11/16/1992 at 01:00 AM EST
WHAT HAS SIX LEGS, THREE HEADS and a limited tolerance for lawyer jokes? In Montana the answer is: the 26-year-old Morin triplets, Tammie Lea, Tina Lou and Tracey Lin, who were admitted to the bar there on Oct. 6. The American Bar Association can't confirm that the Morins are the first triplets in America to become lawyers at the same time, but they are certainly the first in Montana. The three, who grew up on their parents' 1,100-acre cattle ranch near Missoula, decided on the law during their sophomore year at the University of Montana. By senior year "Tina and Tammie wanted to take a year off between college and law school," says Tracey, "but I sort of signed them up for the law boards. We scored really close.... OK, Tammie scored two points better."
Their lockstep progress had previously hit a snag in high school. There, Tracey and Tina were valedictorians, and Tammie was merely salutatorian because of an A-minus in phys. ed. for something that happened during a coed basketball scrimmage. "One of the boys got mad," says Tammie, "and he came at me—so I hit him."
Together through the University of Montana Law School, the triplets are finally going their separate ways. Tracey is working for a Missoula firm that specializes in malpractice; Tina is in general practice in Butte; and Tammie is doing "contract" work in Missoula, picking up overload cases from lawyers around town. Someday, they hope, there will be a shingle that reads MORIN, MORIN & MORIN.
At that point, Montana plaintiffs will know exactly where to go to seek triple damages.