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When to Get a Publicist or Lawyer

When to Get a Publicist or Lawyer
It's a given that to pursue a professional career you need an agent, and a manager becomes a necessity as you advance. But when do you need a lawyer or a publicist? Manager Josselyne Herman-Saccio says that in most cases, your reps can help. "A lot of managers used to be lawyers, and a lot of agencies have lawyers on staff," she says. "If you are signed with a big agency, they usually have somebody to look at contracts for you, and you can avoid paying extra for it. On occasion, you may need extra help if it's a contract outside the usual, like an endorsement. Then it's worth having an entertainment lawyer go over it for you."

Publicists are regarded as vital, separate members of your team. "If your career is taking off and you're constantly working, that's when you should get a publicist," agent Fatima Wilson says. Herman-Saccio elaborates: "We had a client who was in a Neil LaBute play, and she couldn't afford a publicist herself, but she got great coverage through the show's PR people because she proved to be a good interview subject. We have a client who's in the 'Twilight' movie, and he needs a publicist year-round. A publicist works on a fee rather than taking a percentage, so you need to be making money to do that."

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