ContractsCounsel Logo
Home Blog Lawyers for Musicians: What do they do?

Lawyers for Musicians: What do they do?

Jump to Section

Who are Lawyers for Musicians?

Lawyers for musicians are legal representatives who specialize in the music industry. These lawyers represent record labels, musicians, and others in the music industry and focus on issues like trademark disputes, copyright violations, and even recording contract signing.

Lawyers who specialize in the music industry possess a deep understanding of the ins and outs of the music business. This is because lawyer for musicians must be able to defend their clients against industry-specific disputes that other lawyers may not have knowledge of.

Why Do Musicians Need Lawyers?

Going into the music industry involves more than getting paid to make music. There are extensive record deals to be signed, intellectual property to be protected, and trademarks and copyrights to establish. Musicians need lawyers because navigating these areas can be difficult and sometimes even impossible without the right know-how.

When a musician hires an entertainment lawyer , they can trust that person to act with their best interest in mind. This means that their lawyer should advocate for them to facilitate recording agreement contract terms. Lawyers also ensure that intellectual property is protected from being stolen by their label or elsewhere through copyright and trademark issuances. This may involve filing a trademark application or copyright application.

Check out this article to learn more about why it’s important for musicians to have entertainment lawyers.

Common Contracts Used by Musicians

Having a lawyer to consult and trust in when it comes to contract signing is one of the biggest benefits for musicians who hire entertainment lawyers. Since contracts in this field can deal with huge amounts of money and can span several years, signing without a professional on your side is not something you want to risk doing. No matter what type of contract it is, and no matter how big or small the agreement might be, it is always in your best interest to have a music lawyer review it before signing.

Here are some examples of common contracts used by musicians that contract lawyers specialize in as well:

Licensing Agreement

Licensing agreements are among the most important contracts in the music industry. The purpose of this agreement is to ensure that the owner of the music gets paid appropriately when their music is used.

If you’re a musician, the number one most important thing you can do for your art is make sure it is fully legally protected via a licensing agreement. Not only does this give you legal recourse against those who steal your music, but it makes sure that you are not robbed of the financial gains you are entitled to when your song is used.

Music Commissioning Agreement

A music commissioning agreement involves a musician being paid for his work on a custom project. When someone approaches them wanting to arrange for a custom song to be made, it is called a commission. Music commissioning agreements ensure that musicians are paid fairly for their work. They also establish certain terms and conditions such as deadlines, compensation details, duration of the song, and dispute resolution instructions.

Record Label Contract

If you hope to be a famous musician one day, you’ve probably heard of a record label contract. These contracts give musicians money in exchange for their rights to the music they make with the contracted record label. These agreements usually establish the amount an artist can expected to be paid, how long the agreement lasts, and how many records must be produced during the duration of the contract.

These contracts also include vital details about the terms surrounding financial streams that music creates, such as:

  • Record sales
  • Merchandise sales
  • Touring

Intellectual Property License

When an entertainment lawyer files for an intellectual property license, it makes using the music without properly compensating the artist illegal. In more specific terms, an intellectual property license indicates that a licensor (the musician) must give permission to the user (licensee) before their property can be used legally. Gaining permission to use an artist’s intellectual property usually involves paying a fee.

Sync License

A synchronization license, or sync license for short, is an agreement between the owner of a song and someone that wants to use it alongside a video. Sync licensing allows for legal use of copyrighted songs with pre-approval.

Booking Agreement

When a musician goes on tour, they visit many different cities. For each venue, there is a booking agreement that outlines the details of the event. These details often include:

  • Date and time information
  • Location
  • Compensation

Booking agreements exist to protect both parties and makes sure that everyone holds up their end of the deal. Like other types of contracts, booking agreements also include details about what happens when someone violates the contract or what can be done in the event of a cancellation.

Exclusive Rights Agreement

Music lawyers don’t only work for singers and songwriters. They are also valuable tools for music producers and composers as well. Exclusive rights agreements accompany music productions or compositions and serve as a written guarantee that the piece of music will not be sold to anyone else – it is exclusive to the purchaser.

Here is an article about the different types of contracts used by musicians and what they do.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Umar F.

3 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Darryl S.

72 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Forest H.

242 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Michael K.

101 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

How Much Does a Music Lawyer Cost?

Contracts in the entertainment industry can get long, complicated, and confusing. The good news is music lawyers are well-versed in reading, editing, and making sure these contracts benefit you. However, there is a price that you must pay for that expertise.

Since entertainment lawyers are highly specialized professionals who focus on high-profile contracts and agreements, the price tag associated with contracting with a music lawyer can be high, ranging anywhere from $300-$1,000 per contract depending on the lawyer’s hourly rate.

Even though the cost of working with a music lawyer might sound high, remember than an investment in professional help is an investment in yourself and in your craft. Having a professional who knows the ins and outs of the legal climate of the music industry could be the difference between your success and failure.

Learn more about the costs associated with music lawyers and why you should pay them by checking out this article .

How to Find a Good Music Lawyer

Locating a good music lawyer might seem like a daunting task, and it can be intimidating, especially if you have no experience. However, it is not as difficult as it may sound. Here are three quick steps you can take to make sure an entertainment lawyer is the right fit for you:

  • Come prepared: Make a list of all the needs you have for a contract lawyer. Make sure to include background information about yourself to help your music lawyer understand what their role will be.
  • Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions; after all, you want to make sure your music lawyer knows how to answer them.
  • Trust your gut: If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not a good match. On the other hand, if you “click” with a lawyer, it’s probably meant to be.

Are you ready to get connected with a music lawyer today? Post a project on ContractsCounsel to get matched with top entertainment lawyers who are ready to help you now.

ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

Diana M. on ContractsCounsel
View Diana
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
September 22, 2020

Diana M.

Patent Attorney
Free Consultation
Boca Raton, FL
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL, TX
Florida Coastal School of Law

Diana is a registered patent attorney and licensed to practice law in Florida and in federal courts in Florida and in Texas. For nearly a decade, Diana has been known as the go-to brand builder, business protector, and rights negotiator. Diana works with individual inventors, startups, and small to medium-sized closely held business entities to build, protect, and leverage a robust intellectual property portfolio comprising patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade dress, and trade secrets.

Maxwell L. on ContractsCounsel
View Maxwell
4.9 (4)
Member Since:
September 24, 2020

Maxwell L.

Lawyer, Owner
Free Consultation
New Berlin, WI
13 Yrs Experience
Licensed in WI
Marquette University Law School (JD)

Firm rated best ADR firm for Wisconsin and won an award for cultural innovation in dispute resolution from acquisition international magazine in 2016 and it was rated "Best of Brookfield" by Best Businesses in 2015. Attorney Maxwell C. Livingston was rated 10 best in Labor & Employment Law by American Institute of Legal Counsel and 40 Under 40 by American Society of Legal Advocates for 2016; he also won 10 Best by American Institute of Family Law Attorneys. He is licensed in Wisconsin in all state and federal courts, and in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, wherein he won a landmark decision in McCray v. Wielke.

Blake L. on ContractsCounsel
View Blake
4.8 (2)
Member Since:
September 22, 2020

Blake L.

Free Consultation
Farmington Hills, MI
29 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MI
Wayne State University Law School

I am a sole practitioner who has been in practice for over 25 years. I have represented many small businesses during this time. Let me bring my expertise to your business.

Bryan B. on ContractsCounsel
View Bryan
4.8 (147)
Member Since:
October 1, 2020
Jeffrey P. on ContractsCounsel
View Jeffrey
Member Since:
August 24, 2020

Jeffrey P.

Free Consultation
Deerfield Beach, FL
15 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL, NY
Florida State University College of Law

Mr. Pomeranz serves as the principal of Pomeranz Law PLLC, a boutique law firm representing clients across myriad industries and verticals. Before founding the firm, Mr. Pomeranz served as Senior Vice President, Legal & Compliance and General Counsel of Mortgage Connect, LP in 2017. Mr. Pomeranz also served as Counsel, Transactions for Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (NASDAQ: ASPS) beginning in 2013, and was based in the company’s C-Suite in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Mr. Pomeranz began his career with Mainline Information Systems, Inc. as an in-house attorney.

Rinky P. on ContractsCounsel
View Rinky
Member Since:
August 25, 2020

Rinky P.

Managing Attorney
Free Consultation
Tampa, FL
31 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, FL, TX
University of Minnesota

Rinky S. Parwani began her career practicing law in Beverly Hills, California handling high profile complex litigation and entertainment law matters. Later, her practice turned transactional to Lake Tahoe, California with a focus on business startups, trademarks, real estate resort development and government law. After leaving California, she also served as in-house counsel for a major lending corporation headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa as well as a Senior Vice President of Compliance for a fortune 500 mortgage operation in Dallas, Texas prior to opening Parwani Law, P.A. in Tampa, Florida. She has represented various sophisticated individual, government and corporate clients and counseled in a variety of litigation and corporate matters throughout her career. Ms. Parwani also has prior experience with state and federal consumer lending laws for unsecured credit cards, revolving credit, secured loans, retail credit, sales finance and mortgage loans. She also has served as a special magistrate and legal counsel for numerous Florida County Value Adjustment Boards. Her practice varies significantly from unique federal and state litigation cases to transactional matters. Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Ms. Parwani worked in private accounting for several years prior to law school. Her background includes a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate from Iowa (currently the license is inactive) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation (currently the designation is inactive). Ms. Parwani or the firm is currently a member of the following organizations: Hillsborough County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Association. Ms. Parwani is a frequent volunteer for Fox Channel 13 Tampa Bay Ask-A-Lawyer. She has published an article entitled "Advising Your Client in Foreclosure" in the Stetson Law Review, Volume 41, No. 3, Spring 2012 Foreclosure Symposium Edition. She is a frequent continuing legal education speaker and has also taught bankruptcy seminars for the American Bar Association and Amstar Litigation. She was commissioned by the Governor of Kentucky as a Kentucky Colonel. In addition, she teaches Immigration Law, Bankruptcy Law and Legal Research and Writing as an adjunct faculty instructor at the Hillsborough Community College Ybor campus in the paralegal studies program.

Nicole R. on ContractsCounsel
View Nicole
Member Since:
September 2, 2020

Nicole R.

Attorney / Owner
Free Consultation
Mount Dora, FL
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
University of Miami School of Law

Full-service boutique law firm providing personalized services in business law, trademarks, and real estate closings/title work.

Maury B. on ContractsCounsel
View Maury
Member Since:
September 2, 2020

Maury B.

Senior Counsel
Free Consultation
Minneapolis, MN
33 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MN, WI
Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Respected, driven, ethical, and high energy legal and business professional with strong focus on litigation, contracts and compliance issues. Critical management experience includes client development, developing core initiatives, and forecasting risk in major corporations. Strong legal research, analytical and problem solving skills with demonstrated adaptability in a multifaceted legal practice including delivering high value results in a Fortune 10 environment. Core competencies include: Tactical and strategic legal direction and support to clients which includes contract negotiation, drafting and review, business planning, and a passion for relationship management. Excellent legal research, writing, analytical and problem solving skills including legal training and compliance with regulatory requirements and corporate policies. Coordinates with in-house legal and business resources for team building with excellent verbal communication skills, coaching, and leadership.

Brandon L. on ContractsCounsel
View Brandon
Member Since:
October 1, 2020

Brandon L.

Managing Partner, Attorney
Free Consultation
Dallas-Fort Worth
13 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
Juris Doctor – Pepperdine University School of Law – Malibu, California

Brandon is a Texas Super Lawyer®, meaning he is among the top 2.5% of attorneys in his state. He has designed his practice to provide a unique ecosystem of legal support services to business and entrepreneurs, derived from his background as a federal district law clerk, published biochemist, and industry lecturer. Brandon is fluent in Spanish, an Eagle Scout, and actively involved with the youth in his community. He loves advocating for his clients and thinks he may never choose to retire.

Richard E. on ContractsCounsel
View Richard
Member Since:
October 1, 2020

Richard E.

Senior Partner, Attorney
Free Consultation
Dallas-Fort Worth
16 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
Juris Doctor – University of LaVerne College of Law

Richard is a wizard at taking on bureaucracies and simply getting the job done. His clients value his straight-forward counsel and his ability to leverage a top-notch legal staff for efficient and effective results. Richard is a professional engineer, professor of law, and has been named among the top 2.5% of attorneys in Texas by the Super Lawyers®. When he is not driving results for his clients, Richard can be found with his small herd on his Texas homestead.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Quick, user friendly and one of the better ways I've come across to get ahold of lawyers willing to take new clients.

View Trustpilot Review

Need help with a legal contract?

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer

See All Entertainment Lawyers

Contracts Counsel was incredibly helpful and easy to use. I submitted a project for a lawyer's help within a day I had received over 6 proposals from qualified lawyers. I submitted a bid that works best for my business and we went forward with the project.

View Trustpilot Review

I never knew how difficult it was to obtain representation or a lawyer, and ContractsCounsel was EXACTLY the type of service I was hoping for when I was in a pinch. Working with their service was efficient, effective and made me feel in control. Thank you so much and should I ever need attorney services down the road, I'll certainly be a repeat customer.

View Trustpilot Review

I got 5 bids within 24h of posting my project. I choose the person who provided the most detailed and relevant intro letter, highlighting their experience relevant to my project. I am very satisfied with the outcome and quality of the two agreements that were produced, they actually far exceed my expectations.

View Trustpilot Review

How It Works

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city