Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristina Wilson.
Kristina, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Growing up, I was involved in many different activities which included the church choir, debate team, student counsel, and business professionals of America. However, my greatest passion became sports. I held many awards and records in both basketball and track and field. As a result of my passion, I decided to attend Bowling Green State University and majored in Sports Management. While at Bowling Green, I received a full ride scholarship as a Thompson Scholar in the Sidney A Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy. I was also a member of the BGSU Track and Field team, Homecoming Steering Committee, Debate Team, Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa and was President of the Pre-law Society. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2011. After college, I went to Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where I prepared for a career in Sports and Entertainment Law. While at Loyola, I was a member of the Negotiations Team, Black Law Students Association, Center for the Protection of Athletes’ Rights Inc. Student Volunteer Representative and was Vice President of the Sport and Entertainment Law Society. In addition to my memberships in law school, I received numerous awards including Loyola University Chicago Public Interest Recognition Award, Loyola University Chicago Leadership and Service Recognition Award, Dean’s List and the CALI Excellence for the Future Award.
Due to the way I grew up, I have always been inspired to give back to my community. After law school, I decided to return home to Detroit and participate in the Challenge Detroit fellowship program. There I was able to use my marketing, business and legal knowledge to participate in intellectually-based team challenge projects in partnership with area non-profits designed to positively impact the city and region. As a Challenge Detroit Fellow, I participated in a leadership program that focused on innovation and social impact while positively influencing perceptions of Detroit through social media and blogging.
In addition to the fellowship, I worked full-time as a Community Relations and Legal Associate with the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. This experience allowed me to introduce racing to my community and drafted, negotiated and reviewed agreements on behalf of the race. This experience along with my experiences in law school gave me years of contract experience working with companies such as the Penske Corporation, Intersport Inc. and Salvi Sport Enterprises. I also had many years of experience in marketing and promotions from working for companies like Palace Sports and Entertainment, CBS Sports, and Bowling Green State University while in Undergrad. So in 2015, I was not afraid to branch out on my own and starting my own solo practice focusing on sports, entertainment and corporate law. In 2016, I moved to Los Angeles with the hopes of opening a second law firm location. Now I have a second law firm location that currently represents clients that range from professional athletes to entertainment production companies. In addition to my contract work, I also help my clients establish and maintain businesses. I also help them protect their art and brands by registering and protecting copyrights and trademarks. Finally, I assist client in protecting assets by drafting wills and trusts.
Since college, my commitment to community has not wavered. I currently a board member of two Detroit based non-profit organizations, All Four One and Gingerbread Scholars. I also am President of the Board for the Los Angeles Blue Chip Basketball Academy.
I am a very energetic and enthusiastic person with a strong work ethic that will be a strong advocate for my clients.
Loyola University Chicago School of Law – Juris Doctor and Trial Advocacy Certificate, 2014
Bowling Green State University – Bachelor of Science in Education and Human Development, Magna Cum Laude, 2011
Admissions – State of Michigan Bar, 2014, State of California Bar, 2020
Professional Memberships & Associations
State Bar of Michigan, Arts, Communications, Entertainment and Sports Law Section
American Bar Association, Entertainment and Sports Forum
Sports Lawyers Association
Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association
Wolverine Bar Association
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Definitely not. I was raised by a single mother with the help of my grandparents. I grew up on the rough side of Detroit and did not always have the resources I need to succeed like my counterparts. I’m the first one in my immediate family to graduate from High School. So despite having all of the love and support that I needed from my family, it was still a struggle to learn what I needed to get to college and law school. I made it through and was able to secure a full ride scholarship to college. If it was not for my scholarship, I’m sure my life would be completely different.
After my fellowship, it was tough to find employment. The legal job market still had not rebounded in Detroit from the recession. So I started my own law firm. Starting my own law firm was not the plan a year after graduating law school but I knew I had a passion and skill that could help people so I went for it. So far, it’s been an amazing experience and I love my decision. However, being an entrepreneur has many obstacles involved especially in operating in multiple states.
Another obstacle was moving to Los Angeles, I struggled financially at times while trying to pass the California Bar Exam. It took me seven times, almost four years to pass. As you know without a license you cannot practice law so failure after failure made me question if I made the right decision moving to Los Angeles. I questioned my skills and intellect but I never gave up. I finally passed in November 2019 and I was sworn in March 2020. Out of that failure, I was able to plot my future and once I passed, I was able to hit the ground running. I’m working on additional businesses and leaving my mark on the industry beyond being a lawyer.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a solo attorney with a focus in sports, entertainment and corporate law.
I focus in contract drafting, review and negotiations, trademark registration, copyright registration, business formations, drafting of will and trusts and prenuptial agreements.
Majority of my clients are in music but I service all forms of entertainment including sports, film, tv, dance, sponsorships and creation of any business in any industry.
I am most proud of the type of clients that I have. Most of my clients are small but have big dreams. They are tremendously talented but at the start of their careers. I help to make sure they are protected and knowledgeable about the industry from the start so that they aren’t delayed or blindsided later in their careers.
What sets me apart is I’m affordable. Because my clients are just starting out, I don’t cripple them with fees that they cannot afford. I work with them with payment plans that allow them to fit legal services within their budgets. Ultimately saving them money in the future from doing things right the first time.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I used to look at the money I make as the marker of success but I quickly learned that money is not the end all be all, especially living in Los Angeles. Now my marker is the impact that I leave and the legacy I build.
I was born to help people. I feel like that is my purpose. My success will be in helping as many people as I can in the best way possible. I want to help educate athletes and entertainer so that they can live their dreams and not get screwed over in the process. If by the end of my career, I leave a legacy that I was a great lawyer and my clients are thriving and successful, I will consider myself successful. Now if money and accolades come with that then that will be great too!
I also want to be someone that my family, when I have one will be proud of!
- Website: www.ktwilsonlaw.com
- Phone: 3139382656
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: ktwilsonlaw
- Facebook: Kristina T. Wilson