We had the good fortune of connecting with Lerae Funderburg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lerae, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
The end goal is freedom! Pure, unadulterated freedom! I want everything that I’ve created to be self-sustaining and require nothing from me, ever. By the end of my professional career, I hope to have raised, inspired, influenced, and motivated everyone in my employ to treat my businesses as their own, so that they do everything in their power to ensure its continued success. When everything is said and done, I want to be responsible for jump starting the careers of black lawyers who sought careers in entertainment law. I want to be known for helping black people make the transition from side hustlers to entrepreneurs that build successful businesses that stand the test of time. And most importantly, I want to leave a legacy that demonstrates the ability of black women to be wealthy, powerful, and very well accomplished without sacrificing motherhood or their families.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am the owner of a boutique law firm, based in Atlanta, Georgia. Our motto is “Create the business. Protect the brand. Build the legacy.” The practice areas we focus on are entertainment and business law, trademarks and copyrights, and estate planning. I am most proud of the fact that I built my firm from the ground up, even with a baby in tow. It amazes me to know that one day I just I decided that this was what I was going to do and then over time became an attorney with celebrity clients. I love knowing that my work and expertise is contributing to the rise in black owned businesses that are legally sound and set up for maximum success and longevity. I got to where I am today by never giving up. I remember having a schedule that was empty and I would make up things to do. And now, I wish I had more time to do absolutely nothing. I had a vision and I worked on it little by little, day by day, and before I knew it, I looked up, and I was doing what I said I would. One of the things that sets me apart from others is my transparency. A lawyer is what I do, not who I am. And because I am very much who I am all the time, my clients appreciate me for it. When they know most lawyers have the credentials and experience to handle their matters for them, being a lawyer they would also look at as a friend makes them feel more comfortable and at home. Why hire a stuffy lawyer in a 3-piece suit, when you can hire “the homie” and get the job done with pleasure and ease? Entrepreneurship is not easy. It’s a struggle every day. Mistakes are made. You learn from them and keep it pushing. The only way you fail at it, is if you give up.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m all about the self-care and wellness, so my favorite places to frequent are spots that embody just that. I love the Exhale Spa at the Loews, the Spa (and Inn) at Chateau Elan, Intown Salt Room, The Spa at the Whitley, and the Zen Zulu Tea Ceremony in the West End. For food, I love Herban Fix, Tassili’s Raw Reality, Tru Foods, Chops Lobster Bar, Atlanta Fish Market, Sunflower Cafe and Chef Rob’s. As far as entertainment is concerned, I prefer to just be in good company at a friend’s house.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to a wonderful woman I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for over 15 years that goes by the name of Susan Brown Wardell. She has been a friend, mother, confidant, and mentor to me since the day we met. I worked as her paralegal many years ago prior to attending law school and she gave me my first legal job once I graduated law school. She extended her connections and resources to me which put me in position to gain certain experiences and advantages that would have otherwise been unavailable to me. And she did it all selflessly. All that she ever asked of me was that when the time comes, I do the same for someone else – to pay it forward. She believed in me. She poured into me. She thinks the world of me. And it was those things that contributed greatly to the woman that I’ve become.
Website: www.funderburglaw.com www.lawyermommylerae.com
Instagram: @funderburglaw @lawyermommylerae
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