We recently had the opportunity to catch up with NCS alumna, Meredith McGinnis Billings, class of 2001. Meredith was very active in sports while she was at NCS. She recently gave birth to a baby boy Beau with her husband Seth.
Meredith received her B.A. in criminal justice, with a minor in law from John Jay College in New York City. Shortly after graduation, she moved home to Nashville to pursue a career in the music industry and landed at a small publishing company on Music Row, where she worked with some of the industry’s hit songwriters. She later moved to a sports and music entertainment business management firm (Keller Turner Andrews & Ghanem, PLLC) where her knowledge and experience expanded into business management and accounting services for music industry songwriters, producers and executives.
Meredith achieved her J.D. from Nashville School of Law. She was elected to serve as an Honor Council Representative and co-founded the school’s first law society (Sports and Entertainment Law Society), and also served as Secretary.
Why did you choose entertainment law? I chose entertainment law because it incorporates my love for music and sports with the practice of law.
Tell us what it's like to be an entertainment attorney in Nashville? The work involves a healthy amount of drafting and negotiating all types of agreements you would normally see in the industry ranging from songwriting, production, license and development to catalog sales and appearance releases. However, there are different facets not necessarily considered traditional legal work, but have legal and business implications, such as reviewing and commenting on budgets or reaching out to contacts to assist a new artist with building a team.
Do you have any fun or interesting stories you could share? Most people would agree that visiting a client backstage at a concert or attending award shows is the most exciting aspect of being an entertainment attorney (and don’t get me wrong, it is fun), but for me, the most exciting aspect is being able to help clients bring their projects to life and to an audience. You feel a genuine sense of gratification hearing a song on the radio or seeing an artist on TV because of the agreement you negotiated.
What impact did NCS have on you? NCS impacted me in many ways, such as instilling in me good morals and values, as well as learning the importance of leadership and teamwork. I was fortunate to be captain of a couple of athletic teams I participated on, and the camaraderie I experienced and skills I learned did not only carry me in sports, but also correlated to real world experiences. You will likely be more successful in your work and personal life if you are able to learn how to set and achieve goals, adapt to situations, work hard and be a team player.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us...a memory at NCS, those who influenced you the most...anything at all? I have countless fond memories of faculty, coaches, teammates and classmates while I attended NCS, but the most influential person was Coach (now principal) Bishop, my coach, teacher and mentor. He taught me the fundamentals of leadership, and the importance of good communication, keeping perspective, practicing patience, and to be a hard working and dedicated team player - and also to be a Coach K fan!