Sekou Campbell attended Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he interned for a life-tenured, federal judge in Brooklyn; edited the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, a nationally-recognized intellectual property journal; and served as an officer for two student-led organizations (Public Interest Law Student Association and the Black Law Students Association). He also earned a Public Service Scholarship and Award from his school.
He began his legal career at an AmLaw 100 firm founded in Philadelphia, representing commercial litigants in a range of disputes from copyright infringement to breaches of contract and related claims as well as entertainers who required sophisticated and diverse commercial transactions from diligence on film projects to renegotiation of complex record deals. Now, in addition to traditional artists, he represents intellectual creatives who explore the intersection of technology and traditional entertainment
Mr. Campbell has, among other things, drafted and negotiated music, screenplay, literary, theatrical, manager, talent agent and other entertainment-related agreements; formed 501(c)(3) (non-profit) corporations, C-Corps, S-Corps, LLCs, and various partnerships; registered copyrights and trademarks; drafted and negotiated non-disclosure (confidentiality) agreements; and drafted and negotiated buy/sell, operating, employee, separation, redemption and other corporate related agreements.
He has seen the power of artists and entrepreneurs to change the world, and he seeks to continue to represent intellectual creatives’ interests while developing their business aspirations. Mr. Campbell takes his passion into the community by participating as a member in the Copyright Society of the United States of America (CSUSA), Philadelphia Chapter and the Black Entertainment and Sports Law Association (BESLA). He also has volunteered for the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and participated in the Arts & Business Council of Philadelphia’s Business on Board program, a six-month boot camp-style course on the ins and outs of non-profit governance.
Awards & Recognitions
- Volunteer of the Year, Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (2017)
- National Black Lawyers – Top 100 Nominee
- Lawyers of Color Hot List – Awardee
- The Network Journal’s Top 40 Under Forty – Awardee
- Represent multiple gold-certified Hip-Hop Producers in the negotiation of numerous record deals
- Represented estate administrator for jazz legend who renegotiated new side artist agreements for re-releases and previously unreleased works
- Serve as outside general counsel to artificial intelligence music composition software company
- Strategically partner with a highly engaged literary agent for work on various film adaptation agreements with major producers, production companies, and distributors
- Negotiated agreements for screenwriters for television, web series, and motion pictures with major studios and production companies
- Negotiated and drafted buyer-side documents necessary for a multimillion-dollar asset purchase for a small family business in Philadelphia
Selected Presentations & Publications
- Free Trade or Free Expression: Artistic Representations of Sports Teams and Their Trademarks, 2 Miss. Sports L. Rev. 299 (2013).
- Artists, Not Judges, Should Decide Fair Use: Select Implications of the Cariou-Sconnie Nation Decision, Center for Art Law Blog Post (Apr. 2, 2015).
- Diversity as Inclusion: Shredding The ‘First’ Paradigm (co-authored with Shelley Laws), Legal Intelligencer (Dec. 11, 2012).
Sekou appeared in the 1991 film New Jack City opposite Ice-T, the first time he ever played a police detective. Voiced the character of “Snow” in the videogame remake of the cult classic Warriors released by Rockstar Games. Prior to his legal career, Mr. Campbell taught mathematics for two years in an under-served community in the Bronx as a Teach for America corps member. He then earned an M.F.A. in Theater at Columbia and became a professional actor (for theaters like LaMaMa ETC, the former Berkshire Theatre Festival, and Vital Theatre Company); founding teacher of the Bronx Charter School for the Arts, a groundbreaking school designed to utilize all art forms (theater, dance, music and visual art) to aid students’ academic and overall development; and theater producer at the Mud/Bone Collective. Working at a start-up school and theater company, Mr. Campbell began to see how creative intellectual companies require strong and thoughtful legal representation, which inspired him to pursue a legal career to further support of the arts.