Greenberg Traurig’s Joel A. Katz Awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Kennesaw State University

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Joel A. Katz, chair of the Global Media & Entertainment Practice at the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, has received a Kennesaw State University honorary doctorate

Joel A. Katz, chair of the Global Media & Entertainment Practice at the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, has received a Kennesaw State University honorary doctorate, The Doctor of Humane Letters. The degree was presented to Katz, who is based in the firm’s Atlanta office, during one of Kennesaw State’s three commencement ceremonies earlier this week.

According to Kennesaw State President Dr. Daniel S. Papp, who conferred the honorary degree upon Katz, the university has only bestowed 15 honorary doctorates in its 50-year history. Katz’s degree is the 15th. Honorary doctorates are “among the highest and most notable recognitions that a university can bestow upon an individual,” Dr. Papp said. He continued, “Honorary doctorates honor persons who have sustained records of achievements of lasting significance to the university, to the community, to the nation, to their profession, or to humanity.”

Katz delivered the commencement speech and regaled graduates, their guests and assembled dignitaries with the story of his humble beginnings and how he played a significant role in growing Atlanta’s entertainment business. Now, more than 40 years later, Katz is Billboard magazine’s top-ranked entertainment attorney for the third consecutive year and works with music industry giants such as The GRAMMYs, Justin Timberlake, Ludacris, Pitbull and Julio Iglesias. Kennesaw State’s Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program is named in his honor, as is the Joel Katz Parkway in North Atlanta.

The honor from Kennesaw State is Katz’s second honorary doctorate. He received a Doctor of Laws degree from Hunter College in 2008.

“Joel is an icon among those in both the music and legal industries, as well as in his hometown of Atlanta,” said Richard A. Rosenbaum, the Chief Executive Officer at Greenberg Traurig. “For decades he has strived to provide exemplary representation to his clients, and his success is not only hard-earned but well-deserved. On behalf of the firm, I congratulate Joel on this prestigious honor and I thank him for more than 15 years of dedicated service to Greenberg Traurig.”

Katz, who is former chairman of the American Bar Association's Entertainment & Sports Law Section, is widely recognized as a leader in the field of entertainment law. His clients include some of the world's most well-known entertainers, music producers, record companies, concert promoters and Fortune 500 companies. More than 30 years ago, he founded Katz, Smith & Cohen, which became one of the United States’ largest music entertainment law firms. In 1998, Katz joined his practice with Greenberg Traurig.

With offices situated in the centers of the entertainment industry, Greenberg Traurig has one of the preeminent, international multidisciplinary entertainment and media practices. The Greenberg Traurig Entertainment & Media practice focuses on the music, motion picture, television, sports, Internet, digital media, publishing and theater industries. The team has access to key players in the entertainment industry and provides clients with the business-oriented and dedicated counsel needed to thrive in today’s multidiscipline, multimedia entertainment marketplace.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, multi-practice law firm with approximately 1750 attorneys serving clients from 36 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm is among the “Power Elite” in the 2014 BTI Client Relationship Scorecard report, which assesses the nature and strength of law firms' client relationships. For additional information, please visit

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Lourdes Brezo Martinez
Greenberg Traurig LLP
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