There are well over 1 million practicing attorneys in the United States. That number continues to rise annually which has created a lot of discussion about the eventual “burst” of the lawyer bubble.
The best way to avoid that burst if you’re interested in becoming an attorney is to pick a legal niche that’s in demand and that most people don’t go into. Among the many niches that exist, one of our favorites is sports and entertainment law (which we’ll refer to as just entertainment law for the remainder of this post).
Entertainment law is a law field that specializes in the execution of deals surrounding movies, television, sports, theater, and other show business endeavors. If being an entertainment lawyer sounds good to you, keep reading. Below, we share steps you can take to get started in this career!
1. Work on Your Bachelor’s Degree
To obtain a law degree from most law schools, you have to get a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degrees require roughly four years of undergraduate education. These degrees are offered in several disciplines, many of which are compatible with a law degree.
As a matter of fact, several law schools don’t discriminate against any bachelor’s majors when admitting students. Still, if you want to be sure your degree will be compatible, consider getting your bachelor’s in pre-law.
To save money, you might consider doing community college for the first two years of your bachelor’s degree before moving to a four-year university to finish your education.
2. Explore Entertainment Law
As you’re working on your bachelor’s degree, start digging into entertainment law to ensure that it’s the right fit for you. The best way to do this is to talk to entertainment lawyers.
If you don’t know any entertainment lawyers, that’s not a problem. Most people at this stage don’t.
Just find lawyers through legal websites (Avvo, Rocket Lawyer, etc.) and reach out to them, asking if they wouldn’t mind answering a few questions. You should find that more than a couple of people you connect with will be willing to give you a few minutes of their time.
3. Take Your Law School Admissions Exam
You’ve received your bachelor’s degree. You’ve explored entertainment law enough to discern that it’s the right career for you.
Now, it’s time to leap towards law school admission by completing your LSAT exam. The LSAT is like the SAT you might complete to get into a typical four-year university. The difference is that this exam will focus on skills that will support your legal education.
The better your score is on the LSAT, the more options you’ll have as far as school admissions are concerned.
4. Get Your Juris Doctorate
Armed with your LSAT scores, you’ll apply to various law schools, see which ones you get into, and take your pick. As your sort through schools, keep in mind the notability of the programs you’re applying to, the cost of those programs, and how long they’ll subject you to your education.
Most J.D. degrees take about three years to complete if you’re going to school full time. Some schools offer accelerated programs and nearly all schools have part-time programs for people that need to work or care for families as they pursue their education.
5. Head to an Entertainment Town
Entertainment law is best practiced in towns where the entertainment industry is active. If you’re interested primarily in practicing law around sports, there are a lot of organizations all over the country you could feasibly work with which would make your living options vast.
If you want to keep your options open to jobs in movies, television, and theater, you’ll want to base yourself in Los Angeles, New York, Memphis, or a small handful of the other cities that are motion-picture friendly.
Many of the best entertainment law schools are already based in entertainment hubs so by virtue, you may have already moved to one of these cities to work on your degree.
6. Join the Bar
After completing your degree and deciding what state you’d like to live in to find work, you’ll need to join your state’s bar. This is done by passing the bar exam.
The bar exam is a costly, arduous test that requires ample studying to pass. Each state has its own version of the bar which is why any state you’d like to practice in will require that you take their test.
After you pass your state’s bar, you’re ready to start practicing as an attorney.
7. Apply for the Job of Your Dreams
Some lawyers will choose to go into private practice right after joining the bar. If possible, our recommendation is to join existing entertainment law firms or to become a corporate in-house lawyer to start so you can begin collecting pay reliably and can keep learning from professionals like this attorney and other talented individuals around you.
Whatever you decide to do, the moment you start working, rejoice. The path to becoming a lawyer isn’t easy so celebrating your accomplishment is a must!
Entertainment Law Isn’t for Everyone
A lot of people love the idea of making a lot of money and enjoying the glitz of working with sports teams or celebrity brands. If that’s what’s driving you towards entertainment law, think carefully about the work that’s involved in this field.
Law is a hard practice. It requires long hours. Oftentimes, it’s a thankless job.
Challenge yourself to study this field in-depth during your bachelor’s degree to make sure it’s right for you.
If you’d like additional insight into this legal niche, we invite you to explore more content on our blog.