Danny Katz: Singer, Songwriter, Paralegal, New York, NY

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					LEGAL STAFF PROFILE                                                                           1. 800.973.1177

                            Danny Katz: Singer, Songwriter, Paralegal, New York, NY
                            [By Judith Earley]
                            Paralegal-singer-songwriter Danny Katz graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1999 with a general B.A. degree and
                            concentrations in Asian/Asian-American studies and LGBT/gender studies.

“I wasn’t certain at the time just how to          be to live abroad!) As a singer-songwriter, I      a headhunter matched me up with Fross,
market myself to the workforce unless I was        always had a particular interest in the fields     Zelnick, Lehrman & Zissu, where I currently
to consider working in the nonprofit sector.       of trademark and entertainment law, and            work.”
Given my school loan payments at the time,
                                                    Q. What do you do for fun?
as well as the costs of living in New York City,                                                      The work-life balance is what Katz said
                                                    A. There’s definitely the songwriting and
I determined that working corporate was                                                               he really appreciates at his firm. “The
                                                    performing, but that’s more a job than a
my best option. That still left me a bit in the                                                       environment at Fross is incomparable-
                                                    hobby at this point! As for additional fun
dark as to what job to pursue,” said Katz.                                                            everyone is exceptionally bright…a number of
                                                    things, I love wandering around NYC on foot,
                                                    discovering little shops and neighborhoods        the attorneys and many members of the staff
Fortunately Legal Options, a small agency           I’d never known about before. I’m a bit of a      are performing songwriters and musicians,”
that specializes in providing legal support         “culture vulture-”I love attending cultural       said Katz.
staff to various firms, reached out to him          events around the city and appreciate how
through Sarah Lawrence’s career counseling          much diversity is here. And nothing beats         “It’s not unusual for partners to attend the
center. The people there assured him                just relaxing and hanging out with my             concerts by their support staff. And the
that law firms would be interested in him           friends, family, and partner.                     firm has been very accommodating. They’ve
specifically because he had taken such              Q. What CD was most recently in your CD           allowed me to switch to my current schedule
a diverse course load and had developed             player?                                           of 0 to 5 hours a week so that I can focus
superior writing and organizational skills.         A. The Yoshida Brothers. They’re a                on my music. Interestingly enough, the firm
He interviewed with Fish & Neave (now Ropes         Japanese duo that plays Tsugaru-                  represents many entertainment clients, so
& Gray) and was hired as a legal assistant in       shamisen (Japanese lute). They rock. I            I can see the connections between what I
                                                    probably have the most eclectic music
the foreign patent prosecution division.                                                              do now as a performing songwriter and the
                                                    tastes out of anyone. Right now, I’m
                                                                                                      larger legal picture.”
                                                    listening to Thelonious Monk. Before that,
For two years, he worked part-time (to focus
                                                    I was listening to MC Lyte. And before that,
on songwriting and performing) for a small          I was listening to Natalie MacMaster.
                                                                                                      “Even though I am now working on a part-
law firm specializing in commercial, white-                                                           time basis, the partner I primarily work for
                                                    Q. What is the last magazine you read?
collar criminal, and employment litigation.                                                           has an extremely heavy docket, so keeping
                                                    A. I’ve been going back and forth between
The firm began to expand, and his position                                                            on top of deadlines and correspondence
                                                    Fast Company, Performing Songwriter,
was scheduled to convert to full-time.                                                                (secretarial tasks) as well as preparing
                                                    and AdWeek.
                                                                                                      and maintaining exhibits (paralegal tasks)
“As I wanted to keep my part-time hours,            Q. What is your favorite TV show?                 makes my head spin...all of that on top of the
                                                    A. Everybody Loves Raymond. Who doesn’t
I left the position,” said Katz. “I also                                                              responsibilities of the performing songwriter
                                                    love a dysfunctional family?
intended, at the time, to travel to Japan to                                                          job.”
promote my music. But as is often the case,         Q. Who is your role model?
circumstances changed, and I found myself           A. My parents and anyone who cultivates           According to Katz, the emotional highlights of
looking for work several months later. (I           and pursues a dream, no matter what that          his career involve the people he’s met at the
                                                    dream may be.
hadn’t factored in just how expensive it would                                                        firms for which he’s worked. “Even working

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LEGAL STAFF PROFILE                                                                         1. 800.973.1177

part-time, the firm culture can make or             everything happens for a reason. I’ve been    transition through several different careers,
break your experience. Fortunately, I’ve            extremely fortunate to have met the people    appreciate life to the fullest, and raise a
met some wonderful people who have such             I’ve met along the way and to have learned    family all at the same time,” said Katz.
a full appreciation of life in all the firms I’ve   all that I’ve learned. It’s amazing how
worked at. The emotional highlights are             transferable the paralegal skills are to my   His advice for students who are preparing to
all about the people I’ve worked with and           music business.”                              become paralegals is to make sure that you
feeling like part of a team,” said Katz.                                                          are open to be becoming organized (if you’re
                                                                                                  not already) and that you are interested in
Katz said that he believes paralegal                                                              being a team player.
associations are important. “Although
New York has such a large number of                                                               “It also helps if you can manage stress well
paralegals (the legal profession certainly                                                        and be extremely attentive to deadlines.
seems to run this city at times!), I still                                                        And have a thick skin. When your coworkers
believe any association is important. I think                                                     are stressed out, they might snap at you.
that it’s extremely important for individual        “My education taught me to be an              Don’t ever take it personally,” said Katz.
paralegals to feel that they are part of            interdisciplinary powerhouse-to be able
something larger and to meet people from            to see the interconnectedness of concepts     On The neT
different firms with different experiences          and ideas that don’t always seem related.
within different firm cultures.”                    Learning this at such a young age was of      Fross, Zelnick, Lehrman & Zissu
                                                    fundamental importance to achieve the
When asked whether he would change                  organizational skills I needed to use in my
anything or do anything differently if he had       paralegal capacity.”                          Sarah Lawrence College
his career to do over again, Katz answered,                                             
“Perhaps work specifically in entertainment         Katz said that his parents have served as
law, but then again, I have no regrets about        his biggest influences. “I’ve seen how
anything I’ve done. I am a firm believer that       they’ve managed to follow their passions,


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Description: Danny Katz, Paralegal-Singer-Songwriter Is Graduated From Sarah Lawrence College. As He Is A Singer-Songwriter, He Always Had A Particular Interest In The Field Of Trademark And Entertainment Law And He Believes Paralegal Associations Are Important.
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