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Tonight, Rob Campos will be transformed from an obscure, solo Dallas criminal defense lawyer to NBC’s newest reality television star as NBC debuts “For Love or Money,” the latest reality series based on a group of 15 women vying for the affections of a handsome bachelor — Campos. What 33-year-old Campos — a 1994 Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law graduate, former U.S. Marine Corps lawyer and former Dallas County assistant public defender — didn’t know during filming is that the woman he eventually would choose also would win $1 million. Viewers are supposed to wonder whether the women are pursuing Campos “for love or money.” Campos spoke with Texas Lawyer Senior Reporter John Council about the television experience, his law practice and what the new-found fame is doing to his life. Texas Lawyer: Tell us about your law practice. Rob Campos: I do criminal defense and immigration. And that’s basically all I’ve ever done. I office with a friend of mine, Sanjay Mather. TL: How did NBC pick you to star in its new reality series? Campos: It beats me. I was at The Dubliner [a popular bar in Dallas' Lower Greenville Avenue area] on St. Patrick’s Day. TL: Did somebody spot you? Campos: Yeah. [NBC] sent out a casting agent, and she just came up and said, “Hey, we’re casting for our show. Would you like to come out?” So I did. They filmed [me] for about an hour on tape. TL: And they liked you, obviously? Campos: I guess. Yeah. TL: Your involvement with the show has been the worst-kept secret at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas. What was it like when an NBC crew filmed you in a pretrial hearing in a murder case? Campos: It wasn’t too bad. A bunch of courthouse irregulars decided they wanted to sit on the front row. And they all said, “Rob, you better hope they don’t get me in a shot because then they’ll pick me instead of you.” TL: One of your lawyer friends described you as “goofy, but in a good way.” Do you think that came across in the show? Campos: Well I don’t know. I haven’t seen it [the show]. I think it will. I’ve only seen some editing. I think it’s unavoidable because there I am. I’ve only seen the super tease of the show. TL: You have no idea what they’re going to use? Campos: Not really. Obviously, they can use what they want. They [the show's executives] keep telling me it’s great and I’m going to look like the hero. TL: At any point during the show did your legal training come in handy while juggling the affections of several women? Campos: I think it’s good to be able to think on your feet as a trial lawyer. And here I’m at lunch with 15 women. And you’ve got to keep your composure. TL: In the show, did you learn anything about human nature that will help you in your practice? Campos: I don’t know about that. I got more in tune with my own intuition. That’s what I had to do. I didn’t know about the money until the very end. I think I made good choices, even though I was in the dark about a lot of things. TL: What are your obligations to NBC right now? Campos: I’m on the hook for $2 million. [The contract is] basically 23 pages of “We win, you lose.” TL: You’re on the hook for $2 million if you disclose the ending? Campos: Exactly. TL: So I won’t ask you who you picked. Campos: Right. I’m telling everyone I picked Susan. Of course, there isn’t a Susan. TL: Do you plan on resuming practicing law after your obligations with NBC are up? Campos: I think so. I’m kind of exploring my options right now. I kind of like what I’m doing now. I haven’t been working a lot because of my obligations. But I’m still working. I’m still practicing. TL: Did you have to file any motions for continuance explaining to a judge exactly why you were out of pocket for more than a month? Campos: No. I had my buddies cover for me. In one case I had in federal court, I had to file a motion to allow co-counsel. TL: No trial dates that were put off because of the show? Campos: No. I got lucky. I had a trial two days before I left. I completed it. I had a bunch of stuff that last week. TL: Any guess as to how the show will effect your credibility with clients, judges and juries? Campos: I don’t know if I’m going to get more clients out of this. They say that all publicity is good publicity. But I don’t know if just because I was on TV people are going to want me to represent them in their DWI cases. TL: Do you see your television exposure as the equivalent of a monster-size yellow pages ad as far as your practice is concerned? Campos: Like I said, I don’t know if it’s going to be good. I’m a little concerned about the attention. TL: Because anybody who’s been on TV becomes a target? Campos: It’s not that. It’s just being recognized. Like the bailiff who wants to take a picture with me because his 14-year-old daughter saw the promo. It’s just a little weird. I’m asked for autographs in the courthouse. It’s like, I don’t think so. TL: How brutal has the ribbing been from your friends at the Dallas County criminal courthouse? Campos: It’s not too bad. They kind of tease me. I show up at lunch and they say, “Hey yesterday’s news.” It’s kind of like anything where you find out who your real friends are because I’ve had mixed reactions. But everybody at the courthouse has been very supportive. It’s just my buddies. They’ve been excited for me. TL: Knowing what you know now, would you still do “For Love or Money?” Campos: Yeah. I’d still do it. TL: Why? Campos: … It’s an adventure and I like an adventure. It’s exciting. TL: Oh, and do you have a stand on prenuptial agreements? Campos: [Laughing] I think Texas is a community property state. So I think it’s a good idea. TL: Was that opinion born out of the show? Campos: No, it’s not. It’s a funny question. It’s probably not the question I’ll get from “Access Hollywood,” although I think California is a community property state as well.

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