The practice of law is important, but knowing the business of law is equally important; if not more. As I shared before the law is ever changing and you will always be a student of the practice of law. However, if you’re going to hang your own shingle or work at a firm, you will need to understand that you’re a business. Make sure you act accordingly.
As a part of my series about “5 things I wish someone told me when I first became an attorney” I had the pleasure of interviewing Tanisia “Tee” Moore
Tanisia “Tee” Moore makes up one half of Moore and Young Legal Solutions, a virtual based law firm that specializes in trademarks, copyrights, and contracts for authors, social media influencers, and other creative entrepreneurs.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. What is the “backstory” that brought you to this particular career path in Law?
Thank you for having me! My interest in the law began when I was visiting my godmother in California. She had her bar prep books out on her dining room table. I remember sitting down looking through the pages and was immediately drawn into what I was reading. After that I made the decision to pursue getting a law degree once I graduated from Clark Atlanta University with my Bachelor’s degree.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your law career?
My law partner and I love to share how we meet and became friends. We meet on through a large group chat on the GroupMe app back in late 2017. There was a conversation going on and we realized we went to the same law school but at different times. She sent me a direct message saying that it was nice to meet another lawyer mama. The rest is history! We became quick friends who turned into family.
One day I asked her if she wanted to come work at the law firm with me. She has such a sharp legal mind and we worked well together. We have been able to grow our law firm over the past two or so years into something we both are proud of and legacy that our children can be pleased about as well.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
My law partner and I are preparing to grow our literary law practice. We’re both writers and are looking forward to being able to offer legal services that are specifically catered to fellow authors, bloggers, and other writers.
I’m also hoping to gear back my adoption seminars. I had intended on doing that in 2020 but the pandemic shifted my attention from being able to launch the series. Adoption is something that is near and dear to my heart. I love being able to help educate other families about the process.
What are some of the most interesting cases you have been involved in? Without sharing anything confidential can you share any stories?
There comes a day when you have to face the Goliath in your life, and in business, it is no different. Not too long ago, our client received a trademark opposition for an application they were attempting to register. Our Goliath came in the form of a major television network and our client had a lot on the line. To fold would mean that they would lose the right to enforce and protect their mark. However, walking away without a fight is not how my law partner and I operate.
I headed up the negotiations and was able to reach an agreement that was favorable to our client. It is the biggest win to date not only for my firm but within my legal career. While we can’t disclose the confidential nature of the settlement, I can say that my client was satisfied with the end result.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
In addition to practicing law I am also an author. One woman who inspires me is Toni Morrison. Not only is she a prolific author but she used her words to help empower others in the publishing community. During her time as an editor for what is now Penguin Random House, she ensured that she helped other BIPOC authors get published and received fair treatment as it concerned their published works. As attorney and author I feel as if I have an obligation to help creative a positive narrative; especially when it comes to sharing Black stories.
What advice would you give to a young person considering a career in law?
The law is a broad area and there are many paths that one can take. The best advice I can give is to keep an open mind as you take the journey into the law, do an internship, and meet people. Oftentimes you will find that your passion is different than what you thought going into law school. For example, when I was in third grade I wanted to become a criminal defense attorney and would only charge people 50 dollars to talk to me. Third grade me clearly had no idea what she was talking about, because I also wanted to have identical girl triplets. Thank goodness for maturity!
If you had the ability to make three reforms in our judicial/legal system, which three would you start with? Why?
One of the reforms I would like to see is an overhaul to the adoption and foster care system. I am an adoptive mother myself and have helped families with adoption. However, there is a dark side to the adoption and foster world that needs to be addressed. I would also like to resources be made available to birth families that would like to create a parenting plan.
Another reform I would look at is the death penalty. I believe that there needs to be more checks and balances to ensure the right person is being executed for their crimes. I won’t go as far to say that we should do away with it, but there have too many cases of the wrong person being executed for a crime they never committed. Frankly that is unacceptable. Especially since technology has advanced in such a way that there’s no reason for these types of grave errors to happen.
Lastly, I would review the sentencing guidelines especially for petty crimes and non-violent crimes. I would love to see more research being done on how to avoid these things from happening again. A lot of times the person committing these crimes suffer from lack of resources such as education and finances. As society we should look at ways to help ensure that everyone is getting the opportunity to receive a great education, and providing a livable wage for those in the work force.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
One way I give back is by mentoring other young attorneys who are entering the field of law. I have been blessed to offer internships through our firm for those interested in learning more about intellectual property. Most of the mentoring I do is with young Black woman who are moms. It brings a smile to my face to be able to share my story with another mama and help them navigate the field law.
I know this is not an easy job. What drives you?
Being able to be a living legacy for children. I know that we shouldn’t worry about what other people think, but those three little humans’ opinions matter to me. It is my hope that I make them proud and inspire to live out their greatness. Another thing that drives me is being able to help my clients get through their legal issue. Even something as simple as getting their trademark registered brings me so much joy!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or an example for each.
- The importance of finding your niche. People tend to think that lawyers know everything and oftentimes we don’t. But that is because we, lawyers, don’t take the time to sit down and think about what we actually want to do and we end up doing a disservice to our clients.
- Keep an open mind. When I first started law school, I knew that I was going to be this amazing sports/entertainment attorney. However, I quickly was introduced to other areas of law and saw that I had really knack for business law. When I graduated law school I was introduced to trademarks and copyright law and I fell in love! As you can see being open minded will take you far. Don’t be afraid to shift course in your legal career. However, be sure to take the time to learn a new area of law before offering it to the public at large.
- Having a Juris Doctorate can open up a lot of opportunities. I have a best friend who has done exceptionally well in the federal government without having a license to practice law. I have watched her career grow in ways that most attorneys only dream about. She is a constant reminder that having a law degree can be a stepping stone and can often take you on a career path that is equally fulfilling.
- The practice of law is important, but knowing the business of law is equally important; if not more. As I shared before the law is ever changing and you will always be a student of the practice of law. However, if you’re going to hang your own shingle or work at a firm, you will need to understand that you’re a business. Make sure you act accordingly.
- Burn out is real. You have to know when to check in with your internal clock to know when you may need to step back. There are certain practice areas of law that are heavy and making self-care a priority is so important.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
I would love to sit down and talk to Michelle Obama. Whenever I hear her speak I instantly feel this connection to her as if she one my aunties. I would love to sit and ask her how she has managed to balance being a wife and mother with all of her other responsibilities. Because I know it can’t be easy but she seems to do it with such grace. She’s definitely my shero. So, Michelle if you see this interview let’s connect! ☺