Members of Nonbillable Hours are, from left: Samara Pals-Cramer, Karissa Blyth, Andy Yates, Swathi Padmanabhan and Ty Barringer.
Members of Nonbillable Hours are, from left: Samara Pals-Cramer, Karissa Blyth, Andy Yates, Swathi Padmanabhan and Ty Barringer. ()

How was your band name chosen?

In exactly the way you’d expect a bunch of attorneys to do it—we emailed proposals back and forth to one another, shot every single suggestion down, and finally ran out of time and had to just pick one so we could submit an on-time entry for “Alston & Bird Idol,” a firm talent show and our first appearance.

How did you all find each other?

Andy, having been a professional musician in a past life, was approached to play at A&B Idol. He agreed to do it so long as he could recruit a few other musically inclined first-years.

How do you know the nonlawyer members?

We don’t have any—we’re all business, all the time.

How long have you been together as a band?

Since September 2013.

Where does your band play?

We play wherever we’re needed. No, this remains to be seen—we’ve only played A&B Idol thus far. We took a swing at playing in a battle of the bands to benefit the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra that was supposed to take place in January, but unfortunately the event never quite materialized.

Have you ever been in other bands?

Personally the answer is no, outside of a church band and one of the marching variety, so I have to say it’s about time. We do have a couple of talented symphonists, a classically trained opera singer, and a guy who did this for a living, so at least some of us know what’s up.

What are your musical influences?

Classic rock, modern alternative, little bit of British pop/rock. Most notably: Led Zeppelin, Foreigner, CCR, Franz Ferdinand, Collective Soul, R.E.M., Interpol, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Travis.

I’m as surprised as you are about this “folk-pop” thing I find myself a part of, as are the classically trained Orch Dorks (the rest of the non-Andy members), but you have to go where the talent leads and so we follow Andy like a gaggle of baby geese.

Do you have a story about meeting your musical idol?

No, although I did get shoved into Derek Jeter once and that was pretty cool.

What was your favorite concert of all time?

That I’ve seen? Probably the Black Keys at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville. Great band, great show, great venue.

What was your musical education or training?

My grandfather paid for a few years of guitar lessons starting in the fifth or sixth grade. The lessons were absolutely terrible, and I really can’t stress that enough, but here I am anyway.

Other than that, I was in marching band for about three years. That’s where I learned what little music theory I know.

What’s the biggest venue your band has ever played?

By default, the Alston & Bird dining room, but any venue seems big (too big) when you’re on stage in front of your bosses.

What are your band’s special plans for LawJam 2014?

Mellowing out ATL. Today, the Variety Playhouse. Tomorrow … all of ITP.

In your opinion, what is the best album ever?

Led Zeppelin II, full stop, unless you want to make an argument for IV.

One thing that would surprise your fans?

We’ve had one show up to this point, so I’ll put myself in our fans’ shoes and say “I am surprised that I am a fan of this band, seeing as I have never heard of them before.”

When and where can we see your band play next?

Your guess is as good as ours—the 2014 edition of A&B Idol, perhaps?

Nonbillable Hours
Andy Yates, acoustic guitar/vocals, associate atAlston & Bird; Karissa Fleming Blyth, violin, associate at Alston & Bird; Samara Pals-Cramer, keys and vocals, associate at Alston & Bird; Swathi Padmanabhan, violin, associate at Alston & Bird; Ty Barringer, electric guitar, associate at Alston & Bird.Genre: Folk-pop

Nonbillable Hours is the fifth of seven lawyer bands to be profiled in the Daily Report. The bands will compete in the Atlanta Bar Foundation’s LawJam 2014—the fifth annual battle of the Atlanta lawyers bands—at 7 p.m. June 7 at Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E. Proceeds will support pro bono legal services and Atlanta Bar youth programs. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at