Good Career Move: Guy Leaves BigLaw to Be a Rock Star

By William Peacock, Esq. on June 17, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Nearly one year ago to the day, we told you to chase your dreams: instead of schlepping case files from your bedroom office to the courthouse, go live the rock 'n roll lifestyle, like the legally trained (and former pro soccer player) Julio Iglesias.

Struggling artist beats unemployed attorney, right?

Of course, Julio Iglesias wasn't the best example, even if he is the best-selling Latin music artist of all time. After all, though he had legal training, he wasn't a lawyer. Our other examples were indie artists and Judge Learned Hand, who recorded a folk song once. How about a real example, someone who punted on corporate law in order to unretire his drumsticks and join a multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning pop rock band?

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

Meet Drew Shoals

Drew Shoals was once a drummer. He gave it up to pursue his other dream: law school.

"I had done everything I wanted to do in music. I was flying to Cancun, Mexico, for gigs and played in front of 14,000 people in Chicago. I got to do that rock star thing, but law school was always in the back of my mind since college," he told his undergraduate alma mater, Whitman College. "I figured if I waited too long it would be hard to transition from my music life to graduate school."

After setting the sticks aside, he earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as editor-in-chief of the school's Journal of International Law. He then, according to his LinkedIn profile, turned his sights on corporate law, working in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, finance, and litigation.

The corporate life must not have suited him, however, as he left Shearman & Sterling LLP after one year and eight months, transitioning into a new (old) career: rock star. (H/T to Above the Law)

His Band: Train

In May, Shoals began touring and recording with Train, a Grammy Award-winning band.

How does one go from BigLaw to touring with one of the biggest pop rock bands in the country? It probably had something to do with his pre-law music career, when he performed with a number of acts, including Pat Monahan, a solo artist and the lead singer of Train.

Train who? See if this song, which has been viewed 94,060,829 times, rings a bell.

See folks? It's not impossible to chase your dreams. You just have to either be a former pro soccer player turned Latin legend or corporate lawyer returning to his roots in order to make it big.

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