We had the good fortune of connecting with Ravyn Neal, Esq. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ravyn, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Taking risks is necessary for evolvement. Risks are frightening, because the intended outcome is not guaranteed. Nevertheless, I’ve never been one to avoid a challenge or avoid difficulty. I embrace challenges and fear, because I’m constantly trying to push myself to achieve better. When I’m deciding whether to take a particular risk, I wait for that little voice in my head that says “Do It”. Then, I do it, whatever the risk is, with full force and intention, purposefully.

The biggest risk I took related to my career was when I chose not to continue the more secure employment route of being in-house counsel at a studio or network. Instead, I chose to launch my own law practice. I didn’t know many people who chose this route. At the time, there were also few law firms using Instagram. Law firms were a lot more mysterious. I was young. I was nervous and afraid. Success was not guaranteed. However, I was more afraid of not taking the risk, not pushing myself and not pursuing my dreams. Running a successful business means to take calculated risks, over and over again. Over time, I have had to find comfort in being uncomfortable.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started my law firm, the Law Office of Ravyn Neal, a little over 3 years ago. I provide business and entertainment legal services to a variety of individuals, artists and executives in the music, television and digital industries. My client lists include independent music artists to artists at Record Labels like Cash Money Records, digital creators such as IG Influences to Youtube Creators, executives at companies such as Youtube and End of Episode, various writers and actors in the television and theatre industry, authors, and business owners looking to protect their brand, establish a new company or enter legal agreements with new partners or independent contractors. I received my Bachelor of Arts & Sciences in English from THE MECCA, formally known as Howard University, and I received my Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School. When I transitioned my life to Los Angeles, my goal was to work in entertainment and run my own law practice. My mom was a business owner, and I watched her run a business successfully for over 15 years. So, my move to Los Angeles was a chance to put to practice what I had seen my entire childhood. This was my chance to be a boss.

My journey was not easy and still isn’t easy, but that’s how life works. You have to work hard for what you want, make the right connections, take calculated risks, and (here’s a major key) take care of your mental, spiritual and physical health. You also need a good support system, and you have to surround yourself with like-minded people. I live by the saying “You are the company you keep.” The basis of my support system is my family. We’re very close. I know exactly who to talk to when I’m on the fence about a decision. Before I launched my practice, I knew I needed the right legal foundation. So, I transferred to Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles to have better entertainment law career opportunities and to take courses in entertainment that were not provided at my previous law school. The move to Los Angeles alone included a lot of challenges. I was doubling my tuition and cost of living. I was accepted 10 days before the school year began. I had to move out of my apartment in Houston and find a place to live in LA. Soon after my car was transported to LA, I was hit by a tractor trailer. I was physically okay, but my car was totaled. During every obstacle, my family helped me find a solution and/or provided financial support. Also, during every obstacle, I found out I was stronger than I thought I was.

Since family is a huge influence in my life, I chose to run my law practice with a more familial and personal type of attorney/client relationship. I do not accept all clients that contact me. I only accept clients who I feel I can build a trusting attorney client relationship. If they have any doubts about whether they can trust me, I tell them not to hire me. It’s essential that my clients know that I am truly invested in the success of their career and/or business. That is why my slogan is “Together We’ll Fly High,” because my intention is to assist my clients to reach their highest career desires. My law practice is also more unconventional, because the intention has always been for myself and anyone working for the firm to primarily work from home. I don’t believe in work taking over your life; I believe in work enhancing your life. When I’m discussing a potential business opportunity with a client, one of my concerns, outside of their financial benefit, is always whether the deal will enhance their life. Not every deal is a good business deal. It’s my job to help my clients decipher which deals to close and which to walk away from. When a client signs on with my firm, they receive honest, objective advice. It’s not just business for me. I care about my clients, and I’m looking for long-lasting business relationships. That’s what I’m most proud of about my brand, that my clients know I’m more interested in the quality of the attorney/client relationship rather than just the quantity of money the client can bring in.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was coming to visit, I’d take her to my favorite happy hour spot Te’Kila in Hollywood. I looove good food. So, we’d also have to get some soul food from Dulan’s on W. Century Blvd. Going to Korean bbq is also a must. My favorite spot is one of the more intimate korean bbq’s restaurants called Yerim Korean BBQ. For an upscale dinner, we’d go to BOA Steakhouse. We’d go for a hike at Runyon Canyon, because the view is beautiful and gives visitors the LA feel they’re looking for. After our hike, we’d grab coffee from Hilltop in Inglewood. If we’re in the mood for brunch, we might go to Eat This Cafe, The Waffle or The Coffee Company. We’d go to Venice Beach to purchase some original art from the artists on the boardwalk and to Hermosa Beach for a chill beach day. If we’re in the party mood, I’d look to see if 88th x 11 Mile, Inc is hosting any events.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I began my legal journey in Houston, Texas at Thurgood Marshall School of Law. During my first year in law school, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in Entertainment Law and a vast majority of the jobs I wanted were in Los Angeles. So, I transferred to Southwestern Law School which was recognized as one of the top ten law schools in the country for entertainment law. Once I got to Los Angeles, I enrolled in as many entertainment law related courses that I was allowed and attacked my biggest challenge which was getting my first job in entertainment. In April of 2015, I went to a law clerk panel discussion hosted by the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles. I remember the month and year, because this day changed my life forever. It was the day I met my mentor, and now trusted friend, Jennifer Duval Jackson.

During the panel discussion, there was a young male attorney discussing his experience as a law clerk and this attorney was the cousin of my soon to be mentor. He briefly introduced Jennifer and stated that she was working as Counsel at BET Networks. Afterwards, I met Jennifer for an informational interview and soon, I was interviewing for a legal internship at BET Networks. Before I knew it, after countless applications for entertainment law internships, Jennifer got me my first job in entertainment.

In the legal field, it’s essential to have a mentor and/or dependable colleagues to reach out to for advice. Jennifer mentored me and taught me everything I needed to know about closing and drafting deals for actors, writers, producers and directors in scripted and unscripted programming. She was transparent. She went above and beyond to teach me and to give me resources to help me learn.

It’s rare to find someone so kind and selfless. My time at BET working under Jennifer catapulted my career. I moved to California with no immediate family. Jennifer became the big sister I always wished I had. So, thank you Jen for your selfless love and support. There are some people in this world who are irreplaceable, and you’re one of them.

Website: https://www.entlawadviser.com/

Instagram: @EntLawAdviser

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LawOfficeOfRavynNeal

Other: Email: RavynNeal@gmail.com

Image Credits
Photography Credit: Visualizing You Studios by J. Anika Photographer’s IG: @byvystudios

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