Finding An Attorney
by Ben McLane, Esq.
Maclan & Wong
"I understand that it's important for bands to have legal representation, but at what point should we start looking for a lawyer?"
In my opinion - and this would apply to any industry person you would want to approach, be it an attorney, manager, booking agent, PR rep, label, etc. - the best time to hit up an attorney is when you have laid the proper foundation to give the attorney the tools to work with so that he/she can actually help you, or have a reason to help you (e.g., touring history, fanbase, great songs, killer image, stability); without these elements in place, you are probably not yet a real business, and despite how "hooked up" the attorney is, it is probably too early to get him/her involved because any situation he/she would introduce you too would no doubt require these elements.
"Is there anything wrong with just going with an affordable attorney we've found through the Yellow Pages?"
Yes, I think this is a waste of time. The entertainment industry is unique in that the type of services a music attorney would offer are generally not geared toward the general public, and thus are not on par with the types of services - legal or otherwise - someone would look for in the phone book (e.g., a plumber). I personally do not know any genuine entertainment attorney that advertises his/her services in this fashion; through word of mouth and reputation is the best way to find a music attorney. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Copyright 2006, Ben McLane