Cole Hobbs had been exposed to three things most of his life: basketball, music and business. He grew up listening to everything from Tom Petty to Red Hot Chili Peppers to hip-hop. He also received a scholarship to play basketball at Kennesaw State University, but when the Johns Creek, Ga. native realized that going pro was not in his future, he looked at other options. He transferred to the University of Georgia where he majored in economics with a minor in statistics—familiar territory since his father worked in healthcare and his older brother was already studying health law at Georgia State University.
His senior year at UGA, a visit to the College of Law’s downtown campus made Georgia State an ideal next step for him. He liked the proximity to sports and entertainment venues, record labels and law firms. Here, Hobbs shares how the J.D./M.B.A. dual-degree program between the College of Law and the Robinson College of Business have allowed him to carve his own path.
How have your business experience and now law experience coalesced in the dual-degree program?
You can apply the J.D. to just about everything, but I have found it particularly useful in my business school endeavors. Right now, I’m interested in the music industry where both business and legal knowledge are extremely valuable. Taking Corporate Law and Corporate Finance simultaneously has provided me with a unique perspective on how the business and legal worlds work together. I can apply my economics and statistics background on the business side to contract negotiation while understanding the parameters of the law with my legal background. That’s the niche that I came to law school looking for.
What has been your favorite class so far?
Every class I have taken with Professor Mo Ivory has been amazing. I think it’s great what she’s done with the entertainment law program. Her Law & Entertainment class broadened my perspective on how involved the law is in entertainment and the different employment options. In Professor Ivory’s class we had various well-respected guest speakers who helped us understand all of the moving parts and different personalities involved in producing creative content.
You interned at Interscope Records in 2019. Tell me about that experience.
A friend of mine helped me score an interview in the legal/business department. Discussing the unique curriculum at GSU is ultimately what made me stand out during the interview process. I worked in Santa Monica, Calif. with six attorneys on various contracts, partnership agreements, intellectual property assignments and termination agreements. I also worked with colleagues outside of the legal department on developing a marketing campaign for Dreamville artist, Ari Lennox. I’ve always been interested in music. I played guitar my whole life and played drums when I was really little. Music is a universal language that brings people together.
I was lucky to see the industry from the inside at Interscope. They gave their artists more ownership and control over their work, which I believe is a major reason for their continuous success. We see it a lot today, where artists sign when they’re 18 years old for six years, then they have a fallout with the label, and they’re stuck. In the future, I want to see more of a symbiotic relationship between artists and their labels. I do believe that is where it is heading.
What is your goal after graduation?
I ultimately would love to be the head of legal at a record label.
What advice would you give to prospective law students or first-year law students?
Georgia State will expand your network tremendously. The faculty and students are great and have so much to offer if you put yourself out there. So, shake as many hands as possible. The other thing I would say is stay disciplined with your time management – you are going to be extremely busy. More than I’d like to, I’ve put things off and it has this snowball effect. Develop a schedule and a routine, then stick to it.