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3 Things You Need To Know If You Want To Work In Fashion Law

Earlier this week, Above the Law hosted its first-ever Fashion Law Forum in Los Angeles at the W Hollywood. Despite the traffic on the 405, the event was very well-attended, and we nearly had a full house in the audience. Everyone was dressed to the nines, and we couldn’t have been happier with how this elegant soiree turned out.

The highlight of the evening was a lively discussion, moderated by ATL’s Staci Zaretsky, about all of the ins and outs of fashion law. Panelists included Staci Riordan, Chair of the Fox Rothschild Fashion Law Practice Group; Jane Shay Wald, Chair of Irell & Manella’s Trademark Practice Group; Deborah Greaves, Secretary and General Counsel of True Religion Brand Jeans; and Erica Alterwitz, Assistant General Counsel of BCBG Max Azria Group Inc.

If you’re interested in becoming a fashion attorney, here are three takeaways from our esteemed panelists that you can use to get a better understanding of the industry before you dive in…

1. Simply having a “passion for fashion” isn’t going to be enough to propel you to success. You need to be a good attorney first before you’ll be able to transition your practice into the fashion industry.

2. Not everything about being a fashion attorney is as glamorous as it’s made out to be. There is industry-wide discrimination, and as with any area of law practice, there is a glass ceiling to break through.

3. Fashion law is unique in that it encompasses much more than “repackaged” IP law. From employment law to import/export law to child labor law, you need to be proficient in all industry-specific practice areas.

Here are some pictures that were taken throughout the course of the event on Tuesday evening:

Once again, thank you to our panelists for their insights, to our readers for joining us, and to our friends at Recommind for sponsoring an educational and enjoyable evening. We’d also like to extend our thanks to Flywheel and M Dot Design Studio for their participation in the event. Finally, the lucky winners of the M Dot jewelry and candle set raffle were Danielle Ayalon and Sabrina Cohan. Congratulations!

In 2013, we’ve held events in New York, D.C., Houston, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Toronto, and L.A. We still have availability for next year, so if you’d be interested in sponsoring an Above the Law event in your city in 2014, please email Thanks, and we hope to see you soon.

P.S. Word on the street is that the folks at the Fordham Fashion Law Institute are pretty up in arms about the Loyola Fashion Law Institute. Chill out and embrace the new East Coast/West Coast rivalry.