My Story – Lawyer. Mommy. For the Culture.
I am the proud mother of a 5-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter. I am the founder and managing partner at Funderburg Law, LLC. Funderburg Law is a boutique law firm that specializes in entertainment law, business law, and estate planning.
Entertainment law is what I set out to practice and have practiced the longest. I graduated law school from Howard University School of Law in the top 15% of my class. I started my legal career in California. Since I knew I wanted to be an entertainment attorney, I decided to begin my legal career in Los Angeles, California. First passing the California bar, then moving to California a year later when I attended Chapman University School of Law.
There, I earned my LL.M in Entertainment and Media Law and Transactions at Chapman Law. I received extensive drafting and negotiating training from top-notch industry professionals, particularly in the areas of music and film. While at Chapman, I participated in a legal film clinic where we represented independent film production companies, doing everything from setting up the business entities to drafting all of the necessary contracts for the above the line and below the line players.
Confident in my skills, my professor would often refer clients to me that the clinic couldn’t take. Assisting them allowed me to build my network among independent film producers, while building a small entertainment law practice. The needs of these clients fostered my experience in both entertainment law and business law in the process.
Out of my desire to cater to my growing family and gain more experience in the music industry, I transitioned my life to the Atlanta area. Upon returning back to Atlanta, I was blessed to have the opportunity to work for the veteran entertainment lawyer whom I greatly admired from afar while I was in law school. As his entertainment law firm specializes in music law, I had the honor and pleasure of gaining one-on-one training and experience working with him.
Our working relationship had the added benefit of allowing me to prioritize being a mother first. He understood that for me, motherhood came first, and we worked it out. I was able to take some time off to be a stay at home with my son, and study for the Georgia bar (which I was hoping to avoid taking by way of reciprocity after 5 years – no such luck). Once I passed the Georgia bar, I started my own practice, picking up an assortment of cases in various areas of the law, most notably entertainment law and juvenile defense. After the birth of my daughter, I made a conscious decision to focus mainly on entertainment law, business law, and estate planning.
My interest in wills, trusts, and estates began in law school, where I received the highest grade in the course. Studying for the Georgia bar, and working with an Atlanta based estate planning attorney renewed my interest in estate planning but having children of my own is truly what made it an area of passion for my practice.
I wanted to learn how to draft my own estate plan to care for my loved ones upon my death or incapacitation. I found myself studying wills, trusts and estates like crazy – attending continuing legal education classes on the subject, reading everything I could get my hands on, networking for mentors, until finally I attended the Institute of Business and Finance and took an estate planning specialist certification course.
At that point, the information was pretty much review, but that was the affirmation I needed to confidently represent clients in the subject matter. I am inspired by educating my community on estate planning, because most of us don’t even know what it is, or we have misconceptions about whether we need it or not. We do! And that’s where I come in!
Even though I have almost 10 years of legal experience, I still consider my practice to be in its foundational stage. There is still so much that I hope to develop and achieve for my practice and my clients, that it makes me feel like there is still so much left to do!
Ultimately, there are 4 main aspirational pillars to our practice here at Funderburg Law. I want for Funderburg Law to be known as the go-to entertainment law firm for all independent entertainment companies providing them with outside general counsel services.
I also aspire to use my knowledge and understanding of Spanish language and culture to represent Spanish speaking artists and musicians from Latin America. I want to help those who are unfamiliar with US copyright and trademark laws and ensure that they are not taken advantage of due to the language barriers and their ignorance of American laws, and policies related to the entertainment industry.
I want Funderburg Law to be known as the estate planning firm for low to mid-level income black families with children. And lastly, I want to help every person with a business idea and the work ethic and discipline to make it happen, create a profitable and sustainable business.
Now enough about me, I’d love to hear about you and all of your goals and aspirations. I’m super excited about all of the possibilities between the alignment of my business and yours and I would love, love, love to help you make your dreams come true.
I hope to meet you soon!
BAR ADMISSION & CERTIFICATION
Admitted to California State Bar & United States Southern District Court
Admitted to Georgia State Bar
Georgia Broker’s License
Institute of Business and Finance, Certification Estate Planning Specialist, October 2017
Chapman University School of Law, Master of Laws (L.L.M.) in Entertainment & Media Law, May 2011
Howard University School of Law, Juris Doctor (Merit Honors), May 2009
- Am Jur Awards for Copyrights, Corporations, and Wills, Trusts and Estates
- Intellectual Property Students Association, Executive Board 2007-2009
- Sports & Entertainment Law Student Association, Executive Board 2007-2009
Mesoamerica: Institute of Afro-Hispanic Literature and Culture, Summer 2004
Clark Atlanta University, Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice, Minor in Spanish (Magna Cum Laude), May 2004
Northeastern University, Paralegal Certificate, August 2003
“DMV The Movie: How I Landed the Coolest Summer Job on the Planet” 2010
“Exit Strategy” 2011
“As High as The Sky”, 2012
“A Beautiful Soul”, 2012
“Coming of Age”, by Sammie, 2017
Music Business Empowerment Conference Panelist, 2016
Ask Music Lawyer Business of Music Summit, 2018