Dina LaPolt has always had a passion for music. As a student at New Paltz, she studied music and exposed others to it by organizing concerts on campus. Now the owner of a successful Los Angeles law firm, LaPolt is running the show from the legal side of the music industry.
LaPolt, who grew up in New Paltz, ran the college's concert committee. She organized popular events on campus that featured musicians such as Joan Jett and the Black Hearts and Bonnie Raitt.
After graduating in 1990, LaPolt moved to California, where she toured with bands and promoted concerts. Finding herself in a personal and professional rut, she took up a dare to attend law school. LaPolt passed the bar and soon started her own entertainment law firm, specializing in copyright, music, film, television, and book publishing law.
Among LaPolt's impressive list of clients is her longtime friend, Afeni Shakur, the mother of Tupac Shakur, the late rapper. In 2003, LaPolt co-produced "Tupac: Resurrection," an Academy Award-nominated documentary about the rapper. It was LaPolt's job to acquire all of the rights for the film (music, film footage, photographs, etc.).
"It was surreal," said LaPolt. "I never expected that we would be nominated."
Aside from her legal practice, LaPolt also teaches Legal and Practical Aspects of the Recording and Publishing Industries at the UCLA Extension in Los Angeles, and Music Contracts at the Musician's Institute in Hollywood.
Why New Paltz? LaPolt grew up in the area and always loved New Paltz.
Hobbies: yoga and spinning
Influences: Her mother, and Afeni Shakur, "a smart, powerful warrior that does not take no for an answer." Donald David, the main litigation council for Tupac's estate. "I learned so many skills from him."
Goals: LaPolt would like to produce other films and get involved with other areas of the entertainment industry but always own and operate her entertainment law firm in the epicenter of whatever she is doing.
Little-known fact: LaPolt is the singer and guitarist for the band "Trophy Girl."