by Jennifer Ryback
Andrea Perez is a transactional attorney at Kessler Collins, P.C., concentrating her practice in art law, intellectual property, and business law. Her first job out of law school was with the Public Defender’s Office in Orlando, Florida, where she immediately learned that the stress in the legal profession can take a major toll on one’s physical and mental health. Andrea found her outlet in the arts, and makes sure to set time aside to visit a museum, paint, play video games, or attend a play or concert as often as possible. When Andrea moved back to Dallas in 2010, she was set on stepping away from criminal defense and establishing herself as an art lawyer. This seemed to be the perfect way to practice in an area that she loves and cares deeply about.
Thankfully, Andrea had two mentors who immensely supported her and helped launch her into this field: Jaime Baker with Thompson Coe and Paul Stafford with Stafford Law Firm. It took a few years of hard work, but in 2016, she was able to start an initiative to expand the Dallas Bar Association to include art law as a recognized practice area. The expansion was unanimously agreed to by the DBA, and the Sports and Entertainment Law Section was rebranded to become the Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Section. Expect to see many more events and CLEs focusing on art law in the years to come from Andrea. Coincidentally, this month’s DBA’s Headnotes features an article by Andrea about the art collections of David Bowie and Prince.
Within DAYL, Andrea has enjoyed working with the Wellness Committee to educate young lawyers on the importance of keeping a balanced life, and she has had particular success in coordinating artsy events to help young lawyers break the mundane rut our profession oftentimes forces us into. Andrea has also devoted a tremendous amount of time to helping with the DAYL Charity Ball, first in assisting the committee in finding local artists willing to donate auction items and now as a member of the committee to help plan and execute the fourth Charity Ball to be held later this year.
Outside of the DAYL and the DBA, Andrea is the Vice President of Texas Accountants and Lawyers for Artists (TALA), a nonprofit organization that provides pro bono services to artists and arts-related nonprofits. She is also a part of the programming committee for Cedars Union, a new artist workspace scheduled to open next year that will also provide legal representation to artists. Additionally, Andrea is a member of the Vivaldi Patron Circle for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. On top of all these other organizations, Andrea recently joined the local chapter for Lawyers for Good Government, and hopes to contribute to their fight for equality and justice.
Andrea’s ability to focus her practice on an area which she is passionate about and her successes in involving young and more seasoned lawyers in the arts, makes her One to Watch! If you have an interest in the arts (whether it be music, the symphony, ballet, fine arts, or the theater), she’s a good person to help connect you to local art events and organizations.