Lawyers typically throw their punches in the courtroom, at least figuratively. But 5-foot, 3-inch Loeb & Loeb lawyer Farrah “H-Town Hustler” Usmani stepped into the boxing ring as a fighter in a main event match in Nashville on March 1.
“Coming into work on Monday, I felt pretty good and had no injuries,” Usmani joked.
Usmani, who joined Loeb & Loeb in August as an associate, fought in “Ringside: A Fight For Kids,” a charity boxing event hosted by The Charley Foundation, a Nashville-based nonprofit supporting children’s needs.
While Usami’s fight ended in a split decision, and her opponent ultimately took the belt, it raised more than $50,000—the most in the history of the event—and was the first time a women’s fight was the event’s headliner.
“I’ve always kind of liked taking on challenges that push me outside my comfort zone, and this definitely was one of those” she said.
The jump to boxing was pretty natural for Usmani, who works with music industry clients at Loeb & Loeb. She competed in Taekwando and other martial arts from about 5 years old. But once she entered law school, she mostly left that behind—that is, until she first attended the Nashville charity match several years ago.
“I got in touch with the promoter of the event and expressed to her that if she ever found someone about my size and needed women in the music industry to compete, that I would be more than happy to do it,” Usmani said.
It took about two years before the promoter emailed Usmani over the summer to ask if she wanted to start training. As timing would have it, Usmani got the invitation to participate the same week that she accepted the offer to join Loeb & Loeb as an associate in its entertainment, music and sports practice.
Before Loeb & Loeb, Usmani was an associate attorney at Nashville-based entertainment boutique law firm Marcus & Colvin. “I was admittedly a little hesitant to take on such a big challenge while also switching jobs and switching from being at a boutique to a Big Law firm, where I knew the time commitment was going to be a little bit more rigorous,” she said.
“But that being said, the partners in my practice group were like, ‘No, you have to do it.’ So once they gave me their full support, I committed to doing it,” Usmani said.
She started training three days a week beginning in mid-November. But after the New Year, her training schedule went to an intense six days a week.
For a music lawyer—where a big part of business development is going out in the evenings after a day in the office to see concerts and meet with clients—this presented a unique challenge, especially when her workouts started at 5 a.m.
“I had to put a lot of that aspect of the job on the back burner,” she said. “But my clients [and] my colleagues were all understanding and supportive of that.”
She said her colleagues from Loeb & Loeb’s Nashville office—attorneys and staff—all turned out to cheer her on as she battled in the main event last week.
And despite the long hours, Usmani hopes to fight again sometime before the end of the year. She said the process taught her a valuable lesson about balancing life in law and fitness.
“Even though this was a massive undertaking, and it was adding a lot of hours to my week, ultimately it showed me how better I am at work and how much more mental clarity I have to provide during the work day when I’m moving my body, when I’m making healthy choices,” Usmani said.
“As a lawyer, it’s just so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of our job that we forget how crucial it is to make time for fitness and self-care,” she said.