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Paul Buono: Musician and 2L [By Mahsa Khalilifar] When Paul Buono decided to enter law school, it was not based on some passionate urge but, rather, a realistic approach to his future.

“I know this is not an idealistic answer, but

and received an M.A. in Jazz Performance/

political science courses. My elective courses

it was just more of a practical option,” he

Composition in 2004. After taking some time

usually included law-related courses,” he

explained. “I decided to go to law school

off to work as a full-time musician, Buono

said. “[I was looking into] finding a job and

because I loved being a musician, but there

received a “generous scholarship” to attend

[making myself] marketable.”

were other things I wanted in life, like a

Western New England College in Springfield,

paycheck, a car, or an apartment, without

Massachusetts, and at 27 years old, he is

He saw the different opportunities law could

having to live with four roommates.”

now in his second year.

bring him, so he decided to make the best of

When Buono was younger, his parents gave

During the time that Buono was a full-time

him private music lessons, which started in

musician, he spent his days playing on cruise

Buono said he has come to prefer certain

the second grade.

ships, including those operated by Princess

aspects of law.

the situation.

Cruises. He would work as a musical “They made music a part of our studies;

director or a sideman. After realizing that his

“I like giving arguments, and I like being

it was like [our] education. We practiced

financial future was not looking as bright as

in front of a court and in front of a judge,”

every day, so it was like doing your history

he had hoped, he needed another plan.

Buono said. “I like being called to discuss

homework,” Buono recalled. It was not until junior high that Buono saw music more fondly rather than as a chore. One of his biggest supporters was his grandfather, who was a musician-a pianist, to be exact. “He drove us to our [music] lessons, so he was a primary force in our education and upbringing, especially in music,” said Buono. During his senior year of high school, Buono participated in a student exchange program though his school, studied in New York and Hawaii, and then returned to New York for a while. He graduated cum laude in 2002 from the University of Massachusetts with a jazz studies degree. His concentration was in piano. Buono then entered the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, CUNY,

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“I did always have an interest in law. As an undergrad, I took a couple of ethnic and Q. What do you do for fun? A. A lot of my fun stuff involves music. I play with wedding bands and jazz ensembles on weekends. I also go down to New York and check things out when I can. I’m a big summertime guy, so I like a lot of outdoor stuff-camping, hiking. I also like to travel.

a case law. I think, more generally, I really like the idea of debating in the courtroom setting.” Right now, Buono is hoping to apply for a law student internship with the United States Olympic Committee for the summer of 2008. He currently teaches at Clark University in his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts. He usually takes classes during the day and then works from around 5:00 p.m. until

Q. What CD is in your CD player right now? A. Avishai Cohen-Colors.

well after 8:00 p.m. Buono also provides

Q. What is the last magazine you read? A. National Geographic Adventure, the only magazine I subscribe to.

students, his specialty being the piano.

Q. What is your favorite TV show? A. Arrested Development. Q. What is something most people don’t know about you? A. I got my scuba-diving license in BoraBora.

private lessons and other musical services to

Buono has temporarily put his personal goal of playing music full-time on hold, but he hopes that law school will provide a musical path just the same. “I want to work in the music industry somehow in the future…whether it be on the A&R side, I want to get my foot in the door

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LAWCROSSING

THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH

STUDENT PROFILE

www.lawcrossing.com

1. 800.973.1177

somehow,” he admitted. “It was never my

that ‘it’s more work than you’ve ever done

Buono is hoping he will be one of the

intention to leave the music industry. If I can

in your life,’ and I didn’t really listen to them

students who stands out and makes it to

merge the two in any way, [I will be happy].

a lot, but they were right,” he said. “The

where he wants to go.

I think what I would be interested in would

workload at law school is [immense]. It is so

be an agent or a manager for a record label.

much more than I expected. But there is a

“In 10 years I hope to be involved in music

That is my goal.”

‘brotherhood’ between a law student [rather

somehow. I would love to work with a record

than] a non-law student because you get

label and maybe [incorporate] that with jazz,”

each other.”

he said.

representative, Buono is just taking it day by

He said that his experience in law school has

On the Net

day right now. His favorite memory so far has

taught him a lot so far, and he advised future

been getting through finals.

law students to check prospective schools

University of Massachusetts

out before picking one.

www.massachusetts.edu

and as soon as I finished it, I looked back

“There’s a lot more merit in visiting a law

Aaron Copland School of Music

on the entire year-you know how they do in

school class. Really consider sitting in

qcpages.qc.cuny.edu/music

the movies? I literally thought back and was

classrooms, because you can get a sense

really impressed with how much work was

of the environment. You can see how the

Western New England College

involved,” he recalled.

courses are,” he said. “It makes a difference

www.wnec.edu

Whether he will ultimately become a professional pianist, a composer, or an A&R

“The last final was constitutional law in May,

to see if you want to do this. Overall, I made Buono said that things have not been easy,

the right choice, but I had many moments of

though, and that he’s had his moments of

thinking long and hard about it. [Law school]

regret and doubt.

is so competitive even friends become afraid to assist you. So much weight is placed on

“I remember I had a few friends who were

where you graduate in comparison to where

in law school before I went and would say

you are placed.”

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Paul Buono: Musician and 2L