Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

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dingoesatmybaby
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Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby dingoesatmybaby » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:58 am

I am pretty set on going into the field of Entertainment or Sports Law and was looking for some schools that have good programs that specialize in those fields. Now my LSAT score of a 160 and GPA of a 3.2 have given me really slim pickings. Obviously the best choices such as UCLA or University of Southern California, both located in LA are out of the question. So if I were to stay in California, that leaves my options to be:

Loyola (Los Angeles)
Southwestern Law School (Los Angeles)
California Western (San Diego)

Does anybody know any information on these schools. None are top tier schools. And while Loyola is higher ranked than the other two, how about the entertainment programs? There are a lot of different factors that would have to do with my decision--- such as how well the programs are, any internship/study abroad opportunities, and just all around the best choice for someone who is certain that they want to enter that field. So if anyone can help me at all, I would greatly appreciate it!!

Also, are there any other good schools (within my reach) with focus on entertainment or sports law in other states? I am looking at possibly New York, Florida or Michigan. So if anybody here has had to deal with this same thing and would be able to help me out, I'd greatly appreciate it. Because as of now, I am just overwhelmed and not sure what the best choice to proceed would be.

Thanks in advance

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rman1201
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby rman1201 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:03 am

I wouldnt bank on any kind of entertainment law given your numbers, but the best available option would probably be U of Miami since they have a music law program, and the school is okay if you intend to work in Miami (which is home to a decent music scene). That seems to be your only shot, but even thats a slim chance.

dingoesatmybaby
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby dingoesatmybaby » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:07 am

Is that because the schools themselves I listed above are not worth going to, or because I will not get in? The latter two are third tier schools of which I should easily get into. And Loyola could go either way. But assuming that I do manage to get into any of those schools, why wouldn't I consider going into that field? Is it pretty much because you need to go to a school such as UCLA to stand a chance to find work?

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Grizz
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby Grizz » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:12 am

rman1201 wrote:I wouldnt bank on any kind of entertainment law given your numbers, but the best available option would probably be U of Miami since they have a music law program, and the school is okay if you intend to work in Miami (which is home to a decent music scene). That seems to be your only shot, but even thats a slim chance.


Don't go to Miami. Bad job prospects.

And entertainment and sports is VERY hard to break into, so make sure you're cool with something else. I'm not sure a program or clinic is really gonna help. You're mainly gonna be drafting contracts and whatnot.

Standard TLS advice applies. Go to a national school or the best school in the region you want to practice, and don't take out too much debt to do it.

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rman1201
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby rman1201 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:13 am

I assumed you would be in at all listed schools. The best path to ent law would be through a biglaw firm with extensive transactional experience, and none of the schools you listed provide a reasonable chance at biglaw in a market that faces competition from not only UCLA/USC, but pretty much the entire T14.

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AboveTheLawSchool
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby AboveTheLawSchool » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:16 am

I think you spelled your username wrong OP

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby FeelTheHeat » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:16 am

rad law wrote:
rman1201 wrote:I wouldnt bank on any kind of entertainment law given your numbers, but the best available option would probably be U of Miami since they have a music law program, and the school is okay if you intend to work in Miami (which is home to a decent music scene). That seems to be your only shot, but even thats a slim chance.


Don't go to Miami. Bad job prospects.

And entertainment and sports is VERY hard to break into, so make sure you're cool with something else. I'm not sure a program or clinic is really gonna help. You're mainly gonna be drafting contracts and whatnot.

Standard TLS advice applies. Go to a national school or the best school in the region you want to practice, and don't take out too much debt to do it.


Your best opportunity to break into entertainment and sports is

A. connections
B. connections
C. connections
D. Biglaw

Rad is correct, drafting contracts is going to be the extent of your work. It is why you need to be either overqualified with a strong business background that will allow you to break into an exciting field that MANY people both inside and outside of law want or be childhood friends with the next Justin Bieber.

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rman1201
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby rman1201 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:16 am

rad law wrote:
rman1201 wrote:I wouldnt bank on any kind of entertainment law given your numbers, but the best available option would probably be U of Miami since they have a music law program, and the school is okay if you intend to work in Miami (which is home to a decent music scene). That seems to be your only shot, but even thats a slim chance.


Don't go to Miami. Bad job prospects.

And entertainment and sports is VERY hard to break into, so make sure you're cool with something else. I'm not sure a program or clinic is really gonna help. You're mainly gonna be drafting contracts and whatnot.

Standard TLS advice applies. Go to a national school or the best school in the region you want to practice, and don't take out too much debt to do it.


Miami does have poor prospects, but given his situation wouldn't it be better than the other schools he listed? (and assuming he's 100% dead set on entertainment law - otherwise yeah, strong regional all the way)

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby FeelTheHeat » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:19 am

rman1201 wrote:
rad law wrote:
rman1201 wrote:I wouldnt bank on any kind of entertainment law given your numbers, but the best available option would probably be U of Miami since they have a music law program, and the school is okay if you intend to work in Miami (which is home to a decent music scene). That seems to be your only shot, but even thats a slim chance.


Don't go to Miami. Bad job prospects.

And entertainment and sports is VERY hard to break into, so make sure you're cool with something else. I'm not sure a program or clinic is really gonna help. You're mainly gonna be drafting contracts and whatnot.

Standard TLS advice applies. Go to a national school or the best school in the region you want to practice, and don't take out too much debt to do it.


Miami does have poor prospects, but given his situation wouldn't it be better than the other schools he listed? (and assuming he's 100% dead set on entertainment law - otherwise yeah, strong regional all the way)


I guess it would be better because they have a program in the first place? I don't know, I think he's better off retaking and getting into the best school he possibly can if he has no connections to the industry.

dingoesatmybaby
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby dingoesatmybaby » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:32 am

Thanks for the advice everyone. As great as it would be to retake my LSAT etc, that is just in the cards for me. I have already come to terms with the fact that I am willing to settle and not necessarily have to go to a top tier law school.

Still, even if I do not end up eventually going into either of those fields, I would love to stay and practice in LA or its surrounding areas. So since I cannot get into the top tier schools, is it even worth it to go to the other schools listed? I mean I know a lot of people who did not attend the best law schools and have managed to find good work after graduation. I figured with my stats I could def get into some T2 and T3 schools. Pepperdine is a terrible school, ideologically, so there is not a chance in hell that I would ever go to that cult-school. But would going to Loyola... or even Southwestern, or California Western or Santa Clara etc be that big a mistake?

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Grizz
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby Grizz » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:34 am

I could see Loyola being ok if you got loads and loads of scholarship money

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby FeelTheHeat » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:37 am

Given the amount of entertainment/sports firms located out in LA, have you considered pursuing an internship and/or gathering information from some of them regarding their hiring process and what they look for? I feel like that would be of great assistance before you take the debt plunge.

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Ty Webb
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby Ty Webb » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:42 am

This seems as good a place as any to weigh in on this topic, as I do have some insight that might be helpful to the OP and others.

Sports law in general is obviously a difficult beast to tackle. When I talk about my career aspirations, I tell people that my "down the road" goal is to work in sports. I usually add the qualifier that I am fully aware of the difficulty of that goal, and how hard it is to tame the mythical beast of "sports law".

The advice above about connections and big law are credited. I've done extensive research on what it takes to break into the world of sports, and I've come up with something of a war strategy. The best way is to have played sports at a high level. Playing pro ball, for instance, gives you an immediate in if you are among the ~10% of pro athletes that are qualified to do more than catch a ball. College experience is a helper.

Other than that, biglaw is the most common path into working with a sports team. Building an impressive resume with a solid firm before moving over is something you see occasionally, though it's still not easy. It still takes more than that. A sports law "certificate" or specialty is only helpful to the extent that you possess other relevant qualifications. It's not enough to even get you near the door.

The answer? Connections. And not just I met a guy connections. I have real, legitimate connections. I'm personally connected to the family of one Major League baseball owner and I'm friends with another owner's nephew. One of my law school professors is best friends with another MLB owner. The first connection I mentioned is one I've massaged for going on five years, and it's a family I'm comfortable calling up at any point in time for any reason. And I'm still not anywhere near the door. I'm a lot closer than I was five years ago, though.

The keys to making it are as follows, in no particular order:

* Connections to someone in a position to help you (owners, GMs, athletes)
* Being in a city where there is action (LA/NYC)
* Having a skill that can help a club in addition to your law degree (being fluent in stat-talk might help you sell a team on your ability to win arbitration hearings for them, for instance)
* Luck (mostly timing in this one - you won't get hired even with the best connections if there is no opening when you need it)
* A really good resume
---This last one is a combination of sports experience and relevant business experience. I'm personally working for a baseball club this summer (1L) on a gig that was set up by the family mentioned above. I'll hope to follow that up with a biglaw 2L summer and then hopefully 5-7 years of biglaw experience. At that point, I'll have a resume that shows some ability to work with clients and conduct myself in a corporate setting along with some experience working in the game. If at that point there's some way for me to use my then 10-12 year relationships to transition into a job in sports, I'll do it. By that point, I will hopefully have saved enough money working in biglaw that I can even take a position that pays less so that I can chase my passion.

If that doesn't work out, I'll enjoy my work other wise. This is just one man's plan for war-gaming the system. What you should take from this is that it's very hard. I've been blessed with as money a connection in the world of sports as anyone could ask for (short of growing up with LeBron James) and it will still take a lot of maneuvering on my part. Even though these people like me, I'll have to provide them something for it to work. They don't get to own big league ball teams by making stupid, irrational hires.

You should (as I am) plan for something different. Can you work in sports? Maybe. Will you get there by studying sports and entertainment law? No, not on that alone.

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby FeelTheHeat » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:48 am

Ty Webb wrote:This seems as good a place as any to weigh in on this topic, as I do have some insight that might be helpful to the OP and others.

Sports law in general is obviously a difficult beast to tackle. When I talk about my career aspirations, I tell people that my "down the road" goal is to work in sports. I usually add the qualifier that I am fully aware of the difficulty of that goal, and how hard it is to tame the mythical beast of "sports law".

The advice above about connections and big law are credited. I've done extensive research on what it takes to break into the world of sports, and I've come up with something of a war strategy. The best way is to have played sports at a high level. Playing pro ball, for instance, gives you an immediate in if you are among the ~10% of pro athletes that are qualified to do more than catch a ball. College experience is a helper.

Other than that, biglaw is the most common path into working with a sports team. Building an impressive resume with a solid firm before moving over is something you see occasionally, though it's still not easy. It still takes more than that. A sports law "certificate" or specialty is only helpful to the extent that you possess other relevant qualifications. It's not enough to even get you near the door.

The answer? Connections. And not just I met a guy connections. I have real, legitimate connections. I'm personally connected to the family of one Major League baseball owner and I'm friends with another owner's nephew. One of my law school professors is best friends with another MLB owner. The first connection I mentioned is one I've massaged for going on five years, and it's a family I'm comfortable calling up at any point in time for any reason. And I'm still not anywhere near the door. I'm a lot closer than I was five years ago, though.

The keys to making it are as follows, in no particular order:

* Connections to someone in a position to help you (owners, GMs, athletes)
* Being in a city where there is action (LA/NYC)
* Having a skill that can help a club in addition to your law degree (being fluent in stat-talk might help you sell a team on your ability to win arbitration hearings for them, for instance)
* Luck (mostly timing in this one - you won't get hired even with the best connections if there is no opening when you need it)
* A really good resume
---This last one is a combination of sports experience and relevant business experience. I'm personally working for a baseball club this summer (1L) on a gig that was set up by the family mentioned above. I'll hope to follow that up with a biglaw 2L summer and then hopefully 5-7 years of biglaw experience. At that point, I'll have a resume that shows some ability to work with clients and conduct myself in a corporate setting along with some experience working in the game. If at that point there's some way for me to use my then 10-12 year relationships to transition into a job in sports, I'll do it. By that point, I will hopefully have saved enough money working in biglaw that I can even take a position that pays less so that I can chase my passion.

If that doesn't work out, I'll enjoy my work other wise. This is just one man's plan for war-gaming the system. What you should take from this is that it's very hard. I've been blessed with as money a connection in the world of sports as anyone could ask for (short of growing up with LeBron James) and it will still take a lot of maneuvering on my part. Even though these people like me, I'll have to provide them something for it to work. They don't get to own big league ball teams by making stupid, irrational hires.

You should (as I am) plan for something different. Can you work in sports? Maybe. Will you get there by studying sports and entertainment law? No, not on that alone.


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vanwinkle
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:49 am

dingoesatmybaby wrote:Loyola (Los Angeles)
Southwestern Law School (Los Angeles)
California Western (San Diego)

Does anybody know any information on these schools.

You won't get anything resembling "entertainment or sports law" from them. If you're fortunate, you'll get a job that at least occasionally does contracts for companies that are connected to the entertainment or sports industries. But the truth is, most entertainment and sports work is just like any other kind of work. You're still spending most of your time in an office doing research, legal drafting, and all the other boring stuff that goes on, or possibly you're doing depositions because one person upset another person and now they're suing for X million dollars and your ultimate job will be to negotiate whether the settlement is more like X/2 or X/3.

If you really want to work in sports/entertainment law, what you should do is try to become a really damn good contract lawyer, or a really damn good litigator, and then when you have a few years of experience, start looking for work at a place that has those kind of clients. But like I said, you're mostly doing the exact same work you were doing before, just putting different names on the paper.

Or, go be a really damn good lawyer, make bank, and buy courtside seats to the sporting event of your choice. You'll be closer to the players there than most lawyers ever will be in their entire careers, even those in the "sports and entertainment law" field.

This is the best summary I've ever heard:

Ty Webb wrote:You should (as I am) plan for something different. Can you work in sports? Maybe. Will you get there by studying sports and entertainment law? No, not on that alone.

MrAnon
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby MrAnon » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:53 am

The entertainment law and sports law programs at the schools you describe are just marketing gimmicks to bring in more 1Ls like yourself. The schools seize on their location and the natural predilection to associate LA with entertainment law. Surely they will cite a few successful grads who went on to jobs with big name team or agencies, but these stories represent less than 1% of their graduates.

Qualifications for sports law and entertainment law positions include Top 10 law school and prior biglaw experience. These schools do not provide that. In general, the people who get decent sports law and entertainment law positions are exceptionally bright, with LSATs well above 165.

If you are dead set on sports law or working for a team or something and you go to one of these schools then I would become familiar with Arena League Football and gear up for a job with that association.

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Wholigan
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Re: Entertainment and Sports Law Programs

Postby Wholigan » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:25 pm

Ty Webb wrote:
* Luck (mostly timing in this one - you won't get hired even with the best connections if there is no opening when you need it)


I think this is huge. I also think saying one wants to do "sports and entertainment law" is incredibly vague. I know someone who is under 35 years old who had no connections going into law school, and now has as clients several lower level entertainment figures, and athletes in two of the four major sports. Mostly low-level athletes, but at least one client who is an all-star type. This guy turned down the chance to go T1/T2 (T14 was not an option) at or near sticker to go to a TTTT on a full ride, so at least he'd have no debt if things didn't work out. Before anyone thinks I am remotely advocating this as the way to go, I will repeat that my point is making it involves an incredible amount of luck.

The friend I am referring to got his break by cold-calling on the phone every small-scale agent he could find until he got one to let him summer there for free. He is the kind of person who could sell dirt to a farmer, and can switch in a second from conducting himself like an attorney to a persona that athletes and celebrities can relate to. Yet, hearing his story of how he made it, I am convinced that he was so lucky that if he had 100 more tries at life, he could never replicate his success, which is modest to this point financially, although getting to go to the entertainment award shows and athletes' parties is admittedly pretty cool.




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