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NYU Law Student Unrapped

Vivia Chen

March 16, 2011

Sheen2 I'm not a hip-hop fan, but NYU third-year law student Eli Northrup could change my mind. Northrup and Josh Raff, members of the band Pants Velour, just produced a fantastically hummable, danceable video called "Charlie Sheen: Always Winning" that's become a bit of a YouTube sensation (see below for video). 

I thought it was terrific--fast and saucy--especially amazing coming from a serious law student who'll be clerking for a federal judge (Robert Patterson of the Southern District of New York) this fall.

I was so intrigued by his rapping talent that I tracked Northrup down in Greenwich Village and cornered him for a cup of coffee. Let me just say that he wasn't what I had expected. In person, he seemed quite sweet--a sort of fresh-faced Conan O'Brien without the annoying smirk.

But under that mild demeanor beats the heart of a real rapper. Despite the demands of law school, Northrup has regular gigs. Pants Velour, which has seven members (pictured above from left to right are Northrup, Niki Darling, and Raff)), has played at the Hard Rock Cafe in Philadelphia and clubs on New York's super-cool Lower East Side. "We have a manager, and we're fairly serious about our music," Northrup told me.

Until Above the Law ran a short blurb about the Sheen video recently, Northrup kept his rapping under wrap from the NYU law school community. "I was a bit concerned about the racy subject," he said about the video. "Besides, I'm not sure the professors know who Charlie Sheen is."

And what about that nice judge he's clerking for in the fall?  "He's 89, so I don't think he's seen it," said Northrup. "He still uses books--he doesn't use a computer."

Someone, please clue the good judge in so he can start learning the beat!

Anyway, I loved the video. Here it is:


Related post: Lawyer Behind YouTube Hit

Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? E-mail The Careerist's chief blogger, Vivia Chen, at VChen@alm.com.

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A well-rounded future attorney. We could use more of those.

This... is retarded. Worst and most pointless article ever. I want 2 minutes of my life back. Jesus Christ.

I hope this goes viral, it's just too good!

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The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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