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
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