originally published Nov. 2016. updated June 2022
I’ve been a musician for the majority of my life. It all started in Pre-K when a grad student chose several kids from the class to teach piano lessons to as a project. I loved it! I continued taking lessons from 1st Grade through Senior year of high school. Looking back, I definitely wish I had practiced more; natural talent only gets you so far. I started band in middle school on saxophone. Despite the stigma attached to being a band geek, I loved it and continued playing all the way through college at the University of Georgia. Life in Redcoats was much different than high school. We were practically celebrities to fans!
During law school, I wanted to stay involved with music, so I interned at Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (“GLA”) for class credit. GLA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide pro-bono legal assistance and legal education to the Georgia arts community. I enjoyed my involvement so much that after I graduated and passed the (infamous) Bar Exam, I returned to continue volunteering while I built my practice. I ultimately served as Director of Operations for 2 years and still take pro bono cases in my practice area!
I had the honor of publishing an article about how attorneys can use their expertise to assist Georgia artists in the Nov. 2016 edition of the Atlanta Bar Association’s monthly magazine, The Atlanta Lawyer. November’s theme was the arts and entertainment industry in the legal field. You’ll find my article on Page 18. Enjoy!
While the article focuses on what legal professionals can do to give back to the arts community, there is also much that non legal professionals can do. For starters, support the musicians you enjoy by streaming or purchasing their music instead of illegally downloading it. Metallica received a ton of criticism for their stance against Napster and piracy, but they were right! Support those artists, especially local ones, so they can continue bringing you great music. Buy art. Many artists create their work for a living. Go to art events, find artwork that speaks to you, meet the artist(s), and purchase their art.