Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

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seansj1
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Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby seansj1 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:02 pm

Hey everyone. There doesn’t seem to be any good or convenient way of comparing sports and entertainment law programs across the country, so I was wondering if anyone has any personal experience or knowledge that could help me. I have always lived in Southern California and currently go to UCLA. Right now I am choosing between USC, UCLA, Harvard, and potentially Stanford (still waiting on a decision). Both USC and UCLA Law Schools are highly respected in Southern California and have strong alumni networks. USC’s is particularly strong, although UCLA appears to be closing the gap somewhat. That being said, I am still leaning toward USC for a variety of reasons too numerous to list here.
The only concern I have is that a degree from Harvard or Stanford would put me in a better position to work in a large law firm after graduation, which is often the route that people take to eventually get into sports or entertainment. On the other hand, regardless of where I go to law school I want to work in Southern California soon, if not immediately, after graduation (this is my number one priority), and the strong alumni networks of USC and UCLA, along with their reputations in the region, seem to put them on an even level with Harvard for my particular situation. Assuming I can place in the top third of my class (and I think I can), going to either of these schools should put me in a very good position. This is not my own personal opinion but rather what I have heard from professors at USC/UCLA and people who work in the LA sports and entertainment industries who I have talked to. I could go to USC or UCLA with a full tuition scholarship or I could pay the sticker price at Harvard or Stanford, so all things considered I am leaning toward staying in LA.
If anyone has any comments, especially about the sports and entertainment law programs of these 4 schools, they would be greatly appreciated.

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leslieknope
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby leslieknope » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:12 pm

Do you not have discounts at any T14s?

I mean, sports and entertainment law is not really a thing, especially straight out of law school. The only people I know who work in it are a Berkeley grad who did a decade in BigLaw first and an of counsel at an LA BigLaw firm who does it as like 30% of her practice. You already know you need BL to even have a shot at the career you want (which you should rethink, again, because it's very rarely a thing), and if you're gunning for BL, then Harvard at sticker or USC/UCLA with $$$ are just not good choices.

seansj1
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby seansj1 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:21 pm

$120,000 at Duke. Waiting on Berkeley to hopefully give me something similar and maybe Cornell as well.
I don't know where you live, but people here in LA have told me that although the field is small and hard to get into, it is not nearly as limited as you seem to think it is. I've also never heard someone say that Harvard is not a good choice for big law (regardless of tuition). I'm assuming few people get a significant scholarship from Harvard since it is need-based only. I personally don't expect anything despite the fact that I plan to take out loans and pay for law school myself if I do have to pay for it.

seansj1
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby seansj1 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:24 pm

And don't worry, I realize I have to have back up options and I'm not by any means expecting to go straight into the career I want. USC and UCLA are both great schools for people who want to work in Southern California in any variety of law though. I don't think many people outside of the region realize that.

FSK
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby FSK » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:29 pm

I'm a 2L at a small firm that does some entertainment work, and I've done some research on the topic. My advice would be to set yourself up to end up at a "biglaw" firm that has a really strong soft IP practice. Mannat Phelps, Mitchell Siberberg, Jenner, OMM, etc. Something where you can do copyright/trademark lit, IP licensing, tech transactions/outsourcing. That's probably the closest you're going to get as a 1st year. From there, just try to build your network.

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LawBron James
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby LawBron James » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:35 am

flawschoolkid wrote:I'm a 2L at a small firm that does some entertainment work, and I've done some research on the topic. My advice would be to set yourself up to end up at a "biglaw" firm that has a really strong soft IP practice. Mannat Phelps, Mitchell Siberberg, Jenner, OMM, etc. Something where you can do copyright/trademark lit, IP licensing, tech transactions/outsourcing. That's probably the closest you're going to get as a 1st year. From there, just try to build your network.

Any suggestions on how to find out which firms (other than the ones you listed) do have significant soft IP groups? I've heard it's kind of a difficult area to get into, but it's something I'm highly interested in.

FSK
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby FSK » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:20 am

Chambers is good for a general idea. Start reading into what lawyers and firms are handling the big cases, and try to find a way to meet them.

seansj1
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby seansj1 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:36 pm

Thanks for your help!

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DaRascal
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby DaRascal » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:50 pm

Sports and entertainment law? Isn't it better to just find out where the Ohio State football players hang out or find the aspiring Broadway undergrads from NYU at Starbucks and just make a ton of connections, neglect your old friends, text the foosball and Les Mis peeps every day, hang out with them occassionally and entertain them, and then hope one of them makes it big in the NFL or becomes a premier movie star and gets into serious legal trouble so they'll call you up even though you're only a 28 year old UCLA grad.

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Yea All Right
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby Yea All Right » Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:47 pm

Will you be ok with having a $60,000 job if you don't get top third at USC/UCLA?

MikeJD
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby MikeJD » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:18 pm

Yea All Right wrote:Will you be ok with having a $60,000 job if you don't get top third at USC/UCLA?



It's hard to imagine someone accepted to Harvard won't be top third at USC/UCLA but you never know.

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jingosaur
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby jingosaur » Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:30 am

Sports and Entertainment stuff is a longshot and you probably know that. Most of the firms only take laterals from top biglaw firms. When looking at which law schools the top lawyers in the major sports leagues went to, it's almost entirely top 6. If you're actually serious about this career path, you should go to H. You'll obviously be in more debt, but it will maximize your chances of biglaw and more importantly the ability to choose a firm that feeds a lot of laterals into the sports and entertainment law boutiques.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:28 am

DaRascal must know how sports agents got started (i.e. QB Steve Bartkowski & agent/attorney Leigh Steinberg).

CanadianWolf
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:30 am

OP: I think that you should give more consideration to Duke & the $120,000 scholarship offer.

hearsay77
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby hearsay77 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:40 pm

I worked at a V10 in LA for the past year (not as an attorney, I'm a 0L). Sports & Entertainment law is a really big thing in LA, and the firm I worked at as well as several others I knew of were pretty big on it and/or trying to make their Sports & Entertainment practice bigger. I think you have a better shot at it from an LA school, and have to work hard to network in the industry throughout law school. If you ever have an opportunity to go to events at firms in Century City, thats where most of the practices are based out of from what I know.

But I'm a 0L so my knowledge is very limited.

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First Offense
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby First Offense » Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:40 am

Sports Law is basically like... two firms that I can think of (Prokhauser and Covington) as far as representing leagues go. Don't know about entertainment - probably the LA firms handle those.

Instinctive
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Re: Sports and Entertainment Law in So. CA (USC/UCLA vs. Harvard

Postby Instinctive » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:12 pm

Info to give you an idea where I come from for following post:

1. I will be working at one of the big four American professional sports offices this summer.
2. I am a JD/MBA at Stanford, and will be pursuing a non-law side of sports career.
3. I am heavily involved in the business school's sports management club activities, and I am part of a team to revitalize the law schools Entertainment and Sport Law group as well.
4. Berkeley has the nation's best conference for sports law-no matter where you go, you should try to attend.
5. Glenn Wong teaches at Stanford, and hopefully will continue to do so (and should. Can't go into more detail than that). If that doesn't mean anything to you, look him up (President of the Sports Law Association).
6. I obviously have no idea what else you value, the COA for you to any of these schools, etc. Those factors matter too.


I can't think of a better place to be than Stanford for this path, especially if you want to be in California. If you get in, I'd go without any real second thought.


That said, if you want to work in sports law, my experience both researching on my own and talking with the people in the field has overwhelmingly pointed to a single path for lawyers: Intern 1L with a league office, go to a top biglaw firm, network like hell, and then return to that league or transition to a team. On that path, a majority of those I have interviewed with or otherwise spoken to have degrees from HYS and worked biglaw in NYC specifically.

It's not that it can't be done from other schools-->it absolutely can. But given your options right now, if this is truly something you want to commit yourself to, H is the choice (pending your S decision). And you need to know, because the path requires far more dedication than many of the others people take in law school. The reason most can't get into "sports law" isn't entirely that it's an impossible myth, it's that people aren't willing to take certain risks and fight for it when an easier path to any biglaw area and a comfy career are there. The people who are passionate about it will always beat those who profess to want it, but don't go to every conference and reach out to every person and work for it to the exclusion of other paths.

If you get into S, PM me and I'll put you in contact with someone who is going on a law focused track from S and is 100% dedicated to sports law, and has been throughout their entire law school years.




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