BiographyTravis Life is a member of Swanson Martin & Bell, LLLP’s Entertainment and Media, Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation Practice Groups. His clients include musicians, songwriters, actors, designers, authors, and media companies in the film and music fields. Travis represents artists and art-related businesses in drafting and negotiating entertainment agreements, managing intellectual property, and in litigating complex matters. Travis has handled the formation of a variety of multimedia entities, including music marketing companies, music management businesses, and production companies.
Travis manages intellectual property for music artists, media companies, and record labels. He has successfully prosecuted and defended high profile complex civil matters including copyright infringement, trademark infringement, breach of contract, right of publicity, and First Amendment claims for prominent artist and media companies.
Travis is an adjunct professor at DePaul University College of Law, where he teaches Entertainment Law. Travis is also a frequent speaker at various colleges, law schools, and entertainment industry conferences on a variety of issues including music agreements, litigation, and drone regulations for the film and television industry.
Memberships & Affiliations
- Independent Film Producers of Chicago (IFP Chicago), Board Member
- Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Associate Board, Founding Member, Former President
- Recording Academy, Associate Member
- Chicago Bar Association
- Former Chair, Entertainment and Media Committee
- Former Chair, Creative Arts Committee
- American Bar Association
- Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, Elected Governing Committee Member, Former Membership Chair, Former Young Lawyer Liaison
- Named "Up and Coming" by Chambers and Partners in Media & Entertainment: Transactional in Illinois, 2019
- Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America, 2021
- Selected for inclusion in Leading Lawyers, Art, Entertainment, and Sports, 2015-2018, 2020
- Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Edition, 2014
- Reel Legal: Politicians and Rock-n-Roll, ReelChicago.com, September 18, 2017
- Reel Legal: Hey! Is That My Graffiti In Your Film?, ReelChicago.com, June 6, 2017
- "Entertainment Law Initiative,” John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois, November 2019
- "Legal Panel," Chicago Underground Film Festival, Chicago, Illinois, June 8, 2019
- “Entertainment Dealmaking: Negotiation of On-Camera Talent Agreements," Chicago Bar Association’s Media and Entertainment Committee, Chicago, Illinois, 2019
- "Breaking into the Sports and Entertainment Industries," ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, Memphis, Tennessee, 2019
- "Doing Rights the Right Way," Stage 18, Chicago, Illinois, 2019
- "Entertainment Law Initiative,” John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois, 2018
- “Entertainment Law,” DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 2018
- “Music Industry Idiosyncrasies – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Your Client,” CIMMfest, Chicago, Illinois, 2017
- “Corporation Formations for Filmmakers,” Stage 18, Chicago, Illinois, 2017
- “Copyrights, Fair Use, and Media Clearance,” Street Level Youth Media, Chicago, Illinois, 2017
- “Entertainment and Music Law,” Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 2017
- “Drone and Filmmaking,” Chicago Bar Association, Entertainment and Media Committee, Chicago, Illinois, 2016
- “Music Law Bootcamp – Music Agreements,” Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Chicago, Illinois, 2016
- “Sky Is the Limit? Drones and Film Productions,” Lake FX, Chicago, Illinois, 2016
- “Licensing Legal Issues and Social Media,” Licensing Executive Society, Chicago, Illinois, 2015
- “Entertainment Law Bootcamp – Litigation Update,” IICLE, Chicago, Illinois, 2015
- “Intellectual Property for the Non-IP Attorney – Copyrights Seminar,” Chicago Bar Association, Intellectual Property Committee, Chicago, Illinois, 2015
- “Revenue Streams for Music,” Lake FX, Chicago, Illinois, 2015
- “Entertainment Law Bootcamp – Entertainment Agreements,” Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Chicago, Illinois, 2014
- “Legal-ease 101”, Band:Smart Weekend 2013, Chicago, Illinois, 2013
- “Lawyer Up! Practical Legal Tips for Creative Businesses,” Moxie Conference, Chicago, Illinois, 2013
- “Clauses You Should Know In Your Artist Contract,” Creative Chicago Expo, Chicago, Illinois, 2013
- “Gallery Night, See Art Talk,” Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 2012
- “Pitch Cases,” Chicago Bar Association, Entertainment and Media Committee, Chicago, Illinois, 2012
- “Connect 4 the Arts,” Art and Business Council of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 2011
- “Chicago Music Industry Professionals Panel,” Local Revolution Music Fest, Chicago, Illinois, 2009
- “Young Lawyers Panel,” American Bar Association, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, Los Angeles, California, 2008
- “Young Lawyer/ Law Student Orientation: Your Questions Answered,” American Bar Association, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, New York, New York, 2007
Chicago, October 13, 2020
Life Speaks at Lawyers for the Creative Arts' Film Law Presentation
Life and fellow Industry experts will provide practical advice on bringing together the key players in a film production in "The Keys to Film Law: Assembling the Team"
Chicago, September 24, 2020
Life Nominated to ABA Forum on Sports and Entertainment Governing Committee
Life will be serving a second two-year term, 2021-2022.
Chicago, Lisle, St. Louis, Madison County, August 20, 2020
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers, Ones to Watch Lists
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review.
Chicago, June 8, 2020
Life Recognized in 2020 Edition of Chambers USA in Media & Entertainment: Transactional - Illinois
Life was named to the Up and Coming category for Media & Entertainment: Transactional - Illinois for the second year in a row.
Chicago, February 10, 2020
Life Speaks at Lawyers for the Creative Arts' Lunch and Learn
Life has been active on the LCA Associate Board for many years.
Chicago, Lisle, Libertyville, Madison County, February 3, 2020
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named Leading Lawyers, Emerging Lawyers for 2020
Those designated Leading Lawyers were recommended by their peers to be among the top lawyers in Illinois.
Chicago, November 22, 2019
Life Speaks on Recording Academy's Entertainment Law Initiative
The Recording Academy established the ELI to promote discussion and debate about the most compelling legal issues facing the music industry today
Chicago, May 28, 2019
Chicago Underground Film Festival Legal Panel Features Life, Becker
Becker, Life and fellow panelists will discuss copyright, fair use, intellectual property and other legal issues filmmakers face.
Chicago, April 1, 2019
Life Speaks at CBA Media and Entertainment Meeting
Life spoke on "Entertainment Dealmaking: Negotiation of On-Camera Talent Agreements."
Chicago, March 26, 2019
Life Speaks at ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries
Life will be on the panel "Breaking into the Sports and Entertainment Industries."
Chicago, March 18, 2019
Law360 Profiles New Lateral Partner Travis Life
According to the article, "after talking with some Swanson Martin partners with whom he had developed working relationships, 'it really made sense to bring my practice over to Swanson Martin & Bell and join their practice group,' Life said."
Chicago, March 7, 2019
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Welcomes Lateral Partner to Entertainment and Media Law Practice Group
"The addition of Travis demonstrates the very exciting growth our entertainment practice has experienced over the past several years," says Jeffrey S. Becker, Entertainment and Media Law Practice Group Chair. Our clients will be well served by the depth of experience Travis will bring to the firm."
Chicago, February 19, 2019
Life Speaks at Stage 18 on Rights, Contracts and Agreements
A film and media incubator on the lot of Cinespace Chicago Studios, Stage 18 provides services, spaces, and events to educate, unite, and develop the local filmmaking and media community.