Bernie appears in the

Top 40 Under 40 Magazine

Bernie Lawrence-Watkins

Owner/Attorney: B. Lawrence Watkins & Associates, PC


Bernie Lawrence-Watkins fell in love with music and the arts at a young age, while attending a performing arts high school in New York City.  When she was in college at Howard University in Washington DC, her brother, a talented musician received a recording contract that unfortunately fell through. It was at that point in her life that Bernie became determined to go to law school and become an entertainment lawyer so she could get the best deals for artists and entertainers. After graduating from Howard University with a BBA in marketing, Bernie went on to attend the University of Baltimore Law School and received her Juris Doctorate in 1995.

After graduating from law school, in 1996 Bernie strategically moved to Atlanta to live and work in a geographical area where the entertainment industry was becoming prominent. She began working for Kilpatrick Stockton LLP as a litigation coordinator, eventually moving into a role as a contract attorney, while simultaneously building her entertainment representation career on the side.

In 1999, Bernie acquired a music producer client who was working with the artist, Ludacris, in the early years of his career.  She explained, “This client ended up producing six records for Ludacris and that was the start of building a name for myself in the industry.”  She eventually began negotiating contracts alongside additional famous names in the industry including Puffy and Luther Vandross. While she was establishing her career and building a name for herself in the music and entertainment world, Bernie was still working full time for the City of Atlanta. “I felt like I was working two full time jobs between the entertainment work and my day job.  At the end of 2002, I finally left the City of Atlanta to focus solely on my entertainment practice”, explains Bernie.

In January, 2003, Bernie began operating her own firm, B. Lawrence Watkins & Associates, PC, a boutique law firm that specializes in entertainment, corporate, and intellectual property matters.  Using her expertise in the music and entertainment business, the Firm focuses on representing clients and legal matters in the areas of music, trademark and copyright law, film and television rights, media technology, licensing, and corporate transactions.

Through her knowledge and experience, Bernie has established a niche practice working with platinum selling producers, artists, and songwriters.  Her ability to negotiate seven-figure deals helped to bring in efficacious clients her way.  Bernie works diligently to continue to expand her practice by always striving for the best, avidly networking, and speaking on panels, both nationally and internationally. “My goal is to always try to negotiate deals that can transform my clients’ lives by putting them in a better position”, explains Bernie.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Bernie is very active in her community and other charitable causes. In 2007, along with three of her colleagues, Bernie co-founded “Gather for Good”, an annual networking and fundraising event that seeks to raise funds for local nonprofit organizations.  Bernie also sits on the board of several nonprofit organizations, including:

  • C.H.O.I.C.E.S. - The Center Helping Obesity In Children End Successfully, Inc.

  • SCDAA - Sickle Cell Disease Association of America

  • Georgia Music Partners

  • Empower the Change

Bernie has also received numerous prestigious awards over the years including:

  • 2012 – Entertainment Lawyer of the Year – Women of Wealth Magazine

  • 2012 - Honored by ASCAP as one of the Women Behind the Music

  • 2014 – Chairman’s Award from the National Bar Association - Entertainments Sports and Art Law Section

  • 2015 – Named the Top 25 Women of Atlanta by Rolling Out Magazine

  • 2018 R.I.C.E. Award - Rising In Community Excellence Award

  • 2019 – WIME Award - Women In Media Entertainment

Bernie Lawrence-Watkins

Attorney at B. Lawrence Watkins & Associates, PC  |  325 Edgewood Avenue SE - Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30312

Fax: 404-223-2398

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