As yet another Oscar season wraps up, we wanted to take a look inside the exciting world of entertainment law. Many lawyers can relate to seeing a celebrity make one mistake after another and wonder, “Why doesn’t this guy’s lawyer reel him in already?” Remember the writer’s strike from a few years ago? It was entertainment lawyers who worked day and night to find a resolution so that the rest of us could get our “Law & Order” or “CSI” weekly cure-alls. Maybe it’s the Britney Spears fiasco that lasted for more than a year and resulted in less than ideal public behaviors that left you wondering what her own legal representation was facing in terms of protecting the client from herself. And too, entertainment lawyers ensure their celebrity clients are adequately compensated for their appearances and talents that we’re afforded at the movie theatres. “Entertainment law has never fit neatly into any predetermined category”, says A. Harrison Barnes, lawyer and founder of LawCrossing.com. He continues, “In fact, it’s often these attorneys who make their legal careers in entertainment who forge their own paths based on their clients’ needs”.
The entertainment law specialty is fast paced and the wise lawyer knows to never assume when it comes to actors, musicians and celebrities. There are aspects that are glamorous, fun and exciting; however, it’s also a demanding and time consuming legal specialty. As A. Harrison Barnes says, “It’s not for the weak willed”. Those who make the best entertainment lawyers are experts at contract negotiations, insurance, financial and real estate contracts and even the ever changing copyright considerations. Further, with so many stalkers gaining access to those celebrities they’re obsessed with via the internet, there are times when a lawyer deals with the criminal side of entertainment law. Lest we forget those celebrities who are their own worst enemies. Far too many have substance abuse problems that result in attempts to break their own contracts or their habits have caused considerable problems due to vehicle crashes and other serious matters. The first person who’s called is the attorney. The LawCrossing.com founder goes on to say that many entertainment lawyers will also find themselves dealing with marketing and merchandising legalities and contracts with other professionals, such as agents and managers.
Many law schools, including UCLA and Stanford University, offer a specialized area of study in entertainment law. If you’re currently in law school, you might consider joining the American Bar Association’s Forum for the Entertainment and Sports Industries. Also, interning for organizations such as Lawyers for the Arts is also a great way to gain exposure while also testing the waters to be sure it’s right for you.
Finally, if you’re looking for the right legal career in the entertainment industry, be sure to visit LawCrossing.com. The latest legal careers are compiled here and made available to job seekers around the country. Those firms in Los Angeles and New York that work strictly with celebrities and other entertainment venues know the best legal minds are members of the LawCrossing.com network. Recent graduate or experienced legal mind – there’s a new legal career waiting.
Elizabeth Martinez – Ph.D. – Organizational Psychology. Provides you with a deep level of insight into your career direction and career development.
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