When you think of major entertainment stars like Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, or Fleetwood Mac, you think about their sweeping success and the millions of albums they have sold. When you’re thinking of the stars, you’re likely not thinking of the people behind the scenes that help make them so successful. Famous people sign record and promotional deals to help further their brands, and without an entertainment lawyer to look over the contract on their behalf, they might never see the success they yearn for.
John Branca started his legal career working as an estate planner but knew he wanted to be an entertainment lawyer when he saw an article about Elton John. He took the scary step to leave what he had been doing and stepped into the fast and wild world of entertainment law, and he has been wildly successful at it. Follow a few simple steps, and you might be the next hotshot lawyer in Hollywood.
Get Your Degree
It might go without saying, but you need to earn your Juris Doctorate before applying to take the bar exam. There are some states where a degree is not required to take the bar, but it’s highly recommended because the information you learn in law school will be incredibly valuable in your quest to rule the entertainment world.
When choosing law schools, focus on those in entertainment hubs, like Los Angeles, Nashville, or New York City. They’re going to be more likely to have courses in entertainment law, and many even offer certificates that you can earn in addition to your law degree. Those courses and certificates will better allow you to specialize in a specific area of entertainment law that is most interesting to you. Furthermore, the local knowledge that you learn about the hubs while attending law school will allow for greater job opportunities after you graduate.
Be Willing to Start at the Bottom
While it is possible, most people don’t graduate from law school and immediately start working with major stars. When you start working as a lawyer, you might find that you are working on reading through contracts or serving as a liaison between a famous person’s management and other professionals. You might even find that you are working with other entertainment lawyers that have different areas of expertise.
Allow yourself time to learn the ins and outs of the law as a new lawyer. Show your employer that you are serious about learning and being the best lawyer you can be. Offer to take tasks that others aren’t interested in. Most importantly, be patient with the process, and you’ll see your rewards in no time.