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Forget about hourly billing requirements, tedious document review, and sucking up to pompous partners. Now first-year lawyers with the right stuff can skip all the unpleasantness of a nascent legal career and proceed directly to the courtroom floor. If that doesn’t sound like the practice of a reputable law firm, that’s because it’s not. The organization that’s interviewing and hiring the newly minted lawyers is the same group responsible for “Joe Millionaire” and “My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance.” Reality television has found a new premise, and the legal profession is slated for the starring role. Beginning this weekend, San Francisco attorneys admitted to the bar after April 2003 will have a chance to audition for a spot on the forthcoming small-screen extravaganza with a working title of “The Legal Show.” “We feel that reality TV has been just waiting to merge with the legal world,” says Tyler Ramsey, the casting supervisor for Rocket Science Laboratories, which is producing the show. “It’s probably the perfect match.” The program, expected to air on Fox in the late fall, will pit two teams of first-year attorneys against each other in a series of mock criminal and civil jury trials. “We’re looking for people who are very confident that they have what it takes to succeed as a lawyer and are also somewhat impatient,” says Ramsey. Great television drama will arise, he promises, not just from the rookie lawyers squaring off in court, but within each legal team as members plot their trial strategy. Ultimately, one natural-born litigator will emerge from the pack and win what’s being billed as a “major career opportunity.” Equally hush-hush is the celebrity who will wield the gavel, in what appears to be an attempt to replicate the cachet that oddly coiffed tycoon Donald Trump gave “The Apprentice.” Ramsey would say only that the judge would be a figure that both the legal community and the television audience would be excited about. Whether the show succeeds in signing on law firms as sponsors — as it reportedly plans to do — remains to be seen. Also unclear is how eager fresh-faced lawyers will be to entrust their new careers to a genre that thrives by exposing the pettiness, ineptness and gullibility of its participants. The show’s creators are conducting an open casting call from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday and 5-9 p.m. Monday at law offices located at 1934 Divisadero St. They’re also hosting a mixer for interested candidates this evening at Marina District nightclub Gravity. Judging by the reaction of some local lawyers, however, the talent hunt in San Francisco could prove challenging. “I’d be very surprised if anybody I know tries out for this,” says one recently admitted attorney at a downtown corporate firm. “For people who already feel settled and have a job, I think it could probably only do more damage than it could help to your career.” Of course, given the tight job market for lawyers, “The Legal Show” may find lots of unemployed law school graduates eager to jumpstart their careers with 10 minutes of fame. Rocket Science has already held auditions throughout the country, in places like New York, Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C. According to Ramsey, more than 1,000 applicants showed up for the auditions in some cities. “I think this is a great opportunity to enlighten the public why the hell these people go to school for so long,” says Ramsey.

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