When Donald Trump decided to try and revive his flagging Apprentice franchise by relocating it to Los Angeles, it guaranteed that he'd have access to local talent pre-degraded by jobs in the entertainment industry, for whom a potential Trump Organization imprisonment in a supply closet on an unfinished golf course would seem an appealing career option. But since employers here might not be so eager to lend their personnel to a weeks-long, televised job interview, contestants like entertainment lawyers Derek Arteta (of New Line) and Kristine Lefebvre (fret not, "The Lawyer in Me" section of her personal site is just a professional bio, not work in some legal-themed pornography) had to sneak off under the cover of "personal time" to do the show. THR, Esq. reports that their "vacationing" co-workers learned of their reality TV activities only after the cast was announced, but were nonetheless supportive of their dreams of Trump-branded subjugation:
"We think it's fantastic," says Judd Funk, New Line's senior executive vp business affairs and Arteta's boss. "Derek's a good lawyer, and this is a great company in the sense that (co-CEOs) Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne are both lawyers; they want people to be able to spread their wings and have the chance to do what makes them happy."
Arteta, 34, a Hastings College of the Law grad who already has appeared on a number of game shows, confided his secret only in Funk before leaving for what the rest of New Line thought was South America.
"People suspected he would go on a reality show because he's such a reality show junkie," says Collette Kadrnka, Arteta's friend and co-worker. "But when the cast was announced, everyone was shocked." [...]
Colleagues of Lefebvre, 37, an alum of Florida's Nova Southeastern University who negotiates talent and sports licensing deals and is married to well-known chef Ludovic Lefebvre, also learned of her involvement when promotion for the show began.
"We generally don't question our lawyers when they take personal time off, and we know Kristine would never do anything to put the firm in a negative light," says Jackie Redin Klein, a member of the executive committee of Lord Bissel, which is supporting its associate's quest to join Trump's empire.
Two episodes in, neither contestant has done anything to bring shame on the employers they hope to jilt should Trump offer them the Apprenticeship, but it's a long season; there's still more than enough time for one of them to to let slip under The Donald's withering boardroom interrogation, "You think I couldn't handle working for you? I'm a lawyer in Hollywood, so I deal with bigger, more soulless pricks than you every day."