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Associate Board Member Odell Mitchell III Continues to Feed his Passion for the Arts

Odell Mitchell III, Esq. practices in the heart of Chicago, IL. He earned a BM in Music Business and an independent study in graphic design from Millikin University. He earned his JD from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 

Prior to founding Thirdinline Legal, Odell operated as a manager, recording engineer, producer and creative director. As a musician and visual artist himself, he understands the needs of the creative entrepreneur firsthand. With over 10 years of experience in the arts and entertainment industries, Odell is pleased to unite his passions of creativity and the law to provide excellent legal services to other entertainment, business, and creative professionals.

How did you learn about Lawyers for the Creative Arts and what led you to apply to join the Associate Board?
I learned about LCA during my first year of law school. I was looking for networking opportunities with attorneys in my field of interest, and one of my professors and mentors, Peter Strand, directed me to check out LCA. I was elated to discover them. I have been in the entertainment industry for a long time, even before law school, and I knew I wanted to join as soon as possible. I joined the Associate Board in 2016, and I have been an active member ever since.

What’s your favorite LCA memory? 
The first LCA Associate Board (“AB”) event I attended was an informational social gathering at The Foundation Room in the House of Blues. There, I met many of the attorneys I now count among my friends. It was one of the first times I felt I found my people.

Which LCA or Associate Board events have you participated in?
I am one of the co-chairs of the committee for our annual fundraiser, the Shindy. Even before taking on a leadership role with the Shindy, I always deeply enjoyed it as an event. It is an excellent time that showcases local talent and raises funds to support LCA. Plus, it is a great event that brings people from the artistic and legal communities together. Unfortunately, we canceled our 2020 Shindy due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, I look forward to our next one.

What types of LCA matters have you taken on?
I mainly handle transactional matters regarding contract drafting, review, and negotiation. Most matters have centered around business formation and administration.

What advice would you give to an attorney who is considering taking an LCA matter?
LCA is here to help. You are not alone, and you do not have to know everything. Know that you are helping your clients in a way that they often did not think was possible. Dive in and ask for help where needed.

What has it been like working with our clients? How does it differ from your job at your firm?
My practice overlaps heavily with my LCA work. In working with LCA clients, I am often the first attorney for a client. More than just handling their substantive matters, I put them at ease about interacting with the legal process and empower them to engage their craft with confidence and security.  

Do you have any personal background in the arts?
I come from an arts family and studied music and graphic design in undergrad. Further, I worked professionally in the arts before law school. For years, I ran my own creative direction firm where I managed artists and musicians, recorded and produced albums, and created visual and marketing campaigns for artists, musicians, and creative organizations. That work is what led me to want to become an entertainment attorney.

Do you participate in or follow the arts here in Chicago?
I do, particularly music. Many of my clients come from the Chicago music scene, and I am honored to support them.

What about the arts in Chicago strikes you as unique?
Chicago’s ethos as a city of the people shows up in its arts scenes. From the robust outsider art scene to the fervent music scene, Chicago likes to work hard. This city is filled with prominent artists of all types, yet it also retains its Midwestern quality of accessibility. 

How does LCA support the arts in Chicago and why do you think this work is so vital to the arts?
LCA is a legal resource to so many of Chicago’s creative community. Many would not be able to do the work they do without LCA. Even more, LCA is a community unto itself. The relationships and bonds formed through the work and events are priceless and timeless.

Which tv-show/movie/song/book have you recently finished that you would recommend? 
I recently revisited the entirety of my favorite series, Sense8. It is a brilliant show helmed by two of the Wachowskis, two of Chicago’s most prominent filmmakers. A must for anyone that loves to see this city showcased on screen!

What’s a fun fact about you?
I have no middle name. Who needs a middle name when you have a suffix?

Thank you to Odell for taking the time to answer our questions! Follow us on social media for future Featured Members from our Associate Board.

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