Paul Buono: Musician and 2L

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STUDENT PROFILE                                                                                   1. 800.973.1177

                           Paul Buono: Musician and 2L
                           [By Mahsa Khalilifar]
                           When Paul Buono decided to enter law school, it was not based on some passionate urge but, rather, a realistic approach to his

“I know this is not an idealistic answer, but      and received an M.A. in Jazz Performance/           political science courses. My elective courses
it was just more of a practical option,” he        Composition in 2004. After taking some time         usually included law-related courses,” he
explained. “I decided to go to law school          off to work as a full-time musician, Buono          said. “[I was looking into] finding a job and
because I loved being a musician, but there        received a “generous scholarship” to attend         [making myself] marketable.”
were other things I wanted in life, like a         Western New England College in Springfield,
paycheck, a car, or an apartment, without          Massachusetts, and at 27 years old, he is           He saw the different opportunities law could
having to live with four roommates.”               now in his second year.                             bring him, so he decided to make the best of
                                                                                                       the situation.
When Buono was younger, his parents gave           During the time that Buono was a full-time
him private music lessons, which started in        musician, he spent his days playing on cruise       Buono said he has come to prefer certain
the second grade.                                  ships, including those operated by Princess         aspects of law.
                                                   Cruises. He would work as a musical
“They made music a part of our studies;            director or a sideman. After realizing that his     “I like giving arguments, and I like being
it was like [our] education. We practiced          financial future was not looking as bright as       in front of a court and in front of a judge,”
every day, so it was like doing your history       he had hoped, he needed another plan.               Buono said. “I like being called to discuss
homework,” Buono recalled.                                                                             a case law. I think, more generally, I really
                                                   “I did always have an interest in law. As an
                                                                                                       like the idea of debating in the courtroom
                                                   undergrad, I took a couple of ethnic and
It was not until junior high that Buono saw                                                            setting.”
music more fondly rather than as a chore.             Q. What do you do for fun?
One of his biggest supporters was his                 A. A lot of my fun stuff involves music.         Right now, Buono is hoping to apply for a law
grandfather, who was a musician-a pianist,            I play with wedding bands and jazz               student internship with the United States
to be exact.                                          ensembles on weekends. I also go down to         Olympic Committee for the summer of 2008.
                                                      New York and check things out when I can.        He currently teaches at Clark University in
                                                      I’m a big summertime guy, so I like a lot of
“He drove us to our [music] lessons, so he                                                             his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts.
                                                      outdoor stuff-camping, hiking. I also like
was a primary force in our education and                                                               He usually takes classes during the day
                                                      to travel.
upbringing, especially in music,” said Buono.                                                          and then works from around 5:00 p.m. until
                                                      Q. What CD is in your CD player right now?       well after 8:00 p.m. Buono also provides
During his senior year of high school, Buono          A. Avishai Cohen-Colors.                         private lessons and other musical services to
participated in a student exchange program            Q. What is the last magazine you read?           students, his specialty being the piano.
though his school, studied in New York and            A. National Geographic Adventure, the only
Hawaii, and then returned to New York for a           magazine I subscribe to.                         Buono has temporarily put his personal goal
while. He graduated cum laude in 2002 from                                                             of playing music full-time on hold, but he
                                                      Q. What is your favorite TV show?
the University of Massachusetts with a jazz                                                            hopes that law school will provide a musical
                                                      A. Arrested Development.
studies degree. His concentration was in                                                               path just the same.
piano.                                                Q. What is something most people don’t
                                                      know about you?                                  “I want to work in the music industry
Buono then entered the Aaron Copland                  A. I got my scuba-diving license in Bora-        somehow in the future…whether it be on the
School of Music at Queens College, CUNY,              Bora.                                            A&R side, I want to get my foot in the door

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STUDENT PROFILE                                                                                  1. 800.973.1177

somehow,” he admitted. “It was never my           that ‘it’s more work than you’ve ever done          Buono is hoping he will be one of the
intention to leave the music industry. If I can   in your life,’ and I didn’t really listen to them   students who stands out and makes it to
merge the two in any way, [I will be happy].      a lot, but they were right,” he said. “The          where he wants to go.
I think what I would be interested in would       workload at law school is [immense]. It is so
be an agent or a manager for a record label.      much more than I expected. But there is a           “In 0 years I hope to be involved in music
That is my goal.”                                 ‘brotherhood’ between a law student [rather         somehow. I would love to work with a record
                                                  than] a non-law student because you get             label and maybe [incorporate] that with jazz,”
Whether he will ultimately become a               each other.”                                        he said.
professional pianist, a composer, or an A&R
representative, Buono is just taking it day by    He said that his experience in law school has       On The neT
day right now. His favorite memory so far has     taught him a lot so far, and he advised future
been getting through finals.                      law students to check prospective schools           University of Massachusetts
                                                  out before picking one.                   
“The last final was constitutional law in May,
and as soon as I finished it, I looked back       “There’s a lot more merit in visiting a law         Aaron Copland School of Music
on the entire year-you know how they do in        school class. Really consider sitting in  
the movies? I literally thought back and was      classrooms, because you can get a sense
really impressed with how much work was           of the environment. You can see how the             Western New England College
involved,” he recalled.                           courses are,” he said. “It makes a difference
                                                  to see if you want to do this. Overall, I made
Buono said that things have not been easy,        the right choice, but I had many moments of
though, and that he’s had his moments of          thinking long and hard about it. [Law school]
regret and doubt.                                 is so competitive even friends become afraid
                                                  to assist you. So much weight is placed on
“I remember I had a few friends who were          where you graduate in comparison to where
in law school before I went and would say         you are placed.”


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Description: Paul Buono Is A Law Student And He Also Wanted To Become A Musician. He Attended Many Student Exchange Programs For His Interest And To Fulfill His Dreams. Workload At Law School Was Much More Than He Expected. He Was Inspired By His Grandfather Who Was A Musician-A Pianist.
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