Chelsea Austin is an Associate in Miller Johnson’s corporate group, where she advises athletes, entertainers and social media influencers on legal issues in connection with their brand protection and promotion. Chelsea also represents clients locally and nationally on business law matters including commercial contracts, corporate governance, strategic matters and intellectual property rights.
Sports and Entertainment Law
Chelsea counsels athletes, artists, entertainers and social media influences in a wide variety of matters, including contract negotiation, advertising and promotion, endorsements and general legal advice. Particularly, using her knowledge of trademarks and IP law, Chelsea is well-versed in name, image and likeness (“NIL”) issues and can provide training and advice to individuals and teams on these topics.
Business & Corporate Law
Chelsea uses her expertise in business and transactional affairs to advise and assist clients on a range of matters from commercial contracting and negotiation to commercial dispute resolution. Her experience as outside counsel for a diverse spectrum of clients such as publicly traded companies to start-up entrepreneurs has allowed Chelsea to advise clients on corporate governance matters, regulatory compliance issues, and business development and growth opportunities.
Intellectual Property Law
Chelsea works with companies and individuals on a diverse range of intellectual property legal matters. Her expertise in “soft IP” matters, including trademark and copyright registration and protection, personal brand protection and opportunities, and intellectual property maintenance.
Professional Affiliations, Activities and Honors
Chelsea was selected as a 2023 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinder. The LCLD Pathfinder Program is designed for diverse, high-potential, early-career attorneys at LCLD Member organizations.
Chelsea is admitted to practice in Michigan and she is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Grand Rapids Bar Association.
Her community and organization participation includes:
- Grand Rapids Bar Association, Trustee, 2022 – present
- Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Executive Committee Member, 2022 – present
- Grand Rapids Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Social Action Coordinator, 2021 – present
- Women Lawyers Association of Michigan (Western Region), Secretary, 2021 – present
- West Michigan Youth Ballet, Board Member, 2020 – present
She was awarded the Grand Rapids Bar Association 3 in 10 Award in 2022.
Chelsea has written the article, “Who’s Got Your Six? Ramifications of the Court’s Refusal to Define ‘Incident to Service’ in the Feres Doctrine on Military Sexual Assault Survivors,” for the Michigan State Law Review.
Chelsea earned her J.D. cum laude from Michigan State University College of Law. She was the recipient of a full tuition Trustee Award. While attending Michigan State College of Law, Chelsea served as the President of the Black Law Students Association, the Vice President of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, and the Marketing Director for the MSU Law Musical Theatre Revue. Additionally, she was a part of the school’s first-ever Baseball Arbitration team, becoming a quarterfinalist at the Tulane Law International Baseball Arbitration Competition. Chelsea also served as a legal intern for the Michigan State University Athletic Department and received her B.A. from Michigan State University James Madison College.