5 Steps to Becoming an Entertainment Lawer

Entertainment lawyers get to represent some of the most interesting people–from musicians to television studios to actors. They are involved in some very high-profile and public cases. Being an entertainment lawyer can even make you a bit of a celebrity yourself.

Entertainment lawyers can help negotiate contracts, explain confusing contract clauses to clients, keep tabs on important names in the industry, and act as legal counsel to artists of all kinds.

If you’re interested in becoming an entertainment lawyer, here are the basic steps you need to follow:

1. Take Courses Related to the Entertainment Industry in Your Undergrad

If you’re going to be successful as an entertainment lawyer, you need to know more than just law. You need to be in the know. If you want to work with artists in the music industry, you better have some knowledge of how the industry works.

This is true of any industry. You’ll need to know how deals are typically done, how the industry has been evolving, and who the big names in the industry are. 

Take courses in your undergrad that are related to the industry that you want to represent clients in. If you want to represent film studios or actors, take classes in film and film history. If you want to represent writers or publishing houses, take classes in publishing and literature.

Studying the industry will help you understand your clients, their goals, and their situation.

2. Take the LSATs

Before you can start working toward your law degree, you need to pass the LSAT, or Law School Admissions Test.

The test assesses your skills to see whether you’d be likely to thrive in law school or not. It judges your reading comprehension, analytical skills, and logical reasoning skills. You need to get a qualifying score on the LSATs to go to law school.

The test is made up of five 35-minute sections. These sections are multiple-choice and only four of them count toward your score, the fifth section is used to develop and test new LSAT questions. 

There is also a writing section that is not scored. The purpose of this section is to demonstrate your skill in building and communicating an argument. It will offer you a hypothetical situation and ask you to defend an action or decision regarding that situation. It won’t be graded right or wrong, but it will be evaluated for argument-structuring skills.

Before taking the LSATs, make sure to take advantage of free preparation materials. Practice tests and a set study schedule can help set you up for success. If you don’t pass the first time, you can always retake your LSAT once the next testing period comes around.

3. Graduate from a Law School

Of course, you need a law degree to become an entertainment lawyer. Choosing the right law school for you can seem like an overwhelming decision. This education will set the foundation for the rest of your career.

The first and biggest step to finding the right school for you is knowing what you want out of your education and your career. Since you know that you want to be an entertainment lawyer, this will help narrow things down for you a bit. 

When you choose where to go to school, consider where you want to work once you graduate. Some of the biggest locations for the entertainment industry are either in New York or Lost Angeles.

Looking within that scope, you have a few prestigious schools to choose from:

  • UCLA School of Law
  • UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Columbia Law School
  • Loyola Law School
  • And more

4. Move to a Thriving Entertainment Industry Location

If you decide to get your education from a school that is not located near an entertainment industry hub, it would be a good idea for you to move closer to a major city or location that will have more opportunities for you. If you go to school in, say, Wyoming, there won’t be many, if any, available positions for a new graduate to step into.

We already mentioned New York and Los Angeles, but if those don’t sound like the right fit for you, here are some good areas you might not have previously considered:

  • Seattle
  • Atlanta
  • New Orleans
  • Chicago
  • Miami

These cities have made names for themselves in a number of industries, including music, television, and movies. Think about which industry you want to work in and do some research on which cities they operate in. You may be surprised at some of the locations that you find.

5. Take the Bar Exam for that State

Once you know where you want to work, you know which bar exam you have to take. Each state requires that lawyers pass the bar of their state. You can be admitted to practice law in multiple states, but you typically have to pass the bar in each of them. That’s why it’s important to pick the location (and ideally, land an offer) before taking the bar in that state.

The bar exam is notorious for being one of the most difficult exams to pass. It takes months of full-time preparation. To be properly prepared, it’s essential that you obtain some quality bar review materials, take and grade several practice tests, work one-on-one with a tutor, and find a peer to be your study partner.

The Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) is currently used in 34 states and includes:

  • MBE: Multistate Bar Exam, 6 hours, 200 multiple choice questions, covers the civil procedure, contracts, torts, constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, evidence, and real property.
  • MPT: Multistate Performance Test, 90 minutes, covers factual analysis, legal analysis, legal reasoning, problem-solving, identification and resolution of ethical dilemmas, written communication, and organization and management of a legal task.
  • MEE: Multistate Essay Exam, 3 hours, 6 essay questions, covers business associations, civil procedure, conflict of laws, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, family law, real property, secured transactions, torts, trusts, and estates.

Becoming an entertainment lawyer, or a lawyer of any kind requires hard work, dedication, perseverance, and talent. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as an entertainment attorney, use this guide as a starting point for your research. While the basic points are here, there is still a lot more that goes into the process. Google away and good luck!

7 Things to Do After a Car Accident

car accident

If you’re in a car accident, there are a few things you need to do to protect yourself. For starters, you should get yourself an injury attorney in case you or your vehicle’s occupants experience any injuries related to the accident and need to make a claim against the other party. At the scene of the incident, however, here are the most important things you should do.

1. Stop

Whenever you catch yourself in a car accident, your first legal obligation is to stop. It doesn’t matter whether you think there was any damage or not. You must stop your vehicle whenever you collide with something. 

2. Never Admit Responsibility

Never admit responsibility for the accident. Remember that your insurance policy is, first and foremost, a contract between you and the insurance company and that this policy says that you must not assume liability or responsibility in the event of an accident. If you want your insurance company to grant your claim, you had better leave the talking to them. 

While it is important to avoid an accident, once it happens, you should know what to do and what kind of questions you should ask the other parties involved in the country. 

3. Determine the Extent of any Injuries and Other Damages

Start by checking if anyone needs immediate medical care. If possible, do this without moving the vehicles, unless you need to do so to save someone or the vehicles are causing a huge traffic snarl-up. Ideally, you should wait for the police to arrive before doing anything. 

4. Call the Police

There should always be a legal accident report, even when dealing with minor accidents. It is, therefore, important to call the police to the scene. They will review what happened and have proper documentation to forward onto insurance companies.

5. Limit the Conversation About the Accident

Don’t discuss too much about the accident with the other party, and be careful not to admit any liability or fault. Only talk about the accident with medical professionals, the police or your insurance representative. 

6. Gather Necessary Facts About the Accident

Most people know that this is necessary but often forget to do it due to all the stress surrounding the incident. 

Get the names, phone numbers and addresses of everyone involved in the accident. You should also get the license plate number of the car and write a short description of it. You should also get the vehicle identification number and the insurance company of the other party’s car. Don’t just assume the license plate number is enough because most insurance companies will only record the vehicle identification number and vehicle type rather than the license plate number. 

The information you need to file an insurance claim is information about what transpired, information about the other driver and information about insurance. 

7. Contact Your Insurance Company

Once you have gathered all the necessary information, the next step is to call your insurance company’s emergency claims number or your insurance agent. It would be best if you could call them from the scene. 

Ultimately, your main job in the accident is to collect facts and not discuss anything further with the other party. Do not commit to anything if the other party suggests you handle things without insurance or tries to get you to admit fault.

Remember, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out and ask us. We’re always here for you!

Criminal Court Proceedings: The 8 Step Process Explained

Everything You Need to Know About the 8 Step Process for Criminal Court Proceedings

Criminal court proceedings are a little bit different from civil court proceedings. And, that means that there are some different things to expect. It’s always a good idea to first speak with a reputable criminal lawyer as they’re your best bet when it’s time to go to court.

If you’re getting ready to go through criminal prosecution, it’s important to understand the different stages and how each of those stages can affect you. 

Step 1: Arrest

The first step in a criminal prosecution is the arrest. Typically, a police officer will either bear witness to a crime or have probable cause to believe that the crime was committed. Sometimes, the officer may make an arrest using a warrant, which will allow them to book the suspect and place them in custody. 

Depending on the severity of the crime, the police officer could issue a citation which instructs the suspect to a court date that is further in the future. 

Step 2: Bail

In some cases, suspects may be granted bail. That means that the suspect can pay a set bail amount to be released from custody. However, it’s not that easy! In order to be released the suspect must promise to appear at the scheduled court proceedings. 

On top of that, bail can be either granted once the suspect is taken in or it can be granted at a review hearing. Occasionally, suspects are released based on a promise in writing to appear at court proceedings. In these cases, the court will examine the criminal record, the threat to the community, and the seriousness of the offense before granting a release. 

Step 3: Arraignment

Arraignment is the process in which a suspect makes a court appearance. The judge reads out the charges that are filed against the suspect, who can choose to plead either guilty or not guilty. The judge will then make a decision based on the plea and the defendant’s bail.

Step 4: Preliminary Hearing

After the arraignment, a preliminary hearing or examination is arranged which brings a suspect before a counsel. The suspect and witnesses are then questioned by the council and the lawyers make arguments for the defendant and the plaintiff. 

During a preliminary hearing, the grand jury will only hear from the prosecutor and may call their own witnesses or request additional investigations. They decide whether enough evidence has been given for them to indict the defendant. 

Step 5: Pre-Trial Motions

This is a very straightforward part of a criminal court proceeding. During pre-trial motions, both parties agree on what evidence will be brought forward at the final trial.

Step 6: Trial

The trial is the core of the criminal court proceeding. This is when the prosecution brings forward proof to the judge that the suspect is guilty. The prosecutor needs to prove that the defendant is guilty of the charges they supposedly committed. 

Federal law allows for all criminal trials to have a jury, which will help to make the final decision as to whether the suspect is guilty or innocent. Throughout the process, the judge will listen to both opening and closing statements by the attorneys will examine and cross-examine the witnesses, and listen to the jury’s verdict. 

Occasionally, the jury does not unanimously agree. When this occurs, the judge can declare a mistrial and either dismiss the case or bring forward a new jury. 

Step 7: Sentence

The sentence is the phase during a court proceeding during which the court decides whether the defendant will be found guilty or not guilty.

Step 8: Appeal

The appeal is the final phase of a criminal court proceeding and is the time during the trial when the defendant can request a review of their crime. If they feel that the verdict is unfair, they can have it taken to a higher court or potentially have the punishment reversed.