Having a team of people to assist you in your career is always a good thing. When it comes to the entertainment industry, this can become especially important. Your agent is tasked with getting you opportunities and helping you determine a good option for you to pursue. Your manager should ensure you are ready for the work thrown at you by focusing on your skill set.
So why do you also need an entertainment lawyer? An entertainment lawyer is vital in several aspects of your career. Namely, to help you understand and negotiate contracts to ensure you get what you deserve out of the time you put into projects.
What is an Entertainment Lawyer?
Entertainment lawyers help their clients by representing them and protecting them in their creative interests. Whether it be a personal client or a corporation in television, music, theater, and more, an entertainment lawyer has their client’s best interest at heart and can be an invaluable resource when navigating the entertainment industry.
What Does an Entertainment Lawyer Do?
One of the vital skills that an entertainment lawyer has is the ability to help you to negotiate contracts. You are not alone if you’ve found yourself overwhelmed when reading a contract and unsure of what it’s talking about. An entertainment lawyer can help you thoroughly understand a contract and negotiate terms to ensure you enter the arrangement with a successful outcome. No one wants to put their skills and effort into a project only to find out their compensation isn’t worth it. An entertainment lawyer can help to avoid that unfortunate situation.
Protecting what is yours is also an imperative goal in the entertainment industry. You may have heard horror stories of colleagues putting their entire life’s work into a project only to have someone infringe on it, use it without authorization, and make money off it. Protecting intellectual property is always important, but the stakes are higher in this industry. Having a trained professional as your advocate to ensure you aren’t taken advantage of can bring peace of mind and better returns on your creative investment.
What Else Can Entertainment Lawyers Help Me With?
Perhaps a lesser-known attribute that entertainment lawyers possess is their ability to provide connections. An experienced entertainment lawyer will likely have relationships throughout the industry. Your “guy who knows a guy” can help get you in touch with the right people for the project you are working on and help you avoid those that may jeopardize you or your work.
An agent and a manager can also help in this way, as they are compensated for doing so, but they aren’t able to help in times of contract negotiations or litigation should that need arise. A working relationship with an entertainment lawyer can help position your career ahead of the rest.
What is an Example of When an Entertainment Lawyer is an Asset?
Aside from contracts and standard negotiations, there are a couple of other scenarios where an entertainment lawyer can be a resource.
When you are working with a creative partner, such as a writer, it is crucial that you are both on the same page every step of the way. What happens if you aren’t? What if your partner suddenly thinks their compensation should be much more than yours with the final product? An entertainment lawyer can help facilitate the relationship and negotiate as necessary so that your efforts are protected throughout the project.
What if you need to obtain rights to material for an adaptation? When is a good time to purchase the rights? Is it best to do so upfront? An entertainment lawyer can help to assess the situation and keep you from making decisions that could affect your career long-term. They can gather the details, work through the purchasing negotiations, and advise you on the next steps so you can finalize your project without worries about it being open to lawsuits in the future.
Finally, having legal representation can help solidify your presence in the industry. If you are working on gaining more work or finalizing the project you’ve dreamed of all of your life, having an experienced entertainment attorney to represent you can help you appear more thorough and professional than your peers.
Your Entertainment Lawyer. Your Advocate.
In some ways, working with an entertainment lawyer is similar to having a primary care doctor. They get to know you and your goals. They are there to protect you (even sometimes from yourself) and ensure you get the best out of this industry you are dedicated to. They can also help to connect you to the right specialists as issues in your career pop up that they don’t have experience in. You build trust as a team and can rest easy knowing an experienced professional is your trusted advocate while you chase your dreams.
Hiring an entertainment lawyer isn’t a cookie-cutter approach. Work with them to understand their style and determine if it aligns with yours and your goals for your career. A skilled lawyer can help you assess the best next steps in your career and consistently be thinning forward for you, so you can focus on your creative efforts for years to come.
Call our offices today at (323) 230-6200 to learn more about how we can best assist you in your career goals. We have decades of experience in the entertainment industry specializing in several areas, and we are confident we can be your trusted partner.