What do ERISA and jam bands have in common? Not much…normally. But ERISA lawyer, Andrew L. Oringer, welded the two concentrations when he formed the band, Throw us a Rope, a nod to Ropes & Gray, LLP, the firm that spawned the budding talent and at which Oringer is a partner in their Tax & Benefits Department.

The band, which formed in July, consists of Oringer, his two sons and three summer associates at the firm. Oringer says he formed the band, well, to rock.

“I recognized that the fun and energy that comes from this kind of an effort, if it can be pulled off, is a positive for the Summer Associates specifically and the firm generally,” he says. “There's no reason to get older as you age, and there are enough challenges to staying young, so I figured I'd try to help make it a little easier. The result, I believe, is to humanize and relax the firm, and open up a more peer-like relationship between some of the chronologically older and the chronologically younger. That's why we kept the song selection alive and fresh, rather than dredging up a dinosaur lineup of tunes. And, anyway, rock is intrinsically good, and you don't need ulterior motives to jam.”

The firm’s resident “goofball,” Oringer says the band was excellent for the firm as it generated excitement and general geniality among the summers, but the other associates as well. Further, secretaries and partners alike comingled in the converted conference room in a New York office building during the culminating concert at the end of July.

“[The concert] showed that this place doesn’t have to be as button down as a law firm might generally have to be. It does go a long way in humanizing the place and more concretely it wound up becoming a very central summer event.”

Oringer brings this infused energy to everything he does: from the jam band to practicing benefits litigation.

“I think that my affection for rock and roll gives me an energy that I try to bring to my practice. All part of a general enthusiasm and energy that I try to bring to everything I do including the practice of law.”

When I asked Oringer which song best captures the health reform debacle, he answered confidently “Down with the Sickness” by Disturbed.

“The song's and the band's general tenor really captures the present tone of the public discourse on the topic,” he says. And how could “your favorite little song about matricide” not encapsulate such a heated and momentous debate? 

Click here to listen to Oringer’s stellar drumming as he and the band perform “Creep” by Radiohead and “Like a Stone” by Audioslave on YouTube.

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