Culhane Meadows’ Philadelphia partner Sekou Campbell was recently featured in an article for Forage which discusses entertainment law as a career.
Here are a few excerpts from the article:
Companies, creative artists, and others who work in the entertainment industry — such as film, television, music, and publishing — use entertainment law services to protect their interests.
Entertainment law is a dynamic field with a broad scope of work incorporating negotiating, protecting intellectual property, and advising and connecting clients.
So, what is entertainment law? This type of law practice is a subsection of intellectual property, dealing with individuals and companies in the entertainment industry. Legal issues related to trademarks, copyrights, and rights of publicity are at the core of the entertainment law practice.
One unique facet of entertainment law as a practice area is that it’s defined by industry rather than legal practice.
“In most practice areas, an ’employment attorney’ works with management or labor in any industry with respect to employment issues,” explains Sekou Campbell, a partner in the Philadelphia offices of Culhane Meadows whose practice includes entertainment and media law, intellectual property, and startups. “An ‘entertainment attorney’ works on a variety of practices within entertainment.”
Those practices include labor and employment, technology law, corporate and finance, dispute resolution, and intellectual property law. They may also include tax, trust and estates, family law, and even criminal law.
Careers in this field of law tend to be diverse. Campbell explains that, unlike other practice areas where lawyers primarily work with one group, entertainment attorneys represent both artists and companies that hire artists in an array of fields.
“Just as artists often become functionaries within a larger company, lawyers can go from representing artists to representing entertainment companies,” says Campbell. “In either role, though, lawyers advise clients on how to best protect their various interests.”
Entertainment lawyers are, in one sense, highly specialized, as they are focused on only a handful of industries. But they’re also generalists because they intersect with so many different legal practice areas.
“Entertainment law is a ‘hub’ practice, where many different social and hard legal skills are necessary to be successful,” explains Campbell. “Most businesses, even B2B businesses, have some aspect of their operations that benefits from the entertainment industry.”
However, while lawyers observe a collaborative creative process, it’s important to remember that working on the legal side of entertainment is not entertainment. “The lawyer’s role is to facilitate the creation of artwork, not create the work itself,” Campbell says.
According to Campbell, getting into entertainment law is not that different from getting into entertainment. Candidates must have hard skills but also the ability to “connect with the passions, intentions, goodwill, and interests of artists and those with whom they surround themselves.”
Campbell adds that becoming an expert in a particular niche can help. “For anyone just starting out, knowledge about the Metaverse and Web 3.0 seems invaluable,” he says. “Being in an area that is new puts newer practitioners on far more equal footing as compared to older, more traditional relationships.”
Campbell concludes that because entertainment is such a dynamic industry, everyone in entertainment law, like in entertainment, has a shot at being great.
Read the entire article HERE.
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The largest woman-owned national full-service business law firm in the U.S., Culhane Meadows fields over 70 partners in eleven major markets across the country. Uniquely structured, the firm’s Disruptive Law® business model gives attorneys greater work-life flexibility while delivering outstanding, partner-level legal services to major corporations and emerging companies across industry sectors more efficiently and cost-effectively than conventional law firms. Clients enjoy exceptional and highly-efficient legal services provided exclusively by partner-level attorneys with significant experience and training from large law firms or in-house legal departments of respected corporations. U.S. News & World Report has named Culhane Meadows among the country’s “Best Law Firms” in its 2014 through 2022 rankings and many of the firm’s partners are regularly recognized in Chambers, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and Martindale-Hubbell Peer Reviews.
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