Music Lawyer in New York City | The Importance of Having an Entertainment Lawyer Dealing in the Music Industry

A good music lawyer is essential to your success in the music and entertainment business. Having an entertainment lawyer experienced with the inner workings of the music industry could be the difference between either a long and successful career in the music industry or a "could have been" status. 

What is a Music Lawyer? Is it the same as an Entertainment Lawyer?

Music lawyers are a subset of entertainment lawyers. Specifically, a music lawyer is an entertainment attorney that has a level of understanding greater than general knowledge with respect to the music industry.

Julian Cordero is the managing attorney of Cordero Law LLC. Julian is a music and entertainment attorney working with clients within the music industry. 
A music lawyer is a type of entertainment lawyer that works within the music industry and has many functions. When you hire an entertainment attorney, its important to find out what specifically the lawyer will help you with. 

What does a music lawyer do?

One of the key functions of a music lawyer (and entertainment lawyer) is that of a deal maker. The entertainment industry, and specifically the music industry, can be very contract-heavy. An entertainment attorney that works as a music lawyer will review and, often, draft contract to protect the interests of his or her clients. Additionally, these agreements usually need to be heavily negotiated. A music attorney will negotiate these deals for his or her clients while taking into account both legal and business considerations impacting the deal. 

Cordero Law works with various types of clients in the music industry. One of our most favorite type of genre to work with is the hip hop industry.  

Who do music lawyers work with? 

One. of the key differences between a entertainment lawyer and a music lawyer is the clients that they take on. Music lawyers work with clients all over the spectrum of the music business. With respect to music creators, this includes music artists, songwriters, and producers. On the business side of things, a music attorney will also work with independent record companies, major record companies, music managers, personal managers, music publishers, and publishing companies. In short, anytime music is being used commercially, there's going to be a lawyer on both sides of the transaction trying to protect the party's interest.

Legal Services for Musicians

A music attorney can help with a wide range of legal services. While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are the three most common type of services that we handle for our clients. 


Contract Drafting | Contract Review | Contract Negotiations

Okay - while this maybe actually three different services in themselves (and yes, I guess this means that technically we were lying when we said it was only going to be a list of three), these three legal services typically go together in that they are, collectively, the number one type of services that we provide to our clients when they retain us to be their music lawyer. 

A contract is defined as a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties. Making sure that you have a good music attorney representing your interests in a contract with another party could make the difference between a long and successful career in the music industry vs. never-have-been status. 

Types of Contracts We Deal With Most Often 

  • Recording Agreements
  • Producer Agreements
  • Artist Management Agreements
  • Music Distribution Agreements
  • Digital Distribution Agreements
  • Music Publishing Agreements
  • Co-Publishing Agreements
  • Publishing Administration Agreements
  • Songwriter Agreements


While this might be the most over-looked services that a music attorney can offer, it is one of the most important. Music lawyers are entertainment lawyers that have a general knowledge of the inner workings of the music industry (if the attorney is good at least).

A good music lawyer has a level of understanding of how things work in the music business. This has an immense value. To put things as blatantly as possible - we see a lot of deals. We know what is a good opportunity and what is a bad opportunity. We know what is a good contract and what is a bad contract. We know when you are going to be happy with a deal a few years down the line and when you are going to regret getting into a bad one. 

Having one of these lawyers become a part of your team is a luxury you cannot afford to not have. 


Business Needs / Intellectual Property Rights

In addition to simply making sure your contracts are in order, a music attorney that also works as a business lawyer can help with your overall business structure and value. 

Regardless of whether you are a music artist, producer, manager, or anything else, you are a business. Thus, your role in the music industry should be treated like a business. This means ensuring your business interests are protected and you get the most value for those same interests.

So what does this mean? Well - it can mean a lot of things. Every business is a little bit different and the needs of that particular business will vary. 

Examples of Some Things We Can Help With

  • Business Entity Formations / Loan Out Companies / Holding Companies
    • Corporations
    • Limited Liability Companies (LLC's)
    • Partnerships / Joint Ventures
  • Business Planning / Strategizing
  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights
  • SoundExchange Registration
  • Performance Rights Organization Registration
    • ASCAP
    • BMI
    • SESAC
    • GMR
  • Music Distribution

How to Become a Music Client

As a general matter, the first step is to book a consultation. This is so that we can evaluate your legal needs and determine if you are a good fit to become a part of the Cordero Law family. Click the button below to be taken to our consultation page and choose the option that works for you. 

Still Have Questions?

Send us an email so that we can go over any question you might have about us. 

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Cordero Law LLC Office

200 Park Ave, Suite 1700
New York, NY 10166