I thought I would post about my experience looking for and finally finding an entertainment lawyer. My need is somewhat unusual in that I need a one-stop-shop who does both music and film, and also fundraising transactions for those areas. Also, I'm a lawyer myself (although I only do litigation, not transactions). I'm willing to spend top dollar on an entertainment lawyer who can handle transactions and, if possible, also introduce me to contacts in his or her network (although I don't say that part...it's understood). I am from Northern California, so I either need someone in L.A. or in the Bay Area.

Month 1: I email several entertainment law firms in L.A. with my need. None of them respond.

Month 2: I call an entertainment lawyer who I know through a professional colleague. She refers me to another firm. I call them and they refer me to yet another firm. The other firm is not interested.

Month 3: I post an inquiry on California Lawyers for the Arts (CLA), which is a referral service. They refer me to a questionable lawyer who charges more than $400 per hour but wants to meet me at a coffee shop because he has no office. I turn that one down and get a new referral from CLA. This one is interested but he has a very money-centric operation and I balk at the substantial deposit requirement and the fact that I have no way to contact him directly.

Month 4: I give up. What it looks like is that entertainment lawyers only take on a client if the lawyer's standing in the industry increases, not the client's!

Month 5: I develop my concepts and plans in more detail. It turns out I need one more thing: a lawyer who can do private offering transactions (fundraising) in the context of a motion picture project. I look for the top-rated lawyers in this area on Yelp, and I find what looks like a great choice. They tell me they have no entertainment experience, but they would highly recommend a particular entertainment lawyer in San Francisco who also has a L.A. office. I thank them and write it off because I don't want to deal with another entertainment lawyer's drama. But then I read this guy's twenty or thirty five-star Yelp reviews, including specific comments about how great he is at particular things. He has amazing testimonials on his website from motion picture producers, writers, and directors. I think to myself: I'll at least meet him and see what he's like. I call him and I am immediately able to reach him on his mobile phone. I set up an appointment. I meet him at his office, which is beautiful. This guy has the best ever in-person rapport/pitch and he has all the right qualifications. He says he looked over my project pages and he loves it, and wants to represent me. We spend an hour talking about movies, film festivals, entertainment law, and other stuff. He only wants two hours of attorney fees up front ($395/hr.) and seems like a really nice guy. I hire him on the spot. He gives me a tour of the office and we chat about our respective law practices. What a joy compared to months of banging my head against the wall. He immediately gets to work on my case and has already provided helpful advice. I could not be more satisfied with this.

So it looks like finding entertainment law representation is a combination of luck and having an interesting product to offer. None of it has to do with your financial resources or willingness to spend money. In case anyone is wondering, lol.