With a vibrant academic and professional career in the music, performing arts, and law arenas, R.J. Inawat is a skilled attorney with expertise spanning many facets of the entertainment industry. In his independent legal practice, R.J. focuses on entertainment law, soft intellectual property (copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets), contract law, and business/entity formation.
R.J.’s mission is to provide guidance and assistance through the legal and business aspects of the entertainment industry so that artists can focus on what they do best: create art.
R.J.’s expertise manifested through his comprehensive career in various sectors of the entertainment industry, including venue management, artist booking, record label A&R, radio marketing, event production, talent management, music licensing, and comic book publishing.
R.J. currently lends his expertise to a myriad of individuals and companies across the entertainment industry, building and executing on legal activities, contract negotiation, intellectual property management and commercial agreement drafting and editing. Among those companies is Polarity, a media company with broad operations in comic book/graphic novel publishing, short and feature film animation and general media/content creation through its award-winning subsidiaries: Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group, LLC (formerly The Lion Forge, LLC (lionforge.com) and Oni Press, Inc. (onipress.com)), Magnetic Press, LLC (magnetic-press.com) and Lion Forge Animation, LLC (lionforgeanimation.com), co-producers of the 2019 Academy Award winning animated short film “Hair Love.”
In recent years, R.J. has worked with Music Dealers, where he provided in-house legal counsel to a music licensing platform that provides authentic music for today’s advertising, television, film, and gaming industries, and The Bradford Exchange, where he negotiated and managed soft intellectual property licensing arrangements between artists, worldwide companies and brands for the company’s direct-to-consumer service.
R.J. is a DePaul University alumnus, having earned his Bachelor of Music in Performing Arts Management with minors in Management and Business Administration in 2005 as well as his Juris Doctor in 2013, and he continues to perform throughout the Chicagoland area as a freelance classical pianist.
- Illinois Supreme Court
- United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- DePaul University – School of Music (music.depaul.edu)
- Adjunct Professor – Performing Arts Management program: 2023-Present
- Polarity (polarityltd.com)
- Counsel: 2018-Present
- The Bradford Exchange (bradfordexchange.com)
- Licensing Manager: 2017-2018
- Music Dealers (musicdealers.com)
- Corporate Counsel: 2015-2016
- The Neo-Futurists (neofuturists.org)
- Vice President: 2016-Present
- Board Member: 2014-Present
- Video Game Art Gallery (videogameartgallery.com)
- Advisory Board Member: 2020-Present
- Board Member: 2015-2020
- Creative Cypher (creativecypher.org)
- Advisory Board Member: 2018-Present
- Board Member: 2016-2017
- American Bar Association (americanbar.org)
- Vice-Chair, Forum on the Entertainment & Sports Industries, Literary Publishing Division: 2020-Present
- Member, 2012-Present
- Lawyers for the Creative Arts (law-arts.org)
- Associate Board Member: 2014-Present
- Volunteer Attorney: 2014-Present
- Chicago Bar Association (chicagobar.org)
- Member, Creative Arts Committee: 2012-Present
- Member, Media/Entertainment Committee: 2012-Present
- Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (falachicago.org)
- Member: 2014-Present
- Board Member: 2016-2017