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University of Iowa News Release


March 25, 2008

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Video Feature: LawLawPalooza’s features bands jamming for a good cause March 28

LawLawPalooza XV, an annual all-night rock concert featuring performances by law students, alumni and friends, will continue a tradition of good music, good friends and a good time, starting at 9 p.m. Friday, March 28, at the Yacht Club in Iowa City.

This year's event, hosted by the Equal Justice Foundation (EJF), a student organization at the University of Iowa College of Law, will continue through the night.

"From women and men playing jazzy trumpets and trombones to college kids rocking with their electric guitars, this eclectic mixture of music and mayhem is sure to hold something exciting for everyone," William Hett, a third-year law student and co-chair of LawLawPalooza, said.

The goal is not only to have fun, Hett said, but also to raise money for law students who work in unpaid public interest law jobs or projects during the summer. All of the funds raised from this event by the EJF are matched by the Iowa Law Foundation and given to the law students through the EJF summer stipend program. The money goes towards living expenses acquired during their summer service and helps make the unpaid jobs more available and manageable to law students willing to serve the public interest, he said.

LawLawPalooza draws approximately 100 to 200 people each year, usually raising around $1,500. It draws alumni, current law students and friends of the UI College of Law who come to watch or to show their musical talents, making this an event full of people with diverse musical backgrounds. Previous years' groups have included soft and hard rock, rap and folk music.

"It's a fun event that law students have gotten into," Hett said. "There are a lot of alumni who are in bands, and it's just another fun way they can get involved in other activities."

Besides featuring solo acts comprised of law students and friends, three other bands will be hitting the stage of LawlawPalooza. The Cellar Door is an Iowa City-based alternative, rock and jam band. The five members play rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass guitar, drums and keyboard, with three members lending their vocals to their songs.

The Horseshoe Spatulas, a Des Moines-based punk and rock band, will also be playing at the event. The group is led by UI law student Andrew Pratt of West Des Moines, who will play drums for the night.

Pratt will also play in a three-member group playing blues, funk and soul cover music with fellow UI law student Kevin Dawson on bass and local player Bill Peterson on the keyboard. This group has been playing together at "blues jams" on Monday nights at the Yacht Club since the fall of 2007.

Hett played in a band the last two years, and this year decided to get involved in a different way and help with the organization of the event.

LawLawPalooza, taking its name from the 1990s alternative music festival Lollapalooza, was started by a group of law students in 1994 to get away from the stress of law school. Law students John Norris, Jay Byers, Doug O'Brien and David Hayes gathered at their house on Riverside Drive to relax, dance and listen to good music.

Because of the great number of musicians and former musicians in the UI College of Law, they decided that instead of just listening to music, they would play it themselves.

The friends created a stage and recruited musicians, and the event lasted for hours into the night, good music leading the way to relaxation and friendship. The first event raised about $750, which was then donated to an Iowa City domestic violence shelter.

With the sponsorship of the Equal Justice Foundation, LawLawPalooza has grown each year. It was formalized as a charity event and moved to more traditional music venues, including the Iowa Memorial Union, the Q Bar, the Mill and the Yacht Club.

Tickets are $5 and will be sold in the lobby on the second level of the UI Boyd Law Building starting Monday, March 24, and will continue the week leading up to the event. LawLawPalooza t-shirts will also be sold at that time. Tickets will also be available at the door on the night of the event.

For more information on how to volunteer or special accommodations to attend the event, contact Hett at or 515-890-0443, or Kerry Matveia at To attend the event or to donate to the cause, make checks out to Equal Justice Foundation and send to 229 Boyd Law Building, Iowa City, IA 52242.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: William Hett, LawLawPalooza, 515-890-0443; Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,; Writer, Jenna Ely; Video by Jay Knoll