Lawyers have played an integral role in the music business throughout its history. No deal has gone down, no artist or executive contract has been signed, no acquisition, sale or merger has been consummated without the fingerprints of attorneys all over it. Indeed, that’s been the case on both sides of the bargaining table, considering all those prominent figures who’ve transitioned from practicing law to running record labels and publishing companies.

The radically increased role of technology and the convergence of traditional and new media have made the practice of modern-day entertainment law dauntingly intricate, requiring next-gen expertise and intensive teamwork. But the savviest partners and their talent-laden firms continue to roll with the changes, stay ahead of the curve and serve their clients’ myriad needs with dedication and insight.

In the days to come, we’ll open up our latest special issue and take an in-depth look at 15 of the music-specializing firms that consistently deliver in an ever-changing world in which each day brings with it new challenges.