Thanks for chatting with us. I’d love to hear how you got started. How did you first get into the entertainment business?
My desire to work in the entertainment industry was birthed in undergrad at The University of Tennessee. Several of my friends were on the football team and were either misguided, mistaken, or misled as it related to preparing and protecting their futures which were promising with the potential to make a lot of money. Most of them had no plan or direction on earning, sustaining, or investing their money. This made me more interested in working with people in this space that needed help and genuine care and concern for protecting not only their assets, but them as a person and the talents.
In college, what did you study?
In undergrad, I took a lot of business classes. My Bachelor’s degree is in Public Administration/Business Administration.
Are there any challenges you’ve faced in the entertainment business?
As with any industry, there are several challenges, especially with being an entrepreneur. Specifically, I have dealt with being a woman in a male dominated industry. I have had several potential male clients approached me based on looks versus expertise. Because they are accustomed to women throwing themselves at them, they expect this behavior from every women. I had one client tell me that “he does not have a professional relationship with any woman that he does not have a personal relationship with.” As a young attorney trying to navigate this industry that I very badly wanted to be a part of, at that moment, I had to remember who my source was and who “He” called me to be. Of course, as I am a Memphis girl, I had a few choice words for that brother, but it was extremely disheartening to deal with. Another huge challenge is being overlooked based on being a boutique firm, but hands down I can go toe to toe with any large law firm attorney in my subject area as I do the work to make sure I am knowledgeable.
Could you tell me more about your business strategy? How did you know where to start?
My business strategy has been based on three things:
1. Become a subject matter expert in a niche area of your field.
2. Understand that the entertainment industry, like most industries, is rooted in people. I care about and nurture relationships with my clients as people first. I aim to understand who they are, what and who is important to them and why they do what they do.
3. Networking has been highly instrumental in growing my business. Building relationships has been the key to longevity for myself and my firm.
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. I had my first job at ten years old as a receptionist in my Grandfather’s tax business, so it was in my blood. My aunt worked in small business development, and I worked with her company in college so I was aware of what it took to start a business. There was a lot of trial and error along the way, but I knew where to start based on the foundation laid by my family’s businesses and I filled in the gaps along the way through self-study.
How do you hope your talks and social media will impact your viewers?
As the product of teenage pregnancy, my Mom was very strict as she wanted to make sure I did not make the same mistakes that she did. Several people told me, I would wild out in college and end up back in Memphis. I had goals that I was adamant about accomplishing regardless of the obstacles. I hope that my story and example help people to know that you are who you choose to be, not based on who people label you to be. I hope to inspire young women that you can have a successful business, marriage, children, travel, and have strong relationships too. I speak to so many women, young and old, who have felt like they had to sacrifice their personal lives in order to have career success or vice versa.
Do you have any advice for other people in the space that want to turn their passion into a career?
We all have a purpose and things that have been birthed in us that have not come to fruition yet. Just because it has not happened yet, does not mean it will not happen. A lot of time, God is either positioning, protecting, or preparing us for what is to come. As my Grandfather would tell me “nothing beats a failure but a try.” Essentially, he meant you only fail when you stop trying to reach the goal. Continue working towards your passion and with the right strategy, expertise, and customer base, people will pay you for it.
How can our readers connect with you?
Keisha R. Perry Walker
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Keisha R. Perry Walker is a dual graduate of the University of Tennessee. She received her Juris Doctorate Degree from the College of Law in 2004 and her bachelor’s degree from The College of Business in 2001. In 1997, Mrs. Perry Walker was the first African American to graduate from The Hutchison School since its inception in 1902. Mrs. Perry Walker is currently admitted to practice in Georgia where she is a member of the Sports and Entertainment Law Section. She served as a member of the Finance Committee of C5 Georgia, a member of The Recording Academy, Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA), and The American Bar Association. She also served as a founding board member of the Atlanta-based Black Music Month Foundation. She is often solicited to speak on panels to provide legal expertise and often volunteers her time mentoring and speaking to middle school, high school, and college students.
After working in a mid-size debt collection law firm for nearly a year after graduating law school, Mrs. Perry Walker was ready for a change. At the encouragement of her mentor, John F. Christmas, Mrs. Perry Walker started The Perry Law Group in June of 2005. Although hesitant to become a solo practitioner, Mrs. Perry Walker’s desire to reach the next level overcame the paralysis of her fear. Since establishing The Perry Law Group, Mrs. Perry Walker has served clients nationally and internationally in all of the Firm’s practice areas. Her past and current clients include small business owners, start-ups, independent labels, artists, producers, songwriters, managers, real estate investors, and influencers. Mrs. Perry Walker has assisted businesses and individuals resolve their legal issues and helped her clients avoid costly litigation. She aims to serve as a source of knowledge to equip her clients to become leaders in their respective industries. Mrs. Perry Walker is ecstatic about the opportunity she has been able to provide to high school, college, and law students through The Perry Law Group’s internship and mentoring program.