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While he was advancing through the rounds to become a contestant on CBS’ “Survivor: The Australian Outback,” Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe summer associate Nick Brown was telling everyone he hadn’t made the cut. “Well, you’ll have to forgive me for lying to you,” he pleaded in a Jan. 3 letter to his friends at the firm, in which he confessed that while he summered at Heller he had indeed been told by CBS that he was selected to compete on the show. The Harvard Law School second-year student will appear during the second season of the show, which premieres on Jan. 28. Brown spent the fall competing in Australia as the show pitted 16 contestants against one another in a battle for social and physical survival. The winner takes home $1 million. “As you can imagine, playing the game was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget,” he wrote in the e-mail, supplied by a firm associate who asked not to be named. “I would like to tell each of you about it, but of course the CBS bigwigs forbid it.” Brown, a 23-year-old U.S. Army officer from Steilacoom, Wash., spent the summer in the litigation department of Heller’s San Francisco office. “This is but one additional talent that we weren’t aware we had,” said Alfred Moore, the Heller partner who recruited him from Harvard. The expectation at Heller is that Brown will return as a summer associate this June. But Brown’s e-mail made that possibility seem rather remote. “I’ll be back this summer for a couple of weeks, and I look forward to seeing everyone again,” he wrote, signing it, “The luckiest Summer Associate you’ll ever know.” Jonathan Dowell, an associate who knew Brown, said he wasn’t the least bit surprised that Brown was chosen for the show: “His status as a Harvard Law student putting himself through school modeling on the side is a unique combination that would appeal to people,” Dowell said. “And he’s got that sort of — ‘obnoxious’ isn’t quite the word — quality, where he’s willing to say the things that would be entertaining to an audience.”

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