“It is not enough to bring the industry up to speed to the importance of a legal structure in the industry if we do not have enough and competent Entertainment Lawyers.”- Amanda Nneoma Uzoagba
Amanda Nneoma Uzoagba the Award-Winning Author, Entertainment Lawyer, Creative Business Consultant, Educator, Podcaster, and Public Speaker is our feature in this millennial edition. She is currently a Legal Executive at EbonyLife Limited as her legal practice is majorly focused on the Entertainment and Creative Industry. She has gathered more than 8 years of experience in the Entertainment Industry starting as a blogger, dancer and PR expert for Record Labels before she was called to bar and she continued in the industry as an Entertainment Lawyer and Creative Business Consultant thereafter. She holds a law degree (LLB) from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and was called to bar in 2017.
In 2019, she launched her consultancy firm called Goldwhisk Consult which focuses on the Entertainment and Creative Industry but also offer general legal & business consulting services as well as collaborate with other expert lawyers within various industries across Africa. Amanda believes in outsourcing briefs to other lawyers with more expertise in each particular field or industry and this has helped her legal consultancy firm thrive so far.
She is dedicated to imparting knowledge and educating the general public, (most especially the creators and entertainers) about their Intellectual Property rights, the importance of contracts and legal protections and so on. With this passion, she has organized numerous virtual and physical events for creatives, entertainers and lawyers interested in the Entertainment industry. She also drives the conversation through her weekly online contents on social media (IG, Facebook, Twitter & YouTube channel).
Amanda over the years has been on many media tours across different states in Nigeria targeted at educating creators & entertainers about intellectual property rights and the Entertainment & Creative Business. She has also facilitated a lot of events personally and also in Collaboration with different Universities Law Student Associations and Entertainment Law Clubs for law undergraduates.
This dancer, in 2020 released her first book, “Let’s Dance: A guide into making money, managing your Intellectual Property and Understanding the legal issues in the dance industry”. She is one of the pioneer people in Nigeria to ever attempt to give the dance industry a legal structure and give a clearer understanding of the existence of intellectual property in the industry. Being a dancer herself, she can understand the plight of the dance industry and infuse it with her knowledge of the law.
In her interest to build more capable lawyers for the Entertainment and Creative Industry, she just launched a new Coaching network tagged #LegalCoachingbyMandy for Law Undergraduates, Graduates, Law School Students and Young Lawyers (1-3 years post-call) interested in building their legal careers in the entertainment industry
She recently won an award in writing courtesy of Law Awards (2020) for her book. She was recognized as one of the Top 30 Nigerian Lawyers under the age of 30 by Analwagy Magazine in her Nigeria’s 30 under 30 publication (2020).
1.What makes legal practice exciting for Amanda?
Three things make the legal practice exciting for her: The Industry, the flexibility of the practice and the people.
First of all is the industry that she has decided to serve under, against popular thoughts about the Entertainment industry; she notes that it is not all fun neither is it about the lifestyle as the industry requires hard work and is stressful as well. But for someone like her who has always been drawn to the industry, the existence of Entertainment Law is the main reason why she practices lawfully.
Also, the flexibility of practice and its relation to other areas of law being practiced and the sides endears her. For the sides, one minute she is providing services to a Record Label and the next minute she is providing services to an artist in another transaction. For the areas of law, she notes that someday she could find herself practicing Contract Law or Intellectual Property Law and the next thing she is advising her client on Property Law or Employment-related matters. This boils down to the practice of dealing differently with people, Amanda notes.
Lastly, the people in the industry; Amanda mentions that the Entertainment and Creative Industry is one where a personal relationship is important and the fact that she can deal more directly with humans, she experiences firsthand the effects of her legal advice and decisions which can either be fulfilling or draining. But both feelings keep the adrenaline of practice pumping for Amanda.
2.What Is Her Philosophy of Impacting the Nation Through the Practice of The Law?
Amanda understands that there will be no need for an effective legal structure if there are no lawyers interested to keep it alive and working. Also, she notes that there is a need for policies from the government to better the Entertainment industry as well as the nation. On that basis, she believes that there is a need to encourage and help law students and young lawyers through mentorship and coaching. Amanda mentions that she cannot impact the nation alone neither can she singlehandedly enforce the policies when they come but with the force of a plethora of lawyers working and making the system work for them, there is nothing that will be unbeatable.
3.What Is the Next Big Thing She Is Working On?
For the last two years, she has been focused on educating entertainers and creators on their intellectual property rights; how to protect it, monetize it and pass it down to their generations through her social media posts, YouTube videos, media tours, webinars, podcasts and masterclasses. She is proud to see that has been a huge success so far but the work is not completely done. Now, she plans on channeling her energy into creating and building more entertainment lawyers for the industry. She has just launched a new coaching segment for law undergraduates, graduates, law school students and young lawyers interested in pursuing a legal career in the Entertainment Industry.
“It is not enough to bring the industry up to speed to the importance of a legal structure in the industry if we do not have enough and competent Entertainment Lawyers.”, Amanda quips.
Her newly launched Coaching Network will run through May & June 2021, and its success will determine if the segments will become a monthly thing or not.
She is also working on a new book and contract templates for the creative and entertainment industry, although she does not have a timeframe for any of their publications she hopes before the year runs out.
4.What Does She Consider as the Millennial’s Greatest Strength?
Amanda recognizes the internet and technology as these strengths; she understands that the innovation brought by technology has radically changed the legal profession and although lawyers are gradually accepting them its existence is enough hope. She cites how court hearings moved from just being held within the four walls of a courtroom to virtually from the comfort of your offices or homes. She is also excited for changes and innovations to come. Another thing is the internet, she acknowledges the impact of ICT, the world is a global village and that is no joke for Amanda. She has been able to work with people all over the world all thanks to the internet and social media, although she usually faces some pushbacks when they find out that she resides in Nigeria especially where such a client does not come through a referral.
5.Who, in the Profession Does Amanda Look Up to And What is she currently Reading?
She looks up to a lot of Entertainment Lawyers both within and outside Nigeria like Yemisi Falaye, Audu Maikori, Akinyemi Ayinoluwa and Uduak Oduok. Also, she keeps an eye out for legal practitioners breaking the norm of legal practice to educate the public as well as help them with their services and sometimes they come in form of Influencers. She also looks at other professionals such as doctors, accountants etc that use content creation and the internet to grow their professional brands.
She is currently reading – The Essential Guide to Entertainment Law (Dealmaking).
The PALM considers Amanda Nneoma Uzoagba a legal millennial who has shown exceptional radiance in the field of legal practice.
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Click here to read our previous millennial, Shadrack Wambui.
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