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Innovation in Entertainment Law: Forging Your Own Path and Knowing Your Own Worth Monika A. Tashman and Manatt’s Entertainment Practice

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP recently added Monika A. Tashman, a well-known entertainment lawyer to their New York-based entertainment practice as a partner.  Tashman has over 20 years experience working in the music and entertainment industry, and along the way, she’s developed a reputation for creative problem-solving in the entertainment space.  Her success in this area during a time of so much disruption makes her an ideal candidate to gain more insight on how to create a successful entertainment law practice. Tashman’s career in the legal and music industry provide some important lessons for those looking to emulate her success.

Innovation in Entertainment: Turning Downsides into Positives

Tashman has worked for years in the entertainment industry, helping companies and her clients navigate the changing waters as new technologies and distribution channels through innovative solutions, and by looking at problems as opportunities.  Lindsay Conner, partner and Leader of Manatt’s entertainment group sees Tashman’s experience with the changing landscape of the industry as a major asset, saying, “Monika’s deep experience in helping clients navigate the challenges and opportunities in brand reputation and awareness in a constantly evolving entertainment landscape speaks to her entrepreneurial thinking and approach.”   

Tashman admits part of her worldview is to find an opportunity of some kind, even when the situation appears negative--even if that opportunity is just a chance to learn or measure your own “grit.”  The first step is finding a path forward, but Tashman says, “the second is to ask yourself how you can change the narrative of the story to open up and create a better ending.  If it feels like a total dead end, you are perhaps not thinking creatively enough or are too caught up in the moment.”  Thinking about problems as opportunities is a strategy that translates across industries, and an important takeaway from Tashman’s success.

The Importance of Purpose and Knowing your Worth

An important element from Tashman’s experience is the value of understanding what you offer, how to translate that value for others, and making sure you take credit for the value you create.   Tashman says, “ [T]he downturn in 2008 was an opportunity for me to rethink my brand, what I had to offer, my purpose and what made me feel fulfilled as a professional.”  Discovering that a major part of her practice was that for her, discovering and developing musical talent and negotiating deals for that talent was about building a brand, and fleshing out a business model.  This translated beyond talent, to both entrepreneurs and executives, in the entertainment industry and beyond.  Finding that her passion and satisfaction came from negotiating deals that give the superstars she finds economic empowerment has been part of her success.  However, Tashman recognizes there is no single way to be successful, and no one track, but it is crucial that people stay connected to their values and purpose.  She says, “you don’t have to follow a forged path, you can get there in your own way.”  When asked what advice she would give her younger self, she said: “Know your worth and take credit for your accomplishments without apology.  You don’t win any awards, accolades or clients by staying in the shadows.”

Key Traits for Success

Success in the entertainment industry requires a few key traits: Tashman says:  “You need to be a hyper connector, relationship builder, futurist, and multi-tasker.”  These traits empower connections and to the future in order to serve clients and their needs, and they were instrumental in Tashman’s success.  Whatever the strengths you bring to your practice, however, Tashman encourages you to take ownership of those traits.  She says, “There is no one out there with the exact experience, skill set, background, perspective, passion and personality that you have.” Those are the pieces that will propel you to where you want to go, and understanding how they fuel the value you provide and the purpose you have empowers your practice.  

Finding the Right Law Firm Aligned to Help You Meet Your Goals  

Tashman looks forward to working at Manatt, seeing it as an opportunity to build the firm’s entertainment presence in New York while continuing her work innovating through challenges in the entertainment industry.  She is particularly excited at the marriage of consulting and legal services found at Manatt.  Tashman says, “I am energized to incorporate the Manatt methodology of providing legal services, advocacy and business strategy to my clients in the entertainment space.”

Copyright ©2020 National Law Forum, LLCNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 87


About this Author

Eilene Spear legal news editor and writer at the National Law Review
Operations Project Manager & Lead Writer

Eilene Spear is the Operations and Projects Manager for the National Law Review.  She heads the NLR remote publication team as the Lead Writer and assists in a variety of capacities in the management of the National Law Review.

As Lead Writer, Eilene writes extensively on a variety of legal topics; including legal marketing topics, interviews with top legal marketing professionals and the newest trends in legal marketing.  Additionally, Eilene writes on issues affecting the legal industry, such as women attorneys and the challenges they face,...