After the year we’ve just had, the future is finally starting to look brighter. The vaccine rollout is looking successful; we’re slowly coming out of lockdown, and in-person events are back on the horizon. So, what better time to sit down with LawRocks, a fantastic non-profit organisation that lets lawyers star in their own rock bands while giving back to those in need. At Legal Geek, we’ve loved having LawRocks attend our events. There’s just something special about seeing legal professionals let loose, have fun and raise money for charities all around the world. So, we were thrilled to speak with Omi Crawford, Senior Director at LawRocks, to hear about what they’ve been doing over lockdown and their plans for when the world finally opens up. Take it away, Omi!
So, for those who don’t already know, what is LawRocks all about?
Omi: So, LawRocks is a non-profit organisation that combines the power of music with the generosity of the legal community. The company was born in London, all the way back in 2009—ever since then, we’ve grown exponentially.
Our mission to do good by having lawyers rock out has reached 23 cities globally. We’ve benefitted hundreds of local non-profits, as well as promoting music education for underprivileged youths. We achieve all of this through putting on “battle of the band” type rock concerts with lawyers taking centre stage.
It’s a great combination of factors; we give legal professionals the chance to be rock stars for the night, but they’re also giving back those in need. That is the most important aspect of what we do.
Sounds great! And what kinds of charities do you work with?
Omi: There’s really a wide range. Here in the US, we often partner with music education non-profits like Little Kids Rock and Blue Bear School of Music. But since the bands get to pick a local charity when they play, we see a whole diverse range—from youth charities, animal organisations and nonprofits that support the homeless and food banks.
It’s great because sometimes, it’s a very small, hyper-local non-profit, and the band raises a tonne of money for them. It makes a huge difference for that organisation, and that’s one of the best things to witness.
Definitely, and we can imagine that LawRocks is great for challenging stereotypes about the legal industry?
Omi: For sure. You could be standing in a crowd, watching a band take to the stage, and you’d think: ‘that person has to be a ringer’. But if you were to look up their firm’s website, you’ll see them all suited and booted—and you can’t get over how they’ve got this Rockstar persona and great charisma on stage.
It also challenges stereotypes that hard-nosed lawyers are less generous, and that is for sure not the case. We’ve seen so much generosity with the firms and individuals from the legal community, so it’s great that our work shatters a few myths about the industry.
How have you managed to keep this momentum going throughout the pandemic?
Omi: Oh, it’s definitely been a challenge. For obvious reasons, we haven’t hosted a live, in-person concert for over a year. But the key thing we needed to do was keep the LawRocks spirit alive and continue to benefit those in need.
So, the first thing that we did was put on a ‘Best Performance Ever’ series on Instagram. We posted videos from previous LawRocks concerts and had bands nominate their favourite ones—we took “battle of the bands” to “battle of the likes” instead, and it was a hit! The four top winners received a donation to a charity of their choice, so it was fantastic that we could keep our mission going.
We also hosted our first-ever virtual concert, LawRocks-Apalooza, back in December, where we had 14 bands from all over the world perform. To make the event more entertaining, we also organised celebrities to introduce the bands, such as Iggy Pop and Tommy Lee.
Alice Cooper even performed with one of the bands, and the event was such a success. We generated lots of views, raised comparable funds to what we do for live events, and received great feedback. The production value and creativity were off the charts, and people seemed really impressed with it!
Wow, it sounds like you guys adapted so well—will virtual events be sticking around?
Omi: That’s a great question. Since LawRocks-Apalooza was so successful, I think that virtual events are something we’ll return to—especially in the summer where many are on vacation.
We were pleasantly surprised by how it went and people’s reaction to it, so watch this space!
And finally, tell us about your upcoming tour!
Omi: Yes, so LawRocks is returning with a world tour in mid-September, and we’re so excited. We’re coming to eight cities, and we’ll announce additional tour dates in the coming months.
Our locations include our original home in London, where we have two shows at the 100 Club. We’re also coming to Dubai, and our 10th-anniversary show will be in LA, so we’re planning something extra special for that!
Of course, the pandemic is still ongoing. We have every finger, toe and body part crossed that the tour will go ahead—but we’ve got a couple of months to let the vaccine rollout work its magic and prepare for how we can let lawyers rock out safely.
We’ll be operating at a slightly limited capacity, and we can anticipate that attendees will be wearing masks, but don’t fret—the rock’n’roll spirit will be there! We’re super excited for everyone to return to the stage; we’re cautiously optimistic, so again, watch this space.
All photos from the LawRocks after-party at the Legal Geek Conference.