Frequently, the birth of a child and the financial demands that come with it can tie a parent to a job he or she is not thrilled with. But when Irena Raskin’s son was born five years ago, she left the world of corporate law and combined her profession with her lifelong love of the arts.
Raskin’s Beverly Hills practice is devoted to art law and mediation services, which is worlds away from her previous specialty, entertainment law and international tax planning. She represents visual artists, galleries, art collectors and creative businesses, advising on all aspects of the sale and collection of fine art. It’s kid-in-a-candy-store stuff for Raskin, who fell in love with the paintings and sculptures that filled the parlors and museums of her childhood hometown, St. Petersburg, Russia.
“For every attorney, the job is to look out for your clients’ interests. If you’re lucky, you can choose an area that interests you as well,” she says. Her work includes protecting fledgling artists from “unscrupulous dealers” who sometimes refuse to return an artist’s work. She also reviews exhibition agreements and gallery distribution deals.
Running her own practice provides her the flexibility that parenting demands, as witnessed by the phone interview we conducted with her while she rushed her son to the hospital with a broken arm. And the arrival of her second son in the summer of 2005 means Raskin now needs double the flexibility.