UCLA - Entertainment Law?

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kpuc
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UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby kpuc » Tue May 11, 2010 11:09 pm

I have a great interest in filmmaking, and failing to become one myself, I would be content being an entertainment lawyer. I'm currently a senior at Brown University, majoring in Int'l Relations. I have about a 3.6 GPA and will take the LSAT in October. I've always been conflicted between my aspirations to become a screenwriter and/or filmmaker, and my parents desire for me to have a stable career, and I think this may be a pretty good compromise between the two.

I'm looking at UCLA mainly because of its location to the heart of the entertainment industry. I feel like I can make a lot of valuable contacts during my law school years there, whether I want to become a lawyer or try to pursue my artistic endeavors. Plus, even though it's a top school, it doesn't seem as impossible to get in like Stanford or Yale. I'm also looking at NYU and Columbia because of their location in New York City, but I mainly like UCLA at this point. Maybe USC as well.

So how good of a school is UCLA? I know it's not T-14 since it's 15th or 16th or something. Does that really make a difference, unless you want to become a Supreme Court Justice or something? Or am I better off trying to get into higher ranked schools like NYU and Columbia, both of which are also close to entertainment capitals?

Danteshek
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby Danteshek » Tue May 11, 2010 11:14 pm

Yeah.... You need an LSAT score first. And if you really want to be an entertainment lawyer, you need to move to Los Angeles, regardless of whether you get into UCLA.

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TTH
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby TTH » Tue May 11, 2010 11:31 pm

Danteshek wrote:Yeah.... You need an LSAT score first.


Sure, gun for T14 + UCLA, but see above.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Wed May 12, 2010 9:06 am

All "in person" aspects of the entertainment business, which lawyers are, need to live in Los Angeles. The only people who get away without doing it are feature writers (who still have to fly out there) and big shots. Some financiers in NY & Chicago, but they live on airplanes anyway.

It's a tough business, but UCLA is certainly the best starting point for a whole host of reasons. One thing you should keep in mind, however, is that if you want to do some art on the side, there might be plenty of opportunities, but that's *not* going to involve just casually stepping into the UCLA film school classes. That stuff is at least as competitive as any law school admission.

Dollaz
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby Dollaz » Wed May 12, 2010 6:27 pm

Danteshek wrote:Yeah.... You need an LSAT score first. And if you really want to be an entertainment lawyer, you need to move to Los Angeles, regardless of whether you get into UCLA.


Y do u keep saying 'you need to move to LA'? There are many well respected and highly paid Ent Lawyers in NYC.

Dollaz
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby Dollaz » Wed May 12, 2010 6:28 pm

I agree though, if your intrest is solely in Film you probally do want to move to LA. unless you wanna do Doc stuff.

nymets123
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby nymets123 » Thu May 13, 2010 7:13 pm

just out of curiosity, does anyone have info regarding a law degrees usefulness towards starting a career path towards being a film producer? Any famous examples of people who have gotten there with the help of a JD?
(an occasional nagging thought in my head having come from a film background myself despite my insistence that I have moved on)

I have read in a couple places that law is one possible route towards this but the actual process and usefulness of the degree has always seemed a bit vague

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joemoviebuff
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby joemoviebuff » Thu May 13, 2010 7:29 pm

nymets123 wrote:just out of curiosity, does anyone have info regarding a law degrees usefulness towards starting a career path towards being a film producer? Any famous examples of people who have gotten there with the help of a JD?
(an occasional nagging thought in my head having come from a film background myself despite my insistence that I have moved on)

I have read in a couple places that law is one possible route towards this but the actual process and usefulness of the degree has always seemed a bit vague


Not really anything that you asked for, but I do know that Harvey Levin (the head of TMZ) has a JD.

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GordonBombay
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby GordonBombay » Thu May 13, 2010 7:44 pm

not JD, strip club DJ

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joemoviebuff
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby joemoviebuff » Thu May 13, 2010 7:49 pm

GordonBombay wrote:not JD, strip club DJ


he he my mistake

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GordonBombay
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby GordonBombay » Thu May 13, 2010 8:05 pm

In all seriousness, sounds liek a good idea if that's what you really want to do. LA is the place. about 5 productions to every 1 in NY

aryncita
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby aryncita » Thu May 13, 2010 8:13 pm

NOTE: There are very few entry-level jobs available in entertainment law. Moreover, some employers who are not recruiting in the entertainment field are reluctant to hire students and lawyers whom they believe are ultimately interested in an entertainment position. It is important that you discuss this situation with both the Career Services Office and the Program Executive Director to determine whether the Program is for you and, if so, how you might best structure your course enrollments to enhance your employment prospects. Securing a position in entertainment law is challenging at all times, and it cannot be assumed that having the Program certification will materially change that fact.


http://cdn.law.ucla.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/missing%20files/entertainment_law_declaration_05_v21.pdf

When UCLA's own entertainment law declaration contains a warning like that, that gives you an idea of how scary the job market is... As I understand it, there are very few jobs in "entertainment law," and what jobs do exist usually require you to lateral from biglaw. And most biglaw firms are reluctant to hire someone who is interested in entertainment law, since they see them as a flight risk. And getting biglaw from a school like UCLA is likely to be challenging by itself ITE. I hate to tell people not to pursue their dreams, but make sure you know what you're getting in to...

cubswin
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby cubswin » Thu May 13, 2010 8:14 pm

aryncita wrote:
NOTE: There are very few entry-level jobs available in entertainment law. Moreover, some employers who are not recruiting in the entertainment field are reluctant to hire students and lawyers whom they believe are ultimately interested in an entertainment position. It is important that you discuss this situation with both the Career Services Office and the Program Executive Director to determine whether the Program is for you and, if so, how you might best structure your course enrollments to enhance your employment prospects. Securing a position in entertainment law is challenging at all times, and it cannot be assumed that having the Program certification will materially change that fact.


http://cdn.law.ucla.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/missing%20files/entertainment_law_declaration_05_v21.pdf

When UCLA's own entertainment law declaration contains a warning like that, that gives you an idea of how scary the job market is... As I understand it, there are very few jobs in "entertainment law," and what jobs do exist usually require you to lateral from biglaw. And most biglaw firms are reluctant to hire someone who is interested in entertainment law, since they see them as a flight risk. And getting biglaw from a school like UCLA is likely to be challenging by itself ITE. I hate to tell people not to pursue their dreams, but make sure you know what you're getting in to...


Wow, good find there.

guacamolation
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby guacamolation » Thu May 13, 2010 8:21 pm

nymets123 wrote:just out of curiosity, does anyone have info regarding a law degrees usefulness towards starting a career path towards being a film producer? Any famous examples of people who have gotten there with the help of a JD?
(an occasional nagging thought in my head having come from a film background myself despite my insistence that I have moved on)

I have read in a couple places that law is one possible route towards this but the actual process and usefulness of the degree has always seemed a bit vague



I worked in entertainment for a number of years and most of the legit producers I met came up from the MBA side. The only benefit I can see from having a JD is that you couldnt be intimidated by studio/talent lawyers, but the more important things are dealing with money and schmoozing; you can learn contracts quickly enough w/o dedicating 3 years of your life to law school. If you really wanted to get specific training, the Peter Stark Program @ USC is amazing for its networking opps.

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johnstuartmill
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby johnstuartmill » Thu May 13, 2010 8:27 pm

nymets123 wrote:just out of curiosity, does anyone have info regarding a law degrees usefulness towards starting a career path towards being a film producer? Any famous examples of people who have gotten there with the help of a JD?
(an occasional nagging thought in my head having come from a film background myself despite my insistence that I have moved on)

I have read in a couple places that law is one possible route towards this but the actual process and usefulness of the degree has always seemed a bit vague

I went to the UChicago admitted students "Wine Mess" in Los Angeles, and the school brought out a few local alums to talk up the school. One of these alumni was a successful producer. He got his JD/MBA from Chicago in the eighties, then worked as an entertainment lawyer for a bit before the final career change. I'm sure the entertainment lawyer stint augmented his social capital, thereby making production a viable option for him, but those jobs are hard to secure in the first place without a few connections. This town is littered with the corpses of people who tried, and failed, to make it in the biz without having an 'in'. Good luck, but beware.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Fri May 14, 2010 9:12 am

It helps to remember than "entertainment law" is mostly very low-end transactional law. By that I mean that any M&A deal or similar is going to involve extensive IP, licensing and employment agreements/contacts. Hell, corporate IP transactions are probably a good deal more complex because you have more than one type.

So if it seems like it's a tough speciality to get into, it is. Because it's not really all that special and the defininig differences are experience and connections - neither one of which most newbies are going to have.

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profs<3mycomments
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Re: UCLA - Entertainment Law?

Postby profs<3mycomments » Fri May 14, 2010 9:23 am

I agree with the poster who pointed out both that a) most entertainment lawyers lateral from biglaw and b) don't tell anyone you want to do entertainment law when looking for a job. Therefore, the correct advice here is: go to the best school you can get into (that you want to go to), get a biglaw job in L.A., if possible at a firm that has an entertainment presence, and hustle. Alternate option: Don't go to law school, stop caring what your parents say, move to L.A., hustle.




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