Q&A completed by Cara Dehnert on behalf of Jayaram Law.
With offices in New York, Chicago, Miami and Oklahoma City, Jayaram Law is a firm for innovators ®.
Can you tell us how and why you started your business?
Jayaram Law was founded in Chicago in 2009 by attorney Vivek Jayaram. His vision was to create a non-traditional law firm that smooths the road for creative and innovative clients, and to facilitate the creation of the unique and everlasting so that more original ideas and creators are able to achieve greatness.
Over the past 14 years, Jayaram Law has grown exponentially, opening offices in New York, Miami and, most recently, Oklahoma City! As a lawyer practicing with Jayaram Law, I am appreciative of the opportunity to help Oklahoma film and music professionals, as Vivek says, create unique and everlasting works.
What services do you provide within the film/music industry?
Jayaram Law is a firm for innovators®. Minority owned and majority female, it is a full-service law firm with legal and business experts specializing in all creative industries globally, including film and music locally. We offer a wide array of traditional legal services – from making deals happen to representing clients when things go sideways.
Additionally, Jayaram Law helps clients strategically and authentically build their businesses and protect their unique brands. Simply put above, Jayaram is here to assist its clients in achieving greatness.
How has your company grown to meet the needs of Oklahoma’s film and/or music industries over the last 3-5 years?
Jayaram Law is new to Oklahoma! This great state is enjoying a cultural renaissance, notably in the film and music industries. As someone who grew up in Oklahoma, moved away for 20 years, and recently returned, I was blown away by its evolution. I knew I needed to be part of it, and with that in mind, I asked Vivek if he’d be interested in expanding Jayaram Law to serve Oklahomans. Vivek recognizes an up-and-coming scene, and he also understands the necessity of and value in local representation by those who are intrinsically part of the culture. He jumped at the chance.
Jayaram then welcomed local-by-way-of-Los Angeles entertainment lawyer and film/media expert Jay Shanker to our team. Jayaram’s OKC office is small but mighty and looking to grow!
What are the benefits of basing your company’s operations in Oklahoma?
The best way to serve Oklahomans is to be Oklahomans! Jayaram’s core values are aligned with the “Oklahoma Standard.” We are a firm where innovators, creators and brands are encouraged to come as they are, and we guide every client with genuine care for the individual and through a lens that values cultural authenticity. We recognize that Oklahoma is a unique place with a unique culture, and its filmmakers and musicians deserve the highest quality personalized representation by lawyers who understand what makes Oklahoma so special, and they deserve it right here at home.
What would you consider your business’s greatest accomplishment to date?
Jayaram considers its greatest accomplishment to be creating an environment where everyone connected to its business can completely be themselves (and be celebrated for being themselves) at all times. It’s a simple but deeply impactful ethos.
Are there any recent successes your company would like to highlight related to work within the Oklahoma film and music industries?
Jayaram Law is new here, so welcoming Oklahoma to our Chicago, New York and Miami family is a success all on its own! Beyond that, I am really excited about our work with companies like Royal.io and Sona.Stream who are trying to upend the digital streaming and distribution model, involving fans in new and interesting ways we haven’t seen before.
On the film side, we spent time this year counseling talent and studios on the various AI issues they were encountering, much of which was at issue during the strike. I’d like to think Jayaram played a small role educating players in the industry if, and therefore how, AI may impact their work.
What are you working on now/next?
When it comes to forward thinking, a lot of Jayaram’s current focus is AI and how it can benefit – and what challenges it poses to – the creative community. As Jayaram’s founder and therefore the leader who sets the culture, Vivek has always been strategically interested in and engaged with new technologies, especially those that have the capacity to transform creative spaces and the world at large.
I also think the pandemic brought the creator economy, which is largely made up of people enjoying opportunities that enable them to make a living as a creative in new ways, front and center. Not only does this benefit the creators, but it enriches their communities, including Oklahoma, as a whole. As Vivek says, that’s a win for everyone in Jayaram’s book!
What is your goal/vision for the future of your company?
Jayaram’s goal is to transform what it means to be a lawyer, and also what it means to be a creative or an artist. Lawyers are not just document drafters. At our best, we should be real advisors, partners, and collaborators. We should be encouraged to use our own creative skills to craft strategic and elegant solutions for clients, and we want to help creatives take control of their art by taking control of their businesses. We believe that we do that by providing guidance, in plain English, based in an understanding and that respects and appreciates the peculiarities of their industry.
What advice do you have for others who are considering starting a film or music business in Oklahoma?
Do it! There is so much opportunity here; from a dearth of hard-working local talent to a comparatively low cost of living, production, etc. to a general environment that leads with “yes”, I have no doubt that this is the right time. And when you do, let Jayaram Law guide and support you.
One thing I always tell potential clients is that investing in setting up a new venture right from the onset actually saves your most valuable resources: time and money, sometimes substantially, in the future. And Jayaram Law is here, excited to help set you up for success.
What opportunities do you believe await Oklahoma’s film/music industry in the future?
I believe that Oklahoma’s film and music industries are just getting started; from site locations to talent, this state has so much to offer.
I do also want to take this moment to thank the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, and all those who support growth in creative industries, for their investment and care. No one office, individual, firm, studio or otherwise creates a movement. We’ve done this together, and what a movement it is! And I am wholeheartedly grateful for the chance to be involved.
What future opportunities exist, and how filmmakers and musicians capitalize on them, is up to creators and communities, but whatever they create, Jayaram Law is here to offer our support from inception to wrap!
Each featured individual or business is given the provided questions to answer in their own voice. Other than formatting and grammar, the answers are personal to each featured voice, and are not provided by the Oklahoma Film + Music Office.