Building a career in law is not easy for any area of legal specialization, but professionals focusing on entertainment law face particular challenges. The rewards, however, are plentiful, not the least of which is richly interesting work. Here are four important traits entertainment lawyers often share.
Those in entertainment law must themselves be able to think creatively. Professional John Branca, who represents well-known music acts and musicians, knows this all too well. While lawyers working with famous performers need the skills many professional attorneys have—interpreting contracts and protecting their clients’ interests, for example—these specialized lawyers also must deal with personalities that often function outside accepted social norms. These lawyers must find ways to get necessary work done anyway, no matter how atypical their clients may act.
Skilled in Communication
All attorneys need smooth communication skills at least to some extent, but those working in the entertainment industry must be particularly well-spoken. They need to be able to explain complicated contracts in an accessible way to their high-profile clients. Entertainment lawyers also will have to deal with individuals throughout the industry, from managers to venue owners to agents and family members of celebrities. These specialized lawyers need the skills to handle many types of personalities and vested interests with professional manners and open minds.
Entertainment lawyers must stay calm in all sorts of unusual situations and around a variety of uncommon behaviors. Dealing with celebrities may mean handling business matters in uncommon and sometimes strange circumstances, as entertainment lawyer John Branca well knows. Celebrities do not work typical hours or have standard jobs, and attorneys who work with them must be flexible with their own time and able to maintain their composure no matter what happens. They are to serve as the voice of reason and consideration in this often volatile industry.
Attorneys working in the entertainment industry are themselves somewhat susceptible to its mercurial nature. They need to be flexible and ready to transfer their skills to forge a multi-dimensional career. If they are between clients, for example, they may work as consultants or speakers. They also might want to write books or teach.
Lawyers working in the entertainment industry need specific traits in order to truly enjoy their work and make the most out of their careers. While their work is often exciting and interesting, entertainment attorneys also face numerous unusual challenges. How well they manage them determines the quality of their work—and lives.
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