Not Your Average Battle of the Bands: Only Lawyers (But No Suits) Allowed

Attorneys in denim took over L.A.'s Whisky a Go Go for the fourth annual contest among law-firm musicians. Earplugs required.
Lauren Pressey Photography

This story first appeared in the May 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

By day, they're buttoned-up attorneys making motions and filing for continuances. But at night, once a year, onstage at the Whisky a Go Go, they let down their hair (what's left of it) and become … attorneys with guitars!

Law Rocks, a sort-of two-night Coachella for law firms with their own bands, began in Los Angeles in 2012 (imported from London, where it began in 2009). At this year's event March 6 and 13, 10 law bands — including Perkins Coie's Privileged Communication, Greines Martin's Attractive Nuisance and DLA Piper's Run DLA — took to the Whisky's stage and bleated out covers of Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Coldplay. When it was over, they didn't merely raise $134,000 for various charities (chosen by the winning bands); they helped reconnect dozens of lawyers with their long-lost dreams.

"A lot of attorneys are frustrated artists," says Gregory Doll, partner at Doll Amir Eley and drummer for Big Dicta, which shared top prize this year with Run DLA. Doll should know: He played in a real band during the 1990s, opening for Incubus. "If I had looked at myself 20 years ago, I would have said I'd never want to be in a cover band playing with a bunch of lawyers," he adds. "But now, here I am. And it's a lot of fun."

Michael Wise of Privileged Communication.