The Road Less Traveled

For one entertainment lawyer, it has included a stint in front of the TV cameras

Kelly Shapiro ’05

Credit: WE Tv Kelly Shapiro ’05

When Kelly Shapiro ’05 started her own entertainment law practice  in January 2015 after stepping down as VP of a real estate investment trust in Malibu, she had no intention of working on a TV show.

But that summer she was negotiating a management agreement for a client, and after the matter was closed, opposing counsel who represented the manager (a well-known TV show creator/executive producer) invited her to speak to their production office about a project. She was cast shortly thereafter for an unscripted TV show about entertainment attorneys to air on WE tv. The show, titled “Money Power Respect” premiered this fall.

Shapiro, along with a cast of five other female attorneys and one male, started filming in fall of 2015 and wrapped up in the spring of 2016. “It was a very intense experience for me, as my home base, family, and main office are all in Los Angeles, and the show is based in New York,” she said. In addition to her entertainment law practice, Shapiro is also general counsel of a fashion tech startup, Thesis Couture. “Traveling back and forth to NYC to film the show was challenging, but the opportunity was well worth the effort.”

She regards her time at HLS as having played an important role in leading her to pursue a career she truly loves. “In fact,” Shapiro said, “it was a Bulletin cover story about a couple of grads pursuing nontraditional career paths [“Some Old Familiar Places,” Spring 2003] that encouraged me.”

“Even though the past 11 years haven’t always been easy,” she said, “I feel very fortunate now to be living my dream.”