MYTHS ABOUT BECOMING AN ART LAWYER
Lesley Rosenthal (Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary), and Kimberly Ayers Shariff (Deputy General Counsel) of Lincoln Center for the Performing
Arts came to the Law School on April 12, 2010 as part of the Dean’s Speakers Series. The speakers corrected any false ideas that students may have about working as a lawyer for the arts:
1. You have to take an art law course to become in-house counsel for an arts organization.
Neither Ms. Rosenthal nor Ms. Ayers ever took an art law course in law school. Other legal knowledge and all kinds of outside experiences can be helpful in the arts.
2. Working in-house for an arts organization, you never go outside the confines of the law.
It is your job to understand the business and to offer legal advice that fits with the business goals of the company.
3. There is a deep divide between being a public interest lawyer and being a corporate lawyer.
Even corporate lawyers can help their clients use the law to act in the public interest.
4. Bar associations and alumni associations are obsolete.
These are very important for networking opportunities.
5. When you leave a job, you should turn your back and move on.
You should keep in touch with all your contacts.
6. Your resume should reflect your past and present work.
You should step back and look at what skills you have that fit with the job you are applying for.
7. You don’t have to love your work, you just need to pay the bills.
Rosenthal, a violin player, is passionate about the arts. As Benjamin Franklin said, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day.”