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Whisky a Go Go, known for hosting such rock stars as Neil Diamond and Guns N’ Roses over the years, recently traded in its normal lineup for lawyers who moonlight as musicians as part of the annual Law Rocks fundraiser and competition.
The eighth annual event, which was held Thursday and Friday, raised more than $175,000 for Los Angeles-area charities, including rockers Dave Navarro and Billy Morrison’s nonprofit, Above Ground.
Friday’s festivities began with a VIP cocktail reception held at Pearl’s Rooftop, where rock-star lawyers mingled with colleagues. As soon as the sun set, it was showtime. As bandmates exchanged cocktails for guitars, friends and colleagues piled into the Whisky, where they waited for the concert to begin.
Law Rocks Los Angeles is part of a series of concerts hosted throughout the country. Lawyers that have bands signed up to raise money for local charities. Each band committed to raising $5,000, according to the event’s co-founder, Ted Scott.
Ted Stryker of KROQ hosted the event as band after band rocked out onstage in front of a packed audience.
Carrie Cornwall stood among the audience. She came to support The Four Horsemen, explaining that “the bass player was in a band with my husband, so they’re doing this to benefit the City of Hope.” The comprehensive cancer center treated Cornwall’s husband as he was dealing with brain cancer. “They diagnosed it, they removed the tumor, he went to chemo and radiation there,” Cornwall said. “They helped him so much.”
Law Rocks started in 2009 when founder Nick Child organized the first concert in London. When Scott saw that Law Rocks London was successful, he brought it to the U.S., giving lawyers a chance to exercise a different part of their brains.
“I sit and do contracts all day,” said Jonathan Sandler, a lawyer who works in-house for New Line Cinema. He is currently “papering agreements” for renting lights, costumes and securing locations for the upcoming Conjuring universe film Annabelle Comes Home.
Sandler spent part of the day at work before leaving to perform lead vocals for The Four Horsemen, which also features lawyers from Latham & Watkins. Latham was one of the 23 firms in Los Angeles competing with a band. This year’s L.A. winners were Lodestar, with legal talent from Glancy Prongay & Murray and Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, playing for Kids in Need of Defense; Privileged Communications, with legal talent from Perkins Coie, playing for City of Hope; and Attractive Nuisance, with legal talent from Buchalter and Allen Matkins. playing for California Strong.
Since its inception, Law Rocks has raised more than $3 million for charities around the world.
“Law Rocks proves that music can change the world in a tangible way,” Scott said. “Music makes you feel a certain way. It touches people like nothing else. And when you can connect that with a great cause, you can do a lot of good things with it.”
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