Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m Amanda Bynum, I am an attorney in private practice. In addition to being a criminal defense litigator, I also help small businesses protect their brand by providing LLC formation services, contract review and drafting, and Trademark and Copyright services.
What made you decide to practice law?
I knew I wanted to be an attorney since my freshman year in high school. My school had a legal magnet program, where I fell in love with Mock Trial. I went straight through college and law school and secured my dream job in private practice. Since that time, I’ve had a variety of legal positions including working as a Public Defender and a law professor where I taught students practical legal skills and Trial Advocacy.
You also offer consultations to small businesses. Can you talk a little bit about those services and why they’re important?
In addition to practicing law, I also ran a wedding photography business for several years. Running my own business was definitely a learning experience. When I opened my own law firm last year, I was able to learn from the mistakes I made owning a wedding photography business. I wanted to share what I learned with other entrepreneurs, and help others to legally protect their businesses. This led me to become an expert on small business legal services. Now, I help small businesses form LLCs to help protect their personal assets if their business is ever sued. I also help individuals and businesses protect their intellectual property with the US Patent and Trademark office by offering Copyright and Trademark filings. Finally, I review and draft contracts. Any service provider should be sure to set out rights and expectations through well-drafted contracts.
Speaking of small businesses, you started your own private practice, AJB Law Firm, over a year ago. What has that journey been like? What has been the greatest challenge and the greatest reward?
I love being a small business owner. I decided to start my own business as a lifestyle choice–I don’t want to work around the clock, instead, I set my own hours, dress code, and work conditions. But more importantly, I like being able to switch gears whenever I want. I think one of the keys to being happy is to align your personal and professional identities. I am so much less stressed knowing that my boss (me), doesn’t mind that I have a podcast, a tik tok account, or kids to attend to. As far as challenges, sometimes, being a criminal defense attorney can get emotionally exhausting, so I decided to offer other services–like helping business owners build and protect their ideas and assets! Being my own boss means I can shift gears whenever I want!
You’re also a photographer. How did you get into photography? What kind of photography do you like to shoot?
Photo and video is mostly just a hobby now, so most of my photos are taken with my iphone! When I ran a photography business, it started out with families and kids, but I learned I really like photographing couples, seniors, and weddings! I’d love to get back into professional photography, but if I did, I’ll likely focus on branding and styled shoots for business owners.
What is some advice you’d give to photographers and other creative professionals about copyright and intellectual property issues?
It’s important that you know and protect your business and creative works! For example, make sure your customers know what they can and cannot do with your work. Protect your intellectual property so that no one can take advantage of you or your creative work! Finally, make sure you keep your business and personal assets separate and legally protected.