by Ali Aboumar
[This article originally appeared on June 9, 2016 in Social Magazine)
As someone who had a chance to experience some aspects of the post graduate abyss we call ‘law school’, I have gained an appreciation for those that make it out on the other side. The easiest thing about becoming an attorney is just that, becoming one. The moment you get those bar exam results and walk out into the cold, cold world, you are on your own. Forget the firm, forget the suits, and especially forget the shows on television. To make it in markets such as New York or Los Angeles, it takes more than higher than average grades and a good recommendation. It takes an instinct to not just find solutions to dire problems, but an ability to dive into a situation blind, knowing there is light at the end of the watery tunnel. Sometimes it takes a background in film, entertainment, and success elsewhere to lead you to the spindly top. Sometimes you’re just Usman Shaikh.
If you live in Los Angeles, Usman Shaikh’s name is not unfamiliar. Usman has become one of the most recognizable attorneys in Southern California, beginning with his office in the heart of Beverly Hills, and ending with his movie star smile found at any event that involves movers and shakers (as he is both a mover and shaker). His journey began on the other side of the country, starting his life in the suburbs of Manhattan, soaking in the city culture that encompassed independence and uniqueness. Usman went to Rutgers University and then on to the Ivy League, earning his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. After working at the white shoe law firm of Winston & Strawn LLP, Usman moved on to Wall Street as a corporate finance attorney, leaving some time aside to dabble in on-screen entertainment, namely a primetime show on ABC.
Eventually, Hollywood came calling and Usman switched coasts to focus on Entertainment Law, first with ICM Partners (one of the biggest Hollywood talent agencies) and then launching his eponymous law firm, U.S. Law Group, which becomes bi-coastal as of this year with the opening of a NYC office and eyeing Dubai for its next satellite office. U.S. Law Group is a firm made up of creative business savvy attorneys who have a grasp on not just the law, but the evolving world of entertainment. Whether it be an award-winning independent film, global music concert, or the next YouTube phenomenon, these attorneys tackle it with a ‘we get what you need, so let us get it done the right way’ attitude.
I know this because I have had the pleasure of working with Usman for quite some time, using his law firm’s services for numerous entertainment projects. My personal and business dealings with him and his team break every notion of the stuffy, unassuming attorney who is really only after your checkbook (or Bitcoin nowadays I guess). Usman finds solace in being as personal and transparent as possible with his clients, while vigorously representing their interests. This is an industry of very little reality, and a gross amount of fiction, but there are silver linings. Pay attention to these small details, and the next time you look to your right at a red carpet, say hi to Usman Shaikh. He’ll be more than happy to not only say hello, but guide you in the legal direction that is most suitable for your needs.