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What is a music lawyer?

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If you are a musician or interested in becoming part of the music industry, you might need to hire a music lawyer. This type of lawyer specializes in different parts of the entertainment industry, from helping to prepare contracts to represent you in different types of legal cases. Here are some things to know about music lawyers.  

What do music lawyers do?

Music lawyers provide a lot of different services to people who are in the entertainment industry. Some lawyers are litigators, where they represent you in court. This might be required if someone is suing you for music they believe you copied from them, or if you are the one who believes samples from your own music have been used by other musicians. There might also be issues with your record contract that need to be brought up in court. Other music lawyers are transactional lawyers, where their services are outside the courtroom. They often help to set up music contracts, handle disputes through mediation, and help you avoid getting sued for different reasons.

When should you get one?

Just about anyone in the entertainment industry could use a music lawyer. You may not want to hire one until you have an issue, but it is good to start looking for one now. They can help you to prevent any legal action in the future. Musicians often have music lawyers when forming their own companies, along with music producers and music managers. You might want a lawyer if you are working on certain agreements for your band, such as splitting song rights and expenses. A lawyer comes in handy when you are concerned about using a band name too similar to another, find that your music is being used online or in advertisements without your consent, or you have trademark issues. Other reasons to have a music lawyer include if you need contracts with performers for a music festival, want a performance contract written up, or if you want to teach music and do everything legally.

What credentials does a good lawyer have?

When you start looking for a music lawyer, it is essential that you look for the right experience and education. This includes knowing what credentials a reputable lawyer must have. First of all, like other lawyers, they need to have gone to law school that is accredited, passed the bar exam, and currently be a practicing lawyer in your state. With music law, they should have extra hours with this specialty, learning the ins and outs of the music industry. Many universities offer special courses in the entertainment industry for people who want to become music lawyers.