A discussion of the things that co-founding partners Zakiya Norton and Somita Basu love!
Listen to the podcast here
A Glimpse Behind The Scenes Of Norton Basu, LLP
I’m here with Zakiya Norton and Somita Basu, the Cofounders and Partners of Norton Basu, and news flash, lawyers are people too. Everyone’s afraid and intimidated by lawyers. I look at them and I go, “Why? They’re people too.” I have worked for lawyers way too long so I know them well. They have their little quirks and interests, and very few of them even have a sense of humor. I work for a couple who do. That’s Zakiya and Somita.
This is a sneak peek and behind the scenes as to what they love to do in their personal time. They are single moms and running a law firm. They have about a minute of personal time every week. When you guys start scrolling through Hulu, Netflix, and so many others, what do you like to watch and then dish about the next day?
Let me begin by saying that we, at this point, refuse to adopt any new streaming platforms.
We’re not accepting any new streaming platforms at this time. All applications are closed.
It’s the same way with social media platforms. We had to draw the line. We’re not doing PECAN, Paramount+, and Acorn TV, that’s my mom, with all the British shows.
I would love to do BritBox, but I’m not adopting any new platforms at this time.
We are limited to Discovery+ because our friend lets us use that, that’s the American way. We have Hulu, Netflix, Disney+ because of the children, and Amazon Prime. You guys know the universe that we’re talking about. What shows are we watching?
We are watching anything that has to do with crime or murder. It seems to be a big popular thing for us right now. We are very into The Patient on Hulu. Are you watching that too, Annie?
I watched the first 7 or 8.
Yes. It’s very well done.
Fun fact, Somita almost threw herself into oncoming traffic because she thought it ended at episode eight. I was like, “Girl, it is a ten-part thing. We have two more to go. You’re going to be okay,” so we got her back. It was a close call.
I was very depressed when I thought that was the end.
We have one more to go.
One more and then it’s over.
Someone had to die. Somebody better dies. It’s going to be him.
It won’t be good if nobody dies.
Also, fun fact, the serial killer guy, his name is Domhnall, but there’s like an M, H, Q, and an R, but it’s Domhnall. He is the son of Brendan Gleeson who we all know from that one movie and the other thing you did.
Thank you for clarifying.
You’re welcome. That’s what I’m here for.
She’s a veritable Wikipedia.
It’s super specific. I’ve been quoted several times. I’m an authority. We’re obsessed with that. Only one to go. I keep asking you like you’re going to give me a different answer, but a ten-part limited series means it’s done after ten. There’s no more.
I’m pretty sure Steve Carell is never doing another series again.
He’s so good, even though it’s so serious. Some of these comic actors are amazingly good.
Like Robin Williams and Jim Carrey.
He’s been touched by an angel.
He is a very talented individual.
A little manic. His art is phenomenal.
It’s all making fun of drops.
How could you not love it?
As a painter and sketch artist, he’s amazing. We all know his comedy is amazing. Have you seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?
You’re always talked to me about that.
I don’t know why you haven’t seen this movie, but it will blow your mind.
I may have. Anything else you’re watching?
Couples Therapy. We forgot to say Showtime.
We only got Showtime because the new season of Dexter was on there, which we did watch, which was so good, but that’s right, we’re watching Couples Therapy with Dr. Orna who is all of our therapists. She is so amazing. I don’t know how she does it. She’s so calm like with Annie and Mau, the couple. Mau is a gas lighter, narcissist, and extraordinaire. Annie, you have to start watching the show.
That’s going to piss me off.
It might though. He was very handsome.
He was very charming and handsome.
Every time you watch, I feel like there’s a different issue I spot that I’m like, “That’s useful. That’s helpful. That could apply to me.”
It’s because we’re basically part-time therapists as well. Our clients do come to us with a lot of family drama so we have to be able to handle that. I feel like that’s a work-related viewing.
Behind The Scenes: For part-time therapists, watching family drama feels like work-related viewing.
I’m like, “Can we write that off? Wait a minute.”
Is it a comedy?
No, it’s real therapy.
I’ve had this conversation. It’s not like other therapy shows where you can tell they’re like trying to play things up and then it gets a little bit gross. It’s for real. Dr. Orna is so measured. Her whole approach, I’ve never seen anything like it. There has to be another season. I need that to happen.
She’s a good therapist.
The other thing we’ve been watching, which we all watched was Schitt’s Creek. I’m always re-watching that.
That’s a great show.
It left Netflix and we cried, but then it went to Hulu and we were all okay again. We’ve been watching that obsessively. I had been revisiting Happy Endings, which is a show that I feel like it never got its due.
There are only three seasons. Damon Wayans Jr. is on it and his dad comes and plays his dad. Those episodes are hysterical for all of us who like In Living Color. All of us were obsessed with that show. It’s funny to watch the two of them in that dynamic, so if you haven’t watched Happy Endings, you guys should check it out.
I re-watch a lot of things. My favorite rewatches are both pretty dark. I watch The Sopranos a lot, seasons 1 through 6, and Nurse Jackie.
That’s how I know you’re down bad. When she’s like, “I’m rewatching Nurse Jackie,” I’m like, “We got to bring out the reinforcements.”
Gangsters and drug addicts, that’s your focus?
That’s our happy place.
I cannot tell you how much I love Nurse Jackie, the character. She’s a terrible human being. Her addiction makes her do terrible things and yet she is a phenomenal nurse.
Behind The Scenes: Nurse Jackie is a terrible human being because of her addiction, and yet she is still a phenomenal nurse.
That’s what you like about her that she’s the ultimate professional?
Yes, I think so.
That’s very troubling.
Are you putting this together? Yes. Get onto the page we’ve all been on. Welcome to the book. She might think so.
I’ll have to explore that in therapy.
Somebody can talk to Orna on the phone.
You tied Nurse Jackie and Couples Therapy together. I love you.
I’m now watching Grey’s Anatomy. I watch a lot of that medical stuff. We’ll go back to the beginning of the Shonda years. These are the episodes I remember. Once Shonda left, I’m not watching those because then it becomes a hot mess. It always does every time she leaves the show.
I love House.
She thinks she’s a doctor.
I should have been a doctor.
Really? I think you’re a good lawyer.
There you go. Look at that.
Thank you. She’ll discount that immediately, but thank you for saying that.
You got a thank you.
I know which was rare. I’m not going to lie. I was surprised. It caught me off guard.
I can’t think of anything else.
You’re a Dexter diehard.
When she does Nurse Jackie, I go back to Dexter.
It’s a serial killer you can root for, and who doesn’t like that?
It’s so American.
I’m obsessed with serial killers.
Okay, but I’m not watching the Dahmer thing because it’s problematic, the victim’s families, and the whole thing. I’m not doing that. However, I did watch the stuff that was not problematic about him like the Confessions of a Killer series. I do that. I did the Ted Bundy one and also the Gacy one, which I told you that you should listen to.
Zakiya is also obsessed with Mindhunter.
I’ve seen some of that.
This is where they talk about how they first came up with the forensic profile and behavioral analysis.
She should have been a doctor and I should have worked as an FBI profiler. I would’ve been so happy tracking serial killers. I would be tracking them down left, right, and center. Disturbing, but that would be so much fun.
I know you’re also both into wine and food. When you’re watching these shows and gossiping with each other because these two are like joined at the hip. They’re twining almost every day at the office. They wear the same thing without planning it. They wear the same color. What do you like to eat and drink while you are watching these shows and movies?
This is true. Napa’s probably like number one when we can steal a weekend away. We get the girls together and we do Napa. Somita will tell you she likes wine if it’s made from grapes. I will tell you that we like Cabernet Sauvignon. That’s our girl.
We’re more red wine than white wine. We don’t mess with Merlot too much.
No, but I’ll drink it.
There you go. That’s the difference.
I’m like, “This is what I like.” I get very ridiculous about Pinots like, “Where is it from? What barrels?”
You’re that girl.
Only about Pinots. It has a very distinctive taste. I don’t like some of them so I give her some of my Pinots like the ones that come from films. I’m like, “Here you go. Those are yours.”
When we first started going wine tasting, this was like several years ago when Zakiya first started taking me and she’d be like, “I’m getting this on the nose and I can tell this has been in an American oak barrel,” and I’m like, “It tastes and smells like wine.”
I’d be asking, “What are you noticing?” She’s like, “It tastes like wine.” I’m like, “Okay.”
Zakiya is like, “I’m getting hints of tobacco and leather.” I’m like, “I’m getting drunk.”
That’s not true. You can pick up the fruits.
I can pick up the stone fruit.
Any kind of fruit, I wouldn’t even limit it to stone fruit because I can sometimes do stone fruits, but I mostly pick up the earthy notes so that’s why. If it’s leather or tobacco, I can always tell you what kind of barrel it was in really easy. I can’t pick up a lot of the fruit sometimes. You’re like, “I’m getting cherry.” I’m like, “Whatever. I don’t know.”
You can smell something a mile away though, Zakiya.
Which is not a good thing. I won’t die from some gas situation because I’ll be the one that smells it, but like 9 times out of 10, it’s not good. I go the restroom, I come back and I’m like, “I can tell you what this person ate.” That’s not good. That was gross. I’m sorry, TMI, but that’s mostly what this superpower does for me. It’s not great.
It’s not a good thing.
Speaking of wine, there was a good show on Netflix called Uncorked about the Black guy sommelier.
It is such a good movie.
Fun fact, that is the first movie during the pandemic that Zakiya and I did the Netflix watch party. We were like siloed in our little houses and this is when we thought if we left our houses, we would die during that phase of the pandemic. That’s around from the time that came out. We watched that on the Netflix watch party.
We watched that movie 9,000 times.
It was so good.
Does the guy become the sommelier?
He tries to. He’s from the South.
Is this going to upset me?
No. It’s very good. You might cry at like one point, but overall, very good. It ends well. It’s totally worth it.
The movie that we’re doing right now though that we’re like rewatching is Fire Island, which is also on Hulu.
That’s a movie?
You’re such a bad gay. This is why we say this to you.
I might’ve seen it. That was such a long time ago.
It’s with Joel Kim Booster, but no, it came out this year.
Margaret Cho is in it. That’s a lesbian.
I know who she is.
There’s one in there, so there you go. That’s your hook.
There’s a token lesbian in there.
It’s like an updated Jane Eyre thing. It’s cute and fun.
It’s very well done.
You’re going to laugh. It’s raunchy and yet heartwarming at the same time. It’s delicate and a hard line to walk.
It’s very well done though.
I made my mom watch it and my mom liked it.
I would watch anything with Terrence Howard or Jason Mitchell.
Jason Mitchell, which one is that? I know Terrence Howard.
Jason Mitchell is the one in Mudbound.
Is he Black?
I did not watch that.
I could not bring myself to watch it.
He’s problematic. Is he the one?
They both are.
This is so true. Terrence Howard thinks 2 plus 2 equals 78.
It’s acting, you guys.
Unfortunately, he has a screen presence and charisma on screen that is troublesome. As an FYI, The Best Man is one of my favorite movies. I’ve watched it 100 times. Even more favorite than that is Boomerang, which is my all-time favorite movie.
I’m going to pretend like you didn’t say that though because I feel like The Best Man should be right at the top.
This segues into music because I’m a ’90s R&B girl so Boomerang fits right into that phase of my life in the early ’90s.
Weird dichotomy, if you get into her car. You’re either going to hear yacht rock or Hall & Oates.
I blame my friend Steph for that.
Although, she kills it when we’re at her house with the Shalamar PlayStation. It’s either yacht rock or ’90s R&B. Those are your two options.
I don’t know, I’ve heard a little Carrie Underwood over there.
It’s because of that one song she did about cheating or whatever with the baseball bat, Before He Cheats.
Shania Twain had some good man-hating songs.
We all love Shania Twain.
She has some good man-hating songs. Isn’t that the one she talked about keying the car?
SWV, play it at my funeral.
We saw them in concert and it was a very disappointing experience.
I was going to be a little bit more diplomatic. I was going to be politically correct, but we were so excited. By we, I mean Somita. They were like the opener for Boyz II Men which by the way karate kicking all the way through this.
Wanya did his best Mary J.
Knees of an eighteen-year-old man because I could never.
They were fantastic.
They still sound as good as they did years ago.
You got your money’s worth there.
We got our money’s worth there, but SWV was the opening act. There might have been some comments from them on stage about how tired they were, how their knees hurt, and how they were old. I was like, “We paid money to see you sing, not hear you complain about your arthritis and osteoporosis. Please let’s get back to Rain.”
Behind The Scenes: Boyz II Men still sound good as they did. You always got your money’s worth listening to them.
I love SWV and I played it for my son and he told me it was mid. I was like, “Get out of my car.”
Mid, cringe, basic, cap, or no cap.
We use them and I purposely use them wrong to embarrass him. I’m like, “I’m going to use it wrong.” Everything is cringe. Mid is like whatever.
Cap is you’re lying and no cap is you’re telling the truth.
I didn’t even know that one.
I get called bruh all the time by my kids. My oldest son calls me bruh.
A lot of respect there.
I’m like, “I breastfed you, bruh.”
That sounds like a very traditional family right there.
I didn’t know my parents had first names until I was in middle school.
None of us did.
You didn’t call them bruh?
No. Could you imagine? I would’ve been 6 feet under if I had called my parents, bruh. First of all, we’re not even allowed to say, “What?” If my parents call me, and still to this day, I can’t say, “What?” You can’t respond with, “What?” I wish that it was different, but I am the same way with my daughter. When she is like, “What?” I’m like, “Who are you talking to?” right away. We don’t play that.
You’re not calling me by my first name. We don’t play that game. You’re not going to respond with, “What?” You’re not going to do, “Huh?” If you can, “Huh?” you can hear. It’s like, “Yes.” That is the only response if I call you. If I don’t say anything else, that means you need to come to wherever I am and find out what it is that I need. That’s that.
These are law firm lessons.
I grew up in a family where we would say, “What?”
You wouldn’t last a day.
I’ve lasted a year.
Your background was working for law firms and so you knew, you were like, “Okay.” You helped us before you even worked with us. You were helping us network. We kept saying, “Get us to a point where we can afford to hire you.” We got there and we were like, “Come work for us.”
I said the same thing the day I met you guys. We sat down for it was less than an hour and you said, “We wish we could afford to hire you.” I was like, “They spit that out without even talking to each other first?” I thought, “I’ll show them what I can do. They’ll hire me one day.”
You sure did.
That’s exactly what happened.
That came true, so here we are, The Three Musketeers.
It’s Zakiya, Somita, and me. I’m the sidecar. It’s good getting to know a little bit about you guys personally. It shows your very wicked sense of humor. I have to admit, having been in estate planning law for more than a couple of decades, you got to have a sense of humor because we deal with heavy issues and that’s part of the reason why we wanted to make this episode a little bit light. Thanks for that sneak peek about Zakiya and Somita. We hope you’ll join us next time.