Don’t play Law Hero

Guitar Hero World Tour was an entertainment force in my house over the holidays. At my Christmas party, on Christmas, whenever friends or family were around the fake plastic GH drums, guitar and mic were in action.

For the cave dwellers amongst my readership, Guitar Hero World Tour (GH) is a music game in which the player spends time destroying colored circles in rhythm with the music. It’s a karaoke/rock band experience that most people are instantly hooked on.

I have a unique perspective in that I can actually play guitar (or at least I could, it’s been a while). In law school I was the guitarist for Lubbock’s greatest law school rock band- 5 Hours From Dallas. Playing GH can be hard for real guitar players. It takes a while to understand the timing.

Success in GH isn’t dependent on real guitar or drum skill as much as giving GH what it wants. That is, destroying the circles that come at you, making the digital crowd cheer, and earning points.

GH success doesn’t mean you can really play guitar, drum, or sing. It can feel that way. The crowds cheer for you, real rock music is coming out of your TV speakers. Don’t fool yourself. On GH I can play “BYOB” and “Hot for Teacher” on drums (medium). My real life drumming skills are more Meg White than Neil Peart.

Vocally I can sing like a champ in GH. In real life my law school band had five members, with four mics on stage. Audiences were purposefully spared from my unique vocal performance.

Finally, the criminal law tie in. I see some amazing parallels with pro se defendants. Pro se defendants can show up and act like a real attorney. You can really plead guilty, sign plea papers, go in front of the judge, talk with the prosecutor etc; just like a real attorney! The judge, prosecutor, and probation officers will cheer you on during your performance. It’s Law Hero Pro Se edition!

The problem; proceeding pro se isn’t real criminal defense anymore than I am really on tour with Van Halen. Just like GH, you are giving the system what it wants (money, speedy disposition); not defending anything.

The lesson- buy GH, and never play Law Hero. Criminal defense is not a game and you will lose.

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3 responses to “Don’t play Law Hero”

  1. Mark Bennett says:

    Good post. In a very slightly different discussion, “Trial Hero” may be the best metaphor I’ve seen for law school trial ad (as compared to real lawyering).

  2. JVJ says:

    5 Hours from Dallas? How fast did you drive? It’s always taken me 6. 5:30 if I’m lucky.

    Maybe 5 hours from Weatherford? or Fort Worth?

  3. Robert says:

    5HFD sounded better, and we had 5 members in the band.

    “5 and half hours from Dallas” is more accurate, but this was rock n roll man.

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