Successful Berklee Alumni #53: Scott Brown

Scott Brown



Listen to the interview (approx. 53 min.) or download it.


Graduated in 2006 with a major in Music Business.  Principal instrument:  trumpet.  (He also played guitar.)


Position:  Intellectual Property Attorney at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.  Scott is part of a 6-person team.  He analyses whether things can be trademarked and files for trademarks, he does similar work for copyrights, and he reviews marketing materials to make sure they don’t violate any laws.


Overview:  While at Berklee Scott decided he wanted to be an entertainment lawyer.  He worked at Newbury Comics the year after graduating for a bit of experience and applied to law school.  He was admitted to Ohio State’s excellent law school, where he paid (discounted) in-state tuition.  While at law school, he “fell out of love” with being an entertainment lawyer, realizing that “it really isn’t much different than any other small business lawyer,” but he became very interested in trademarks.

Graduating from law school in 2011, he found himself without a job, but someone he met at a trademark conference referred him to a job at a (now-defunct) new law firm that specialized in high-tech start ups.  He got a job that September and worked there for several years, while continuing to network with trademark lawyers in the hope of getting a trademark attorney job.  Eventually, in late 2014 one of these mentors he’d met learned of an open position at Nationwide, suggested he apply, and vouched for him.  Scott got the job, and has been there since.


You can see Scott’s LinkedIn profile here.  Scott invites anyone interested in going into law, or recently out of law school, to contact him, either via LinkedIn or via email (Listen to the interview for that email address.)


Choice quotes:  “Trademark law and branding are fascinating!  It’s kind of the fun stuff of life to me:  music , art.  It’s the legal parts of all that.  Reading about trademark and copyright law is interesting stuff, and I enjoy keeping up on it and don’t have to force myself at all to do it.”

“”I was good at school.  Being a lawyer is almost the same as being good at school: read, study, apply it.”

“Working as a lawyer in-house (rather than at a law firm) was the right choice for me. I get to focus on one client, and it’s a less demanding lifestyle in terms of hours per week and stress.  Another nice thing about working in-house is that you can take a little bit longer and be more detail oriented when filing for a trademark, considering what will happen 3, 5, or even 10 years from now.  At a law firm you bill by the hour so you have to just get it done quickly and move on.”


See the full index of Successful Berklee Grads.



Scott (in the middle) as a Berklee student with his band, playing a gig at the Middle East in Cambridge.  He appreciated Berklee’s diversity, and also adds, “Everyone knew that you get out of Berklee what you put into it.  People know you have to work toward your thing, whatever that thing may be.  That gave me the mindset, and I worked to make my trademark attorney career happen.”


Scott tells current students, “You can’t take the status quo of how your path is supposed to go seriously, and you have to follow YOUR path.  It’s like dating–you have to be yourself because if you’re with the right person being yourself is what works.  Besides, the status quo may not even be the status quo in a couple of years.  Follow your thing, and if it’s different from everything else out there that may well work out best!”


fullsizerenderScott (right) with his current punk band, Other People, where he writes the songs and gigs a couple of times each month.  “What I like about not working in music is my relationship with music is very pure.  I don’t have to do anything that I don’t love. I can be creative in just the way I want to be.”