Millionaires: Reb Masel wants people to know what it’s really like to be a lawyer

By 09/14/2023
Millionaires: Reb Masel wants people to know what it’s really like to be a lawyer

Welcome to Millionaires, where we profile creators who have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark on platforms like YouTube and TikTok. There are creators crossing this threshold every week, and each of them has a story to tell about their start and their success. Read previous installments here.

Reb Masel didn’t always dream of becoming a lawyer.

“I got into law simply because about six months before what would be my first day of law school, I decided maybe I’ll give it a shot,” she says. “This was not in the cards or plan for me. I loved school, wanted to do school as long as I could. Didn’t really want to get a job and be an adult, so I thought, ‘Grad school’s great.'”


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She aced the LSAT, got into law school, and passed the California bar on her first try at 26 years old. That was in 2020, which, as she says, “was not a great time to be doing anything, especially not graduating law school.”

But there she was, ready to get into civil defense litigation (which she describes as “simply a very broad way of saying I do almost anything on the civil side,” and says she hopes to get into criminal defense in the future). Like a lot of people, it was boredom and a cool Gen Z sibling that drove her to TikTok. Her younger sister got her to download the app, and Masel went into it without any aspirations whatsoever. She was just going to use it like a regular social media app–to connect with her sister and maybe some law school friends.

Then one of her videos went viral. It wasn’t law-related; it was “an inside joke between me and my sister about the tattoo that I got on my finger when I was 19 that my mom ended up finding when I was 24, and she had a breakdown about.”

From its virality, though, Masel saw the potential for reaching an audience with something she really cared about–law, and other lawyers, and showing laypeople what it’s truly like in the courtroom.

Check out our chat with her below.

@rebmasel Reply to @maybuggirl Reading Iconic Court Transcripts ✨PART 15✨ …my new favorite one ever bye #greenscreen ♬ original sound – reb for the rebrand

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Tubefilter: Hello! You are, I think, the first lawyer we’ve spoken to for any column.

Reb Masel: That’s a good thing that you don’t have to speak to a lot of lawyers. [laughs]

Tubefilter: [laughs] True. It’s an interesting niche that I feel is growing, but also we really haven’t been able to cover it, so really cool to get to talk to you.

Reb Masel: I’m jazzed and stoked and appreciate it, truly, and I echo that. It truly feels like I’m one of not very many, and I hope that very many join me soon enough.

Tubefilter: I really love exploring these niches because every time we do them and I speak to someone where I’m like, “Oh, this is an underserved niche. This is a small community,” people come out of the walls. It’s really exciting to get to see these niches, especially when it’s professionals bringing their work to the internet. Always very cool.

Reb Masel: Absolutely. The followers I have are a range you would not even believe. From very big, huge actors to really young boys in college who are frat boys, who you would never believe would like my content.

Tubefilter: Oh, awesome. Okay, let’s start from the beginning here. Pretend somebody is reading this and they don’t know who you are. I’d love to get some background about you, where you’re from, how you originally got interested in law, and then take me up to you getting on the internet.

Reb Masel: Yes. I am a practicing attorney currently. I graduated law school when I was 25, passed the bar first try, the California bar when I was 26 years old. I got into law simply because about six months before what would be my first day of law school, I decided maybe I’ll give it a shot. This was not in the cards or plan for me. I loved school, wanted to do school as long as I could. Didn’t really want to get a job and be an adult, so I thought, “Grad school’s great.”

I took the LSAT, thought, “Law school is like grad school.” Went to law school, and from day one I knew it was exactly what I was meant to do. I’m very fortunate and lucky to have fallen into it and feel the benefits of it truly pulling my true self and pulling all of my loves about my job and my life out of me.

I started posting on TikTok when I was studying for the California bar exam in 2020, which as we all know was not a great time to be doing anything, especially not graduating law school or studying. My younger sister is Gen Z. She was born in 2000 and she keeps me humble. She keeps me young, and had me download the app. I started making videos for my five followers – me and my law school friends – that were just jokes about anything. My first video that went viral was an inside joke between me and my sister about the tattoo that I got on my finger when I was 19 that my mom ended up finding when I was 24, and she had a breakdown about.

Tubefilter: Five years.

Reb Masel: Yes. Look, my parents are a little aloof sometimes. They just didn’t notice it. She finally notices it when I’m fully in law school and in the top of my class. Like, I’m going to be fine. We’re going to be fine. The tattoo is not the biggest setback. And she started sobbing at Malibu Farm.

Tubefilter: No.

Reb Masel: Yes. My poor mom, I’m definitely the one who gave her a run for her money. She’s awesome. She doesn’t care now obviously, but that’s where the TikTok thing started. I never had aspirations or goals of being a content creator. That never crossed my mind. I’m an attorney. I didn’t go to three years of school and study and haze myself for that long just to not use it. I love practicing law, I love being an attorney, and I am a full-time one, contrary to some people online’s popular beliefs.

The content creation just grew organically. I kept posting when I wanted to, often about attorney-related things, and realized very quickly that my account had become something much bigger than me and much bigger than who I was, and became something that so many people, through my comments, through my DMs, through email, through word of mouth, have reached out to me to tell me how much it means to them to see an attorney this young, or to see an attorney with long hair, or to see an attorney with a wing eyeliner, or to see an attorney who’s outspoken and funny, or an attorney who just laughs at the same jokes that anyone would laugh at even if they’re stupid.

I think obviously from this side of the fence, as an attorney myself, I look around in my field and I see copy and paste of me everywhere. I am everywhere. There are so many of me in this field, truly, but from the outside looking in, how do they know that? You don’t have as much representation of me as an attorney in our pop culture outside of Legally Blonde. Truly.

Once my account became something that I felt was important to continue, it became absolutely a part of my “job personally for myself.” Work-life balance to me, there’s no difference between work and life. Life is work. Every second you spend at your job is still your life. My life currently, for people who don’t know me, is being a full-time practicing attorney, creating content, and being a host of my own podcast.

@rebmasel #greenscreen ♬ original sound – reb for the rebrand

Tubefilter: Can you talk a little more about what you area of law is?

Reb Masel: I practice primarily civil defense litigation in any and all areas of law, which is simply a very broad way of saying I do almost anything on the civil side, but that’s obviously for now. I have hopes and goals, but also in my mind, I’m thinking they’re guarantees that I’m going to merge into the criminal sector to do criminal defense work as well.

Tubefilter: Ahh, gotcha. It’s got to be difficult to manage your time, being a full-time creator and a full-time lawyer.

Reb Masel: Absolutely. That’s a given. I give my true, genuine thanks to your family friend, their mom, for being a female attorney before me. Every single woman in this field who came before me had it worse than I do now. I know that even if it was just by years or days, the old is, yes, always getting better when it comes to the gender disparities, gender pay gap, the sexism in this field that’s very inherent in it, is very ingrained in it. It’s getting better; it is. Truly, even just differences between years is astounding, so my gratitude and thanks to her. I don’t know how she did it either. Oh my goodness.

When it comes to time management, there is no managing. [chuckles] Every day is a new adventure. Every day is a new day. I think that the nature of my job and the area of law that I’m in, which is essentially litigation, trial work– I’m a trial attorney. I am doing different things every single day. My schedule week by week changes. I can’t plan ahead two months. Absolutely not. Things are unpredictable. Cases are unpredictable. My clients are unpredictable. Everything in a trial, pre-trial, discovery everything, you just can’t plan for it, but I thrive in that environment.

Well, because of that, I think being able to manage TikTok and the podcast and my job is difficult, but it’s also manageable for me because chaos is what I’m used to. Every week is different. Even if one week my time management skills were a little subpar, there is always next week to recoup and figure it out.

Tubefilter: Was there a specific video that took off? How did that whole thing take off for you?

Reb Masel: The specific video that I talked about earlier, the one about my tattoo, was very much in my mind and also in my sister’s, my family’s, and my friends’ minds as my 15 minutes of fame. You have one video that goes “viral.” It had like 40,000 likes and I thought, “This is fun. This will cross off the bucket list.” Went viral on TikTok. Fun, cute, fine. Then I posted a few more videos, got a few more likes. Once I took the bar and after I passed it and started basically almost immediately, five days after I took the bar, I started being an attorney. I slept for two days, for 48 hours straight.

My mom checked my pulse. [chuckles] She thought I died. She didn’t know if I was okay. I slept for 48 hours after the bar, packed up everything I owned, and moved to the place where I was going to work and started working. I didn’t even open the TikTok app for a good six months. I thought, “Okay, that was fun, but I don’t really need that outlet anymore.”

The day that I got sworn in was February 1st, 2022. I passed the bar and I got sworn in, and I had a suit on. I really liked my outfit. Look, I’m a woman first before I’m a lawyer, and I thought my fit is tough, my fit is looking chic, and I recorded a TikTok and posted it. It ended up going viral and having thousands of comments in it because of the fact that I was a woman and an attorney. I think looking the way I do, someone very Legally Blonde asks, “The blonde sorority girl.” The stereotype that’s going to be attached to me.

All of the comments were either filled with love and care and support from so many women, or they were filled with the classic comments you can imagine of, “There’s no way she’s an attorney. She’s probably the secretary. I would never hire her if she’s your attorney. You’re going to jail,” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Those comments.

Tubefilter: I love the internet. The internet’s great.

Reb Masel: Yes, I love the internet. For me, my personality is so very much unbothered and so very much thrives and feeds into any time I’m underestimated or any time anyone questions me when I’m in the right, or underestimates me in general in my job or in my life. I started clapping back to people in the comments for fun. Other people were really enjoying that and it inspired them. I thought, “This is my first video as a practicing attorney. I feel like this is great. I’m not worried about this. I’m not scared about this going viral. I’m not worried about it impacting my job.

I thought if this is me being present and being an attorney and being unapologetic online in public, in front of people who could be inspired or who could learn from me, if that’s not a part of my job as a practicing attorney then what is? It’s part of it. It’s part of who I am and it’s part of what I want to do with my law license and with my degree. As much as me arguing a motion in court is part of my job, being someone who could inspire or educate someone online or make them laugh and also be an attorney and be a person online, just as much my job as well. That’s when I had the coming to Jesus moment a little of maybe this is a good thing as opposed to just a fun outlet. I just kept posting, and here we are.

@rebmaselopen the schools………..♬ original sound – reb for the rebrand

Tubefilter: How have things changed for you since that decision to really commit to it? Has anything changed? 

Reb Masel: Absolutely, my whole life changed. But what was great about it is I was already in a change transitional period of learning how to practice law. I’m still a fresh attorney, I’m still changing. I’m now at a different firm than I was when I started TikTok, so that has been a change. The type of law that I’ve done has changed. The cases that I have on have changed as well. My work on the TikTok side and production side has just morphed and varied based on where I’m at.

Genuinely my commitment to making content I think is different than some other creators who commit to content as a way to generate business and generate buzz. Ultimate goal, which is great, is to have steady income or to really dedicate themselves to this as a job. From the beginning, I promised myself that I wouldn’t let TikTok feel like a job for me. I wouldn’t let it feel like a second job, even if it very much is on paper at this point. I want it to be a place where you don’t see a random ad every two videos for something I absolutely am not using, and for something that none of my followers think makes any sense for me.

I don’t want every single video to just be every format of a video that went viral for me and I’m just going to copy and paste that on every video. As you can see from anyone who looks at my content, my TikTok account is very much my personal account. I post what I feel like, when I feel like it. I record TikToks at 3:00 AM if I feel like it. I record them on my way home from work. I record them at work. I record them in the morning. I don’t post for two weeks or I post seven times a day. There’s no schedule or rhyme or reason, and that’s the nature of my job and my life.

I think it’s worked for me because people relate to that. People identify with that, and people understand truly that what you see from me is absolutely what you would get if you met me in person.

Tubefilter: Totally. We mentioned a little bit about the internet being fantastic and wonderful (sarcasm). It does take a lot of vulnerability to be able to put yourself out there as a new professional and be very open about your career on the internet. I just wanted to ask a little bit more about why you’re so passionate about that.

Reb Masel: I am very passionate about talking about myself as a lawyer, talking about my experience as a lawyer, or speaking from my lawyer podium about case law or about things I think are interesting, and very much intertwining it with who I am and my personality because it is so much of who I am and it has built me up to be the person that I am today. Going through law school is very much, I like to describe, boot camp. They break you down and build you back up. Lawyers always joke about how we’re numb inside. We have been through the wringer and back.

We have had judges yell at us in court before. We don’t cry when we argue, and that’s why. Because we don’t feel things we can’t– We are skilled in making it work. I think with TikTok and putting myself out there and being vulnerable, and obviously opening myself up to hate comments and criticism from people who aren’t in my field, but also very much people who are in my field who maybe don’t appreciate it or don’t think that it’s appropriate or right. I am just so used to paving my own way and trying to be something that I would’ve wanted to look up to and would’ve wanted to have the day before I started law school.

I didn’t have me. I didn’t have someone online. I had literally Legally Blonde. That was pretty much it. I had Legally Blonde, I had How to Get Away With Murder, I had Scandal. I had big shows like that that showed powerful women and Black women who were attorneys in this field. To see a regular person online do it and be that, I, to me, didn’t ever want my own personal account on TikTok, which is what I’ve always wanted it to be, to somehow take away or delete my entire life as a lawyer when that’s so much of who I am. It would just be dishonest and disingenuous for me to somehow cover that up.

As you may or may not know, lawyers never stop talking about the fact that they’re lawyers. I couldn’t stop talking about it if I tried. We’re so self-absorbed. I just think that I’m also very much fueled and driven and inspired by the sheer amount of people in the legal field who have given me so much competence and loved this and love what I do, and given me feedback and reached out. I’m talking federal judges. I’m talking state judges. The attorneys, prosecutors, public defenders, politicians. Anyone from everywhere, old and young, very, very old to very, very young.

It just makes me cry. The outpouring of feedback that I have received since the beginning from people who– Even in my field, just as an example, a very old judge, a state court judge from Virginia, who was in her 60s and has served as a state court judge for forever and was a lawyer before that, emailed me and told me that she cried when she saw a video that her granddaughter sent her of mine. Me just being funny. It wasn’t even me being an attorney. It was just as an aside that I was an attorney in that video.

She said that she cried because she wishes so badly that it had always been like this. She wishes so badly that she could have had a way for her to be feminine and for her to be herself online and out in public, and not be shoved into a box. That she’s so grateful that she’s able to see it before she dies. That, to me, that single email is just one of a bajillion. Even if I only received that one positive email out of 800 hate comments, it would have been worth it to me. Absolutely.

Tubefilter: Do you feel like other young professionals, especially other young women, people of color, or trans people, people in these marginalized groups who are professionals, do you feel like content creation is something they should explore as a net positive to society?

Reb Masel: I think that content creation has unfortunately become something so income-motivated and income-driven when the most successful creators that I’ve seen are the ones who, from the beginning, made sure it was such a huge part of their content for it to be authentic, and for it to be something that they actually enjoyed first. Obviously, it’s amazing and awesome to imagine yourself as a content creator when you’re a teenager or a young woman or a young professional, just because of the perks of getting notoriety or fame or whatnot.

I think that young professionals, especially young women, should absolutely without a doubt create the content that they want to create. That it feels true to them. Even if no one’s ever done it like you before, there’s a reason why you’re there to do it. Pave the way. If you don’t think anyone’s doing it, the way I didn’t– I didn’t see any other lawyers like me on this app, I said, “Okay, I’ll be the one.” Absolutely, young professionals and young women should be doing content creation that they love and enjoy.

If it’s not near and dear and true to your heart, be the content creator, “In your job, in your life. With your friends, with your community.” You can inspire people by existing and filling space in the room that you’re in, and sometimes that can have such a greater impact. Then you may be filming and posting content that you don’t even identify with or enjoy. I would honestly counsel young professionals to really think about the motivation behind doing it. If the motivation is positive, absolutely gung-ho come on in. I’m waiting for you. I’ll slam the Follow button. Let’s go, I’m so excited.

@rebmasel In this economy I get it #rebuttalpod ♬ original sound – reb for the rebrand

Tubefilter: I’m split on that because I feel like there’s a lot of creators who would benefit from the industry as a whole taking proper compensation for creators more seriously. This should be able to be a full-time job for people who want to support themselves on it. But at the same time, it doesn’t mean you can’t do this if you’re not going to make an income off it, or that you’re not successful if you’re not making a full-time income off it.

Reb Masel: Absolutely. That’s how I feel, is I’m just so grateful and so lucky and so blessed that I am somehow able to have a full-time job and have TikTok, especially in the beginning, not be my primary source of income. That’s a blessing and a gift and luck that so many people don’t have. They don’t have the time to dedicate to content that they really love and enjoy unless they’re taking away time from being able to make money elsewhere.

It’s such a great and beautiful, awesome thing when creators now are able to make so much money off of what they’re fantastic at than being creatives. Are you kidding? Incredible. There are so many people who can and will continue to benefit from that, and I hope it continues. I hope that the people that we look up to aren’t just famous, untouchable celebrities. They’re actual relatable people who just ended up being fantastic content creators and now are pseudo-celebrities, but really are just normal people.

Look at the beginning of all the people that anyone looks up to online on TikTok, all those creators. We all started with a thousand views and two likes. You have to post what you enjoy. Post what you believe in, whether you get a million likes or one and a half, because if you don’t, then the money isn’t going to follow. The passion isn’t going to be there. You can’t be discouraged by the numbers, especially in the beginning.

Also, like I said, work-life balance doesn’t exist. It’s all life. You’re always living your life. If you enjoy what you’re doing and you’re getting three views, keep doing it. The money will follow. I promise you the money will follow. It did for me and I wasn’t even trying to do that. For people who are trying to make an income off of what they’re fantastic out online, it will happen. You’ll find your niche. You’ll find your people. You’ll find your community.

Tubefilter: Perfect. To wrap up, obviously hitting a million followers and surpassing that is a big milestone. Do you have any other goals you’re working toward? Any projects you’re working on?

Reb Masel: Absolutely. I am continuing with my podcast, the Rebuttal podcast, which I started this year and I really adore and love. It’s my baby. I’ve wanted to do it since I started TikTok and started going on three-minute rants online, and people kept telling me “Maybe they should be longer,” and I thought, “Really? You don’t hate the sound of my voice? That’s crazy.” I’m on YouTube and I’m on all podcast platforms, and the feedback and the popularity of it has really been so humbling. I’m so taken aback and so overjoyed by it.

Because of that, me and my agent are in the works of making merch, getting a merch release out which people have been asking for. I have trips planned to meet up with and collaborate with other creators who are either in the legal space or just in the entertainment space. I couldn’t be more excited for what’s ahead, both in my TikTok career and my professional career. I really couldn’t be more blessed and stoked and happy that somehow 1.5 million brilliant way more interesting people decided to give me a shot.

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