Fashion Lawyers Must Wear Many Hats
|Professor Barbara Kolsun||Professor Lee Sporn|
September 12, 2016 New York Law Journal - Fashion has achieved the status of a truly global industry, and the rapid growth of fashion law is now catching up to the challenges facing mass-market fashion brands. Yet law school graduates, even from the finest law schools, come into the work place with little experience in counseling clients. Throughout our careers counseling leading fashion businesses including Michael Kors, Seven for All Mankind, Kate Spade, Calvin Klein Jeans, Ralph Lauren, and Stuart Weitzman, we have had to apply the law to the fashion industry. Just as designers must cultivate their unique sense of style, fashion lawyers need a special set of sharp skills to get the right cut.
Big law firms train the best and brightest associates by slotting them into specialty areas in their first year of practice—M&A, litigation, real estate, etc. And clinics related to criminal law practice and other disciplines have become the norm in law schools across the country. But when it comes to fashion, and other highly creative industries, the focus on the training of lawyers needs a new design.