Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 42

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

ADAM ROSS

GETS INTO HIS GROOVE
By John Murph

L

"As a DJ, it's your music tracks, your turntable
decks, and your mixer. That's all you've got. As
an attorney, all you have is what you instilled in
your brain, which are the facts, the supporting
cases, and the applicable laws," he continued.
"Then you have to stand before a judge with
your client. And you're on the spot. You have
to control how the facts are being presented.
"DJing built my confidence a lot, just from
mixing the songs right and getting the crowd
to pump their fists. So, when [arguing cases in
court], I say to myself, 'It's just like DJing.'"
At the new wellness-centric Eaton hotel, Ross
hosts a weekly music radio show that focuses
on soulful techno, a genre that's reflective of
his hometown of Detroit, which is considered
the birthplace of electronic dance music. That
October night, Ross had just finished his first set,
which bristled with galloping, hypnotic grooves.

42 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

John Murph

itigators and DJs have more
in common that one would
think, according to Adam
Ross, attorney-advisor at the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's
(EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and
Pollution Prevention who spins
tunes on the side. Ten years ago,
when Ross was practicing bankruptcy, real estate, and criminal law
in private practice, he relied on his
DJ skills to build confidence when
facing a judge. "When you're up
there, you only have the tools that
are in front of you," he said one
October evening inside the posh
Eaton DC hotel.
While working in private practice, Ross remembers music being an emotional and mental
balm as he navigated from real estate law to
bankruptcy law because of the 2008 financial
crisis. "I did bankruptcy law for about 10 years.
The tough part of it [was] having clients who
were at one of the lowest points of their lives
with few options. Music was a huge part of
how I released stress," he said.
During that time, DJ culture also provided
Ross with a support system that gave him
respite from the pressures of the legal profession. "All of my friends who I hung out with
socially were either DJs or friends through the
music scene," he said. "It became such a nice
detachment because they never asked me
about my practice or if I was going to make
partner."

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

Music played a huge part in Ross's life well
before he became a lawyer and a DJ. He started
collecting records when he was six years old,
and his grandfather regularly took him to the
Detroit Symphony Orchestra when he was
young. While attending church, Ross heard a lot
of other types of music.
Ross decided to become a lawyer during his
senior year at the University of Michigan, where
in 2002 he earned a BA in German and organizational studies. While studying for the LSAT, he
frequented Ann Arbor, Michigan, nightclubs
such as Goodnite Gracie and the Necto, where
he heard DJ heavyweights Ryan Elliott, Matthew
Dear, Kevin Saunderson, and others.
He had a serendipitous moment one night in
Detroit while attending a DJ set by Juan Atkins, the



Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar Of Events
The Opioid Litigation Wars
The Art Of Wellness: Law Firms Get Creative
Combating Secondary Trauma
Debating The Path Forward On Health Care Reform
Taking The Stand
On Further Review
Member Spotlight
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Speaking Of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
Community & Connections
Special Section: Counting Down To The 2020 Conference
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 5
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 9
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Calendar Of Events
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - The Opioid Litigation Wars
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 18
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - The Art Of Wellness: Law Firms Get Creative
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Combating Secondary Trauma
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 28
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Debating The Path Forward On Health Care Reform
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 34
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Taking The Stand
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 43
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 44
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 46
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Speaking Of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Special Section: Counting Down To The 2020 Conference
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 54
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 55
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover4
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/septemberoctober2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/june2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/october2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/june2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/June/July2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/March2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/February2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/November2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/july2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/June2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/february2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2016
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2016/
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/october2016
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september2016
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com