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From White & Case to 'Cracked'

The rigors of working at a white-shoe law firm such as White & Case might drive some young lawyers towards the edge, but one former associate has ended up as the poster child of Cracked. No, it was not a breakdown that Monty Sarhan went through, but a rebuilding. He left law behind last year to take the helm as publisher and editor-in-chief of the 48-year-old humor magazine Cracked. Immediately, he shut it down and began a makeover, which culminated this month in the magazine's relaunch.

The 33-year-old Sarhan tells Boston Globe writer Alex Beam that humor was in his blood from an early age, sending jokes to David Letterman while still in grade school. But his parents insisted on a more traditional career, so after college he headed to Duke Law School. "Everyone who goes to law school says they're going to get out of the law," Sarhan told Beam. "I actually did."

But not before spending three years in Manhattan at White & Case. No less a source than Wikipedia provides this capsule of Sarhan's legal work:

"During his legal career, Sarhan represented clients in diverse transactions including private equity and venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, and numerous other transactions involving significant intellectual property assets, including the sale of a well-known US publishing business with considerable copyright assets to a major European publisher and the negotiation of a foreign joint venture for a popular online portal."

It was not the comedy career Sarhan dreamed of as a child. But Sarhan's work as lawyer to entrepreneurs soon led him away from law, according to AP writer Michael P. Regan, as he was infected by the entrepreneurial bug himself. "He decided to leave the legal profession and 'go for the brass ring' by acquiring a media company," Regan wrote.

So can a one-time white-shoe associate find success as publisher of a comedy magazine? Perhaps his law firm years were, as Washington Post writer Peter Carlson said, "no doubt, the perfect preparation for editing the new, postmodern humor magazine." Or not.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on August 30, 2006 at 12:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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