With a new venue and a return to a fully in-person format, an annual fundraiser to benefit the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation is putting the bands – and the fans – back together tonight.
Lawyerpalooza returns for its seventh installment this evening from 6 to 10 p.m. at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’s Richmond location.
The concert features bands with at least one attorney in their lineup and benefits GRBF, a nonprofit that provides attorney training and services and sponsors the Pro Bono Clearinghouse, a sort of matchmaker service connecting volunteer attorneys with pro bono clients.
Where last year’s event was a hybrid format and the year before that was completely virtual, this year’s concert will be fully live and in-person with no restrictions on crowd size. Organizers said they’re expecting at least 200 attendees, twice the number of limited tickets for last year’s event.
Despite the ticket limit, last year’s show raised nearly $18,800 for GRBF, more than double what was raised with 2020’s virtual show. As of Friday, this year’s event had already surpassed that with $24,000 in sponsorships sold, said Shane Harper, GRBF’s administration and programs director.
In an email, Harper said, “We were severely restricted in 2021 due to COVID precautions, requiring vaccination proof, etc. This year, we do not have restrictions.”
Leading the event again this year are co-chairs Tommy Bishop, a guitar-playing attorney based in Lakeside, and Steve Mutnick, a former assistant commonwealth’s attorney now in private practice at Winslow, McCurry & MacCormac.
Mutnick is also a member of Max Power, one of the three bands performing and one of two returning from last year. The pop-focused group also includes Brad Goodwin of personal injury firm ReidGoodwin.
Also back this year is Fevered Train, a rock-based group with criminal defense attorney Ali Amirshahi on guitar. Rounding out the lineup is newcomer McVizzy, featuring James Bruno, an intellectual property attorney with James River Law.
Mutnick, who got involved in Lawyerpalooza first as a band member and then as a co-chair, said the event gives him and other performers a chance to bring their passions for the law and music together.
“It’s always fun to have your colleagues see you in a different light, and this event gives us an opportunity to showcase our non-lawyer talents to our law community, and help support the mission of the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation as well,” Mutnick said.
Added Bishop, who has co-chaired the event since it was revived three years ago:
“It not only gives me the opportunity to give of myself to GRBF and to raise much-needed funds for the organization’s success, but it also lets me showcase the lighter side of lawyering: we are all just people with interests and hobbies like anyone else. I think it’s really good for our community to see that.”
Capital One, McGuireWoods and Troutman Pepper are lead sponsors for the event, with additional support from Moran Reeves Conn, Hirschler, CowanGates, Threshold Counsel and others.
The bands will start at 6 p.m. and play until 9 in Hardywood’s Barrel Room. Tickets are $35 ($20 for students with ID) and include venue access and two drink vouchers. Tickets can be purchased online here and at the door. More information is available on GRBF’s Lawyerpalooza webpage.