The first concert that Briana, a paralegal at the firm, attended with her dad was Joan Jett & the Blackhearts at the Brookhaven Amphitheater. She was two. While she doesn’t remember the performance, it was the first of many concerts she and her father have attended together. Born and raised in Hicksville, Long Island (“A silly name for a town,” she says), it was easy for her and her dad to travel into the city to see bands. Highlights include Elbow, Mötley Crüe, and Good Charlotte (which they’ve seen four times).
After doing a fair amount of acting in high school, Briana attended Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, where she initially studied theatre management but decided to major in music business and technology. Although she spent her college years immersed in the theatre world and served as the audience services manager for a historic, non-profit theater in Center City, a class on copyright law sparked her interest in the legal field. “That was my introduction to law in general,” she says. “I got very into it.” After graduation, she obtained her first legal job at a corporate-mortgage banking firm, and in 2016 she joined DLG to expand her legal experience.
She is still considering law school or an advanced degree possibly in business. “I’m not ruling out law school but I’m realizing I have more entrepreneurial goals,” she says. “I’ve been thinking about cat-related entrepreneurial ideas.” Briana has two adopted cats, and their Instagram (the handle is @thequeenskitties) currently has over 8,000 followers. She just got offered her first brand sponsorship deal. “I’m also doing some research on cats in prison, how cats can be used as healers to help inmates,” she says. “There are a lot of prisons across the country enacting these sorts of programs with cats. Cats live in the cells with inmates. They’re taken from high-kill shelters. I’m interested in starting my own foundation to start a similar program in this area. It’s all really cool, I had never thought that it could be a thing.”
What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
Music is a creative, spiritual, and oftentimes emotional journey for me. Hearing a certain song has the ability to completely change my mood in three to four minutes. I also feel that I can express myself best when I sing, especially when I’m finding it difficult to articulate a certain feeling.
What sound or noise do you love?
Heels clicking and cats meowing.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I’d like to be a cat behaviorist and help people better understand their cats. They’re complex creatures, but I think they pair nicely with humans when both sides are communicating with each other.
What is your idea of misery?
Being somewhere with terrible music or ordering something vegetarian and finding meat in my food.
If not yourself, who would you be?
What is your favorite film?
Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Who are your favorite heroes in fiction?
Scarlett O’Hara, Elle Woods.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My cat, Bowie, is my hero. He was dumped at the shelter as an adult cat and was constantly overlooked since he is a black kitty, but he has the most amazing personality. He came into my life at a time when I needed him most and stuck by me through the tough times. We took in a very timid eight-week-old black kitten last May and Bowie showed her how to be an awesome cat, which was really cool to watch.
What would your last meal be?
What do you hate the most?
When people try to domesticate wild animals or force them to perform.
What natural talent would you like to be gifted with?
The finesse of a surgeon.
How do you wish to die?
Peacefully, on my own terms.
What makes you laugh?
Kanye West cracks me up, most of the time…When I’m taking myself too seriously and I need an instant laugh I’ll go see what Cher is saying on Twitter or watch an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
What makes you cry?
A cappella music, a good episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
What do you consider to be the greatest invention?
What is your proudest achievement in life?
I wrote a play in college that was picked to be workshopped and produced as part of a student play festival. I got to sit in rehearsals with the director and actors and make tweaks to the play before the production went up. It was a really cool process.
Whatʼs the best advice youʼve been given?
What is a book or movie that has changed your perspective on life?
Truthfully, it would have to be Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers. It’s a film that you simply can’t un-see. It’s also really hard to sit through; I’m too scared to watch it alone. It won the DOX Award at the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival in 2009, but it’s not actually a documentary, which I find funny.
What is your earliest childhood memory?
Dancing with my dad and my Barney dolls to Queen records in my living room.
If you could wish for one change in the world what would it be?
Major reform to intellectual property laws that I find tend to favor corporations while stifling innovation within the creative and medical industries.