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Community Highlights: Meet Ravyn Neal

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ravyn Neal.

Ravyn, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. I have a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences degree in English from The MECCA, formally known as Howard University. At the age of 24, I graduated from Southwestern Law School, and I am currently a solo practitioner in Los Angeles owning and operating my own entertainment and business law firm named the Law Office of Ravyn Neal. However, the younger version of myself would have never believed I would be an entrepreneur practicing law in the home of entertainment and owning a law firm. I did know that, based on the major players who contributed to my upbringing, I would be chasing greatness.

I would not be who I am without paying homage to my mother who has always been an inspiration and an authentic BOSS during my entire childhood; my father, who never doubted my future successes and knew I would become a lawyer; and my uncle, who persevered through every obstacle meant to hold him back and became the first person in our family to become a professional basketball player. My village and my faith have been essential in my path towards entrepreneurship.

My journey to running my own successful law practice began when I applied to one law school at 11:55 p.m. right on the deadline. Following my commencement from Howard University, I moved to Houston and began my legal journey at another amazing Historically Black College and University, Texas Southern University, which housed Thurgood Marshall School of Law. While attending Thurgood, I decided to pursue entertainment law and sought a change of venue. I applied to Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles and was accepted ten days before the next school year began. This is when I made my leap of faith and transitioned my life to the west coast.

Since transitioning to Los Angeles, I have fully immersed myself into the entertainment industry. I have worked at BET Networks, the Mark Gordon Company and Dick Clark Productions (Yes, the company name is all lower case). I was raised by a BOSS. So, my goal has always been to become a business owner. The relationships I built at these various studios helped to catapult my law practice to what it has become today. These same relationships, along with my perseverance and hard work, have given me the ability to successfully run my business for the past three years. Now, I offer business and entertainment law services to a variety of individuals, artists, and executives in the music, television and digital industries. My client lists include independent music artists, artists at known record labels like Cash Money Records, digital creators like Instagram influencers and Youtube creators, company executives found in great companies like Youtube and End of Episode, various writers and actors who have found their niche in television and theatre; and lastly, business owners looking to protect their brand while establishing new companies and/or entering legal agreements with new partners and/or independent contractors.

Though I enjoy practicing law, being an attorney is only one aspect of my life. In a generation that dares to be different by challenging what has become traditional career norms, I dare to be different and explore more than one passion. In addition to my law practice, I am a founding member of The McKenzie Pantry Foundation, Inc which is a non-profit organization formed to eliminate hunger in underserved communities. Our pantry is located in Baltimore, Maryland and throughout the pandemic, and up until this school year, we have offered over 360 meals every weekend to families in need. I am also a co-founder of Two Black Girls Trippin’ where my colleague and I provide travel planning assistance and inspire other millenials to travel the world on a “bougie” budget. People often ask, “What do you do?” and my answer is always “What I Love.”

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Looking from the outside in, it may seem like everything works out in my favor. In reality, my road has been far from smooth. Aside from the typical career obstacles and proving that my capability to take on new work is not precluded by my years of experience, I have experienced discrimination based on my race and being an African American woman working in the entertainment industry. I have been questioned regarding the way I choose to style my hair, which includes my hair’s natural state. I’ve been judged regarding the length of my nails and whether or not it will interfere with the quality of my work. I have proven that—as a millennial black woman—these “concerns” do not diminish my grit and work ethic to close any deal just as well as my other legal colleagues of any race, gender and with double the years of experience. My struggles and successes have proved that quantity does not equal quality.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
My law firm specializes in entertainment and business law. More specifically, I offer contract and negotiation services to a variety of individuals, artists, and executives in the music, television and digital industries. I also offer copyright registration services, trademark registration services and a number business contract-related services to businesses in a variety of industries.

What makes me proud of brand-wise regarding my law firm is the core principals upon which it was found. The first principal is that my firm needed to be unconventional. At the time, I didn’t know of many lawyers or law firms who primarily worked from home. So, my intention was for my the law practice to be primarily home-based with the hopes of taking a more modern, evolved approach and providing flexibility and work-life balance. I believe that our careers should not take over our lives but enhance our lives, and I sought for that unconventionality. Second, I wanted to provide a personal type of attorney/client relationship. With this thought, I knew I could not accept all clients that contact me, and I have made sure to stay true to that belief. I only accept clients who I can build a trusting and honorable attorney/client relationship. It was essential for my clients to know that I was truly invested in the successes of their careers and/or business. This has remained true for the past three years to the present. That is also why my slogan is “Together We’ll Fly High”, because my intention is to assist my clients to reach their highest career desires. It’s not just a slogan, it’s also a principal upon which I run my practice. It’s also what sets me apart from other, more traditional firms.

Any big plans?
An essential part of being a business owner is transitioning with changes that happen over time. So, I’m always looking for an arising niche. In the near future, I’ll be releasing some “how to” courses for our ever-growing DIY generation. Readers will have to stay updated on my IG page to get further details. My firm will also be transitioning to providing services in real estate law in addition to my current legal services. Aside from my law firm, our non-profit The McKenzie Pantry Foundation, Inc is looking to expand our Pantry to another local school in need. If you anyone knows of a school in the Baltimore area that has a need, please let us know.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Photography Credit: Visualizing You Studios by J. Anika Photographer’s IG: @byvystudios Sweatsuit designed by: @echogeneric

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