthy, and that also doesn't really help you win a million dollars."

Second Chance to Win

John Cochran was the first law student to win "Survivor." He lost the first time he got on the show, then rebounded a few years later and won the grand prize.

Kleihege is following Cochran's footsteps in more than one way; Kleihege didn't make it the first time he tried out for the show. This time, he stepped it up with 10 weeks in the Bruin Health Improvement Program.

"I've just been telling everyone that I basically trained the 'Survivor' winner," said Danny Jauregui, a UCLA trainer. "We'll see if that pans out."

For his part, Kleihege says competing on the show taught him about himself and interacting with others. It was like law school in that way, but with classmates trying to vote you out.

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