It is an early Thursday afternoon, and New York City attorney Zara Watson has had two client consultations, filed another client’s trademark application, responded to her emails, and took a lunch break before sitting down to discuss her work and aspirations with us in her midtown office.
Having earned her J.D from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2016, Zara started her legal career working at an education law firm before founding her own law firm, Zara Watson Law, in 2017. Focusing on Intellectual Property and Contract Law, Zara seeks to empower creative entrepreneurs to protect themselves, their businesses, and their brands through legal support. In starting her own law firm, Zara sought to infuse her love of creativity and social media into her legal career.
“I had been blogging for a long time,” she explains. “I did travel blogging and I wanted to incorporate more writing and creativity, more of what just feels right to me, so I chose to represent creative entrepreneurs. I represent them through trademark registration, business formation, and contract work, and I love that I’m able to use social media as part of my work. I also use social media to share legal tips and to connect more with my audience.”
Zara’s target audience is service-based entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur herself, Zara understands the challenges involved in starting and maintaining small businesses and uses this knowledge to help her clients navigate the various aspects of business ownership, including the registration of trademarks and copyrights, contract drafting and negotiation, and proper legal procedure and protection. Zara’s goal is to make the frequently complicated legal process simpler for her clients and to help them throughout the different stages of their businesses.
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“I feel like most creatives are focused on running and growing their businesses, and being creative and passionate about that,” Zara explains, “and the legal aspect of it can be overwhelming. So I’m happy to alleviate that stress.” She enjoys the opportunity to aid clients’ creativity by providing them with the legal support that they need so they can focus on their projects.
Meanwhile, Zara nurtures her own creativity as well. Describing using Instagram to promote her business and providing legal knowledge. Zara says, “Right now my approach is to share legal information. I know that a lot of entrepreneurs may not know many of the foundational principles that it takes to start, run, and grow a business.
I wanted to share legal topics that cover these issues. Like, what is an LLC? What is trademark, what’s the difference between a trademark and a copyright? What contracts do you need at every stage of growing your business? I think it’s important to discuss these basic principles for people to easily understand. Sometimes I also share personal stories, like what it’s like being an entrepreneur and what my days look like. I like to keep a balance between legal and personal and to be as authentic as possible.”
As an entrepreneur, Zara is constantly seeking to improve on and expand the services her firm offers. One of her major recent projects has been the creation of a contract template shop on her firm’s website, which launched in August. Describing her inspiration for this shop, Zara says, “When I first started my firm, I wanted to represent creative entrepreneurs, and I said to myself – I’m only one person; how can I reach more entrepreneurs and make contracts accessible and affordable to as many people as possible? Because contracts are the foundation for protecting your business in any transaction, I knew how important creating a shop like this would be for entrepreneurs.”
Although Zara still offers all her regular services and will draft individualized contracts for clients, the templates in her shop are a convenient option for clients and allow her to provide services to a larger audience. She appreciates being able to give clients the option of choosing the services that work best for them. Her use of flat rate fees allows clients to know what to expect financially when retaining her firm and allows them to make informed decisions.
Zara knows the importance of maintaining the inspiration and passion for her work, qualities that led to the creation of her template shop. Zara’s clients and their projects are another source of inspiration for her, sustaining the passion that she has for her work. Asked about some of the inspiring projects she’s worked on since opening her law firm, Zara enthusiastically describes one of her favorite clients.
“She’s a counselor, writer, and educator, and she’s created so many wellness and counseling programs for students and women. For example, one of her counseling programs helps Afro-Caribbean students just entering the U.S. who need a Haitian Creole fluent counselor to help with cultural adjustment. She started her own business to help not only students but also millennial mothers thrive. She inspires me to continue pushing and to be creative in discovering ways to help entrepreneurs on a broader scale.”
Like other attorneys featured on LegalPlatform, Zara approaches her practice using the inspiration her clients continue to provide. The flat rate packages Zara Watson Law offers enable Zara to help more creative entrepreneurs and allow clients to make smart decisions. And those smart decisions are what LegalPlatform is all about.
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