If you’re entering any deal in the songwriting or singing business, you are going to need someone who understands the industry’s transactions, contracts, and legislation, such as the Music Modernization Act. Fortunately, some lawyers specialize in certain areas, such as record label contracts or other industry aspects. If you’re choosing your first one, it can seem challenging to pick out one that meets your needs and budget. However, this is a crucial step for you, and you should hire one as soon as possible. Here are some basic steps you can take to make this process a little easier.
Determine Your Needs
Music lawyers practice entertainment law and often specialize in different parts of the industry. Understanding your needs will help you choose the right specialist. Think about whether you need a one-time lawyer or someone who you will call on regularly. If you’re getting into the business, you probably can find a single-use lawyer for now. On the other hand, you may be looking to start a long-term relationship with a lawyer who does it all. This is helpful when you are negotiating contracts with numerous parties at the same time.
Also, think about whether you need help with contract agreements or intellectual property issues. Then, choose a lawyer who specializes in this area. This is because the person you choose will be present at all of your negotiations. They will be responsible for reading and approving any potential contracts.
Find Some Candidates
Once you determine your needs, start asking for recommendations. You likely know at least one person who has required a music lawyer before. This advice from people who have had experience working with potential candidates is crucial. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your contacts.
You also want to do some research of your own. A simple Google search will get you started. Check out who the ones near you have represented. See if any of them have any legal problems. Combine this information with recommendations to create a shortlist of candidates.
Meet With Your Shortlist
Whether conducted in-person or over the phone, you need to meet with all of your potential candidates. Industry experts, such as John Branca, recommend asking about their specialty, how soon they can start working with you, their fees, and their payment terms. Also, now is the time to see if any of them give you any bad vibes or answers you don’t trust.
It can seem like a challenge to hire your first music lawyer. However, this is a necessary process that you must undertake before signing any contracts. Follow these steps to help you find the right lawyer for you.