My Shingle

Can You Make Your Hobby Into A Law Practice?

by Carolyn Elefant on May 8, 2005 · 2 comments

in Finding Your Passion, Practice Areas

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This article, Lawyer by Day, Fashion Designer by Night, Skirts the Issue, Portland Press Herald (5/8/05) reports on Maine attorney Margaret Minister O’Keefe, a law firm partner who represents local artists and designers by day and has created her own fashion label by night.  O’Keefe had always sewed but started up again when her first son was born, focusing mostly on kids’ items.  But on a trip to New York, O’Keefe saw some fabrics and decided to start making skirts which are the first item in her clothing line.

Although O’Keefe began sewing after she’d already started representing designers, I’m betting that O’Keefe’s entre into the fashion world gives her a good bit of credibility with clients and has helped her to grow her practice area.  But likewise, a special hobby or non-legal pursuit – perhaps training horses or scuba diving or acting in community theatre or serving as a paramedic – can lay a foundation for legal practice specialty in one of those fields that you’ve enjoyed enough to pursue on the side.

  • http://www.dragonbeads.com Cheryl

    An interesting proposal.
    I graduated from law school in May 2004, and although I am still working for the US Government, I also have a part time business that started from a hobby.
    I make Art Glass lampwork beads (www.dragonbeads.com).
    I am also strongly interested in Art Law. I would like to eventually represent other artists as my major field of law. I’m not there yet — of course, as I am not actively practicing. However, I have given some advice concerning
    business formation, protecting a tradename, and some other artist issues to another lampwork artist in my state.
    I think it would be wonderful to join together my being part of the ‘art’ community – and part of the ‘legal’ community.
    I look forward to it in my future practice!
    Cheryl – lawyer and artist!

  • http://www.dragonbeads.com Cheryl

    An interesting proposal.
    I graduated from law school in May 2004, and although I am still working for the US Government, I also have a part time business that started from a hobby.
    I make Art Glass lampwork beads (www.dragonbeads.com).
    I am also strongly interested in Art Law. I would like to eventually represent other artists as my major field of law. I’m not there yet — of course, as I am not actively practicing. However, I have given some advice concerning
    business formation, protecting a tradename, and some other artist issues to another lampwork artist in my state.
    I think it would be wonderful to join together my being part of the ‘art’ community – and part of the ‘legal’ community.
    I look forward to it in my future practice!
    Cheryl – lawyer and artist!

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