26 February 2024 • Alums From Advertising to Law By Katelyn Oswalt '24

Music licensing manager Leland Drake ’12, winner of Cannes Lions awards for his advertising work, is headed to law school.

For more than a decade, Leland Drake ’12 has explored and excelled in the field of music management and advertising, now serving as a music licensing manager at UnitedMasters and Translation. This fall, Drake will attend law school and begin a career in entertainment law. He started to receive acceptance letters earlier this year and is weighing his options between several New York City schools.

"HWS has played a major role in allowing me to succeed in a career that sits at the convergence point of music, branding and media." Leland Drake ’12

“I've worked in the music and advertising industries for 10 years with the last 6 years being focused on music supervision and licensing for advertising campaigns,” shares Drake. “Through this experience I discovered that I not only enjoyed the legal focused contractual and deal-structuring components of my role, but I've had the opportunity to overlap with entertainment attorneys and have witnessed firsthand how impactful legal mastery can be in supporting the complicated process of bringing creative ideas to life.”

Prior to these roles, Drake served as a senior music producer for Grey Group and received a 2022 Cannes Lion gold award for Excellence in Music for his work with Applebee’s “Fancy Like” campaign. Also in 2022, he received the Association of Music Producers Award for Artist and Brand Collaboration. In 2019, Drake was the winner of a bronze Cannes Radio and Audio Lions for Best Use of Music and a bronze for Use of Radio or Audio as a Medium. He also served as a marketing manager at AntiFragile Music and assistant manager at Beggars Group.

“In my role as the senior music producer at the Grey Group that created the campaign, I handled all the music licensing, negotiations and subsequent executions for the entirety of the project,” says Drake of the prestigious Cannes award.

At HWS, Drake majored in and completed Honors work in Media & Society and minored in studio art. He credits his academic background with preparing him for his advertising career and is thankful for recent advice with his law school application, praising Associate Professor of Media and Society Leah Shafer, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Pre-Law Advisor Beth Kinne and Executive Director of the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education Brandi Ferrara.

“HWS has played a major role in allowing me to succeed in a career that sits at the convergence point of music, branding and media,” he says.