Eventually you will reach a point in your music career where you will need to start looking for a lawyer. We know this may seem scary, but it is a good thing that you have come this far. When it is time for a music lawyer, it means you are getting ready to sign a contract.
You need to be able to find an entertainment lawyer that you can actually trust and that you are comfortable working with. You are putting something very important in their hands. If you can’t trust that person, you are in a long road of heart ache.
Don’t be afraid to ask around your network of musicians. It is best to get a referral from someone that you know than to take a shot in the dark with the yellow pages. If you have to go with someone that you find online, look into who they represent and reach out to them. Feel out the experience they are having with this lawyer. If you are getting ready to sign with a record label, we suggest to not use their lawyer. They will have the label’s best interest at hand, not yours. You need someone to look out for you.
So, you think you found your entertainment lawyer. Before you even set up a meeting, make sure as a unit that you are all on the same page with what you want. Make sure you understand your band’s budget. A lawyer is not free. You don’t want to go broke paying for someone that you can’t afford. Never ask for legal advice at your first meeting. The first meeting should be used to learn about their experience as well as for you to tell your end of the story. You want to walk away knowing what this lawyer can do for you.
Ask questions! Find out of there is payment plan or if you need to pay everything all up front. You want to maintain a relationship with your lawyer. If you don’t understand something in a contract, ask. You need to have a full understanding to anything and everything that you are signing your name to. You can look up some horror stories on how people didn’t know what they were really signing and now they are stuck in a miserable five year contract.
Go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel right to work with this lawyer, don’t. Continue looking for someone who is the right fit for your musical career.