Entertainment law is a specialized field that offers a diverse workload, an exciting lifestyle, and plenty of unique experiences. If you hope to become an entertainment lawyer, you probably look forward to representing performing artists, such as actors, recording artists, dancers, or even composers. However, there are other options, as well. For example, some entertainment lawyers focus their practice on the business end of the industry, choosing to represent production firms, recording companies, music publishers, record labels, television producers, and industry unions. Regardless of which focus your plan to pursue, there are steps you can take today to help you successfully launch a career in entertainment law.
Expect the Unexpected
One thing that can help you prepare for a career in entertainment law is to expect the unexpected. Working with artists can be unpredictable but always entertaining. As John Branca can attest, there will be days when you experience things that you did not learn about in law school. He tells a funny story about his work with the Beach Boys and how Brian Wilson responded to his question in an unexpected but hilarious way. So prepare to remain flexible and enjoy the ride!
Things You Can Do While in Law School
To set yourself up for success, you need to know as much about the entertainment world as possible. As top entertainment attorney John Branca Harvard has advised law students, you should begin immersing yourself in the industry as soon as possible. Read anything about the industry you can get your hands on, including books, reviews, blogs, and industry magazines.
Next, forge connections within the entertainment world. One great way to do this is to intern with an agency specializing in music, film, or television. Not only can an internship help you get your foot in the door, but it can also give you the insider’s view you need to understand the workings and dynamics of the entertainment world.
Don’t Be Afraid To Specialize
Some of the most successful entertainment lawyers have built a practice focusing on one primary type of work. In other words, while your law degree technically enables you to represent both artists, such as singers and actors, and businesses, such as music labels and production companies, you need to decide if that’s the best approach. For example, John Branca Harvard has made a deliberate decision to represent artists exclusively. By not representing industry agencies, he avoids any conflict of interest and focuses completely on representing his clients.
Representing artists and celebrities can be very fulfilling work. If you are determined to become an entertainment lawyer, do the research, figure out your desired speciality, prioritize networking, and enjoy the unique experiences that await you.