1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
desola
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:26 pm

1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby desola » Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:14 pm

First year associate at an elite media/entertainment boutique. Because this area is made up of small firms, a few minor details could out me. So I’m not going to specify the market other than saying that i’m in one of LA or NY.

Otherwise, I’m happy to answer any questions about the work, the job search, firms in this area, etc.

ub3r
Posts: 321
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:53 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby ub3r » Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:22 pm

Media/entertainment/sports seem like fields that lots of people like to say they want before law school, only to realize that it's not really the sort of thing you aim and train for.

I'd like to know how you found yourself there, and for how long you had media/entertainment law as a goal

Anonymous User
Posts: 273200
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:24 pm

desola wrote:First year associate at an elite media/entertainment boutique. Because this area is made up of small firms, a few minor details could out me. So I’m not going to specify the market other than saying that i’m in one of LA or NY.

Otherwise, I’m happy to answer any questions about the work, the job search, firms in this area, etc.


What firms are elite media/entertainment boutiques? Can you name a few?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273200
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:07 am

I'm going to be at one of CSM/S&C but this is something that interests me down the line. How hard will it be for me to lateral into an elite media/entertainment boutique in LA? Assume lots of ties to the LA and transactional work at NYC.

desola
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:26 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby desola » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:14 am

ub3r wrote:Media/entertainment/sports seem like fields that lots of people like to say they want before law school, only to realize that it's not really the sort of thing you aim and train for.

I'd like to know how you found yourself there, and for how long you had media/entertainment law as a goal


Good question. I agree, and I think there are two primary reasons why people say they want it and then change their mind.

The first reason is that a lot of people don't even know what media/entertainment/sports work is. For example, the stereotypical "agent" is what most people think of when they think of entertainment law. However, to the extent that "agents" are negotiating talent agreements, a lot of what they're doing is labor/employment work. Proskauer, for example, has a great reputation for "sports". What that means is that their strong reputation and expertise on the management side of labor and union disputes puts them in a great position to represent sports organizations or individuals in labor negotiations and disputes. This is not what the wide-eyed 0L thinks of when they think of doing entertainment law. However, in my mind I don't consider what Proskauer does "entertainment" or even "sports", despite how high-profile it is. I consider it labor/employment. I also wouldn't call high profile entertainment/media M&A at a V5 "entertainment", even though its great experience for getting into entertainment. I'd consider it M&A. I think when 1Ls or 2Ls realize that their "high profile" conceptions of entertainment are just in fact labor/employment, M&A, cap markets or litigation, they end up doing a broader version of one of those. which is smart.

The second reason is just law school herd mentality i think. its uncommon to go straight into an entertainment boutique from law school, especially when everyone else is going to a vault firm. Also, the idea that going to a big firm first, even if you want to do entertainment down the line, is good experience is not incorrect. So I think people just go to a big firm and get distracted or pulled away from that kind of work. It almost happened to me.

I always wanted to do this kind of work, and i networked like crazy in the area. I did the vault firm thing my 2L summer and was on track to go back there. When one of my connections just happened to reach out and say they were in need of people and I should go in for an interview, I did and it worked out. I sat down with the pros/cons of taking biglaw over the entertainment firm and decided that the latter was going to be far more fulfilling career-wise. so far, I made the right decision.

Anonymous User wrote:
What firms are elite media/entertainment boutiques? Can you name a few?


Honestly i'm just associating "elite" with band 1 chambers. so i'm not going to list them out, you can just go look at band 1 chambers in these areas. (there are some band 2 firms that have excellent reputations as well). also look at firms that do advertising work, which a lot of people forget about.

Boutique to me means something thats not biglaw. I have a friend at what I and he considers a boutique and its over 100 lawyers. Mine is a lot smaller.

Anonymous User wrote:I'm going to be at one of CSM/S&C but this is something that interests me down the line. How hard will it be for me to lateral into an elite media/entertainment boutique in LA? Assume lots of ties to the LA and transactional work at NYC.


You're already in a good position. Transactional work is more important than lit experience, although both make the jump. It sounds cliched, but the best thing to do is, both in your professional practice and other interests/activities, to convey a genuine interest in the area. Your experience will speak for itself because of the firm you are coming from. But my firm would way prefer to take someone coming from in house at a production company with a strong passion for the work and relevant skills than someone from V5 who did non-media public company M&A for 3 years and wants to be like Ari Emanuel or something.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273200
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:57 pm

Thanks for doing this! Can you talk to comp. compared to biglaw and in-house (at production company)? What's typical non-labor & employment media/entertainment work like?

desola
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:26 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby desola » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for doing this! Can you talk to comp. compared to biglaw and in-house (at production company)? What's typical non-labor & employment media/entertainment work like?


On the firm side, salaries vary wildly, so my stats are going to be spotty. At a place like Loeb you'll make market. But at some of the smaller shops you'll make much less. I make somewhere in the middle: less than market but not by a lot.

In-house I can't speak to other than that the numbers I have seen from companies looking to poach from my firm. All in all, they're less money for not that less hours, so not very appealing. Take this with grain of salt though, as my sample size is tiny.

media/entertainment work differs between NY and LA. While both have similar mixes, LA tends to be more talent-focused and NY tends to be more media-focused. This is a broad generalization but I have found it to be true. Talent work is a lot of talent agreement negotiations, right of publicity stuff, licensing and other types of agreements. The more media-centric work is more trademark/copyright heavy, first amendment stuff, but also a lot of licensing and clearance. When advertising is at play there is a good amount of regulatory (FTC/FDA) work plus probably an endless amount of copy review.

This is just one way to break down the type of work and like i said its a broad generalization. But I will say that one thing I was surprised about is that most entertainment lawyers I know are not industry/medium specific. That is to say I don't know many "music lawyers" or "film lawyers" or "sports lawyers", it tends to fall more into legal expertise like "talent work", "licensing work", "regulatory work" etc.

Poopface
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:03 am

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby Poopface » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:57 pm

where did you go to law school/what were ur grades?

CurvedSurface
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:21 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby CurvedSurface » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:41 pm

[deleted]
Last edited by CurvedSurface on Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

desola
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:26 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby desola » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:40 pm

Poopface wrote:where did you go to law school/what were ur grades?


T14. median.

User avatar
cookiejar1
Posts: 834
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:07 am

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby cookiejar1 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:43 pm

Did you work in biglaw before? At, like, Latham/OMM for example?

desola
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:26 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby desola » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:49 pm

CurvedSurface wrote:Thanks for doing this!

I know I'm not interested in entertainment law; however, I am trying to get a sense of what practicing media law actually looks like. Before starting law school, I served as a spokesman in the public sector. Recently I've started posting bylines for an online news organization in my market (niche stories that are unlikely to get picked up by traditional media). I'm a 1L and will be a SA this summer at a smaller NALP firm that doesn't do media law.

My guess is that practicing media law is very different from working in the communications field. Can you confirm or weigh in on that? Additionally, even if it is very different, could you comment on the extent to which reporting/communications experience is helpful for 1) later practicing media law and 2) signaling in the application process for firms that practice media law?


You're correct that practicing media law is very differing from working in communications, but mainly because media law does not equal reporting/news law.

I know thats the general usage of the term "media" in common parlance but thats not how I or others use the term media as an industry. For example, Chambers defines "media" as including "Advertising, Film & Television; Music, Publishing and Theatre." I think thats pretty accurate as far as the practice goes.

Thus, any past experience in reporting/communications will only be as relevant as someone's background in marketing, acting or music is.

Maybe its because of my experience so far but when i hear the word "media" i don't think "new york times" or something. But i understand most people do. honestly the first thing i think of when i hear the word "media" is television, but mainly because it combines so many of the things that media/entertainment lawyers deal with: production, marketing, news, celebrity, sports, etc.
Last edited by desola on Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

desola
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:26 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby desola » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:50 pm

cookiejar1 wrote:Did you work in biglaw before? At, like, Latham/OMM for example?


No, as I mentioned above I came straight out of law school. I did my 2L SA at a biglaw/vault firm but turned it down to go to where I am now.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273200
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:10 am

I have two years of Copyright/Trademark student associate/law clerk experience during law school (2L, started there during 1L), but I really want to end up where you're at. Lots of Copyright Royalty Board experience too, which is pretty unique/fun. I have a strong connection with Loeb NY, but they don't seem to hire 1st years straight into their media group. I've got Top 1/3 from a T20 school. Any advice for me?

desola
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:26 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby desola » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have two years of Copyright/Trademark student associate/law clerk experience during law school (2L, started there during 1L), but I really want to end up where you're at. Lots of Copyright Royalty Board experience too, which is pretty unique/fun. I have a strong connection with Loeb NY, but they don't seem to hire 1st years straight into their media group. I've got Top 1/3 from a T20 school. Any advice for me?


Stay in touch with Loeb and make it clearly known that you are interested in ending up there. Loeb is a great place, and if its anything like the firm i'm at, their hiring consists of "shit we're busy. lets hire someone. anyone in mind? oh yea X has been in touch recently lets see if she is interested."

Thats how I got my job, the timing was just a little more convenient.

Only other thing i'd say is try and steer your experience, to the extent it is not already, more onto the transactional side of things. Where I am, and I know this is true at some other places, the litigation focused people tend to be in their own little bubble. The broader practice that I described earlier is made up more of ex-corporate folks than litigators.

bgm210
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:59 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby bgm210 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:12 pm

How many partners are at your firm? What kind of training are you getting?

Right out of law school I worked for an entertainment solo (coming from a pre-law school background in the specific area this guy practiced), and basically received no training at all. It was an uphill battle.

desola
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:26 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby desola » Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:25 pm

bgm210 wrote:How many partners are at your firm? What kind of training are you getting?

Right out of law school I worked for an entertainment solo (coming from a pre-law school background in the specific area this guy practiced), and basically received no training at all. It was an uphill battle.


I'm not going to name the number of partners cause that will out my firm. However I will say that in general leverage is very low, and there is almost never more than 1 associate on a transaction.

There are pros and cons to this. Pro is that you're thrown right in the deep end. In my first month I was contacting clients directly, taking calls, drafting entire agreements, etc. There is no better way to learn than this, even if it freaks you out. The downside is as you say "formal" training can be minimal. Its not even that the partners don't want to train or have the time, I have actually found them very supportive and have given me great feedback when they can. The problem is the clients. The clients always need things immediately (or so they say), so there is rarely a situation where you can work on multiple drafts and bounce back and forth with the partner. You either (1) take a stab, partner fixes it and sends to client with no feedback, or (2) partner does it themselves from the start.

To the extent that larger firms have more formals training systems in place, I can see the benefit of that. However, my experience as a 2L SA made me realize the huge downside of working on deals staffed with many layers of associates. I don't like answering to 6 different people with 6 different sets of demands for the same thing. Especially when the work they're giving me is so much less substantive than I would get as the only associate on the deal. Honestly, i'm sure juniors coming out of big law are better "trained" but I think i'll have better experience after the same amount of time spent here, if that makes any sense.

desola
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:26 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby desola » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:19 pm

Next few days off of work, so time for more questions if anyone has any

Anonymous User
Posts: 273200
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:22 am

2L at T14, looking at an offer at a boutique entertainment firm upon graduation. what were your thoughts on not going the big law route? I know my pay will be less should i choose the boutique, but it's what I want to be doing.

desola
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:26 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby desola » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2L at T14, looking at an offer at a boutique entertainment firm upon graduation. what were your thoughts on not going the big law route? I know my pay will be less should i choose the boutique, but it's what I want to be doing.


I have ZERO regrets not going the biglaw route. However, my pay isn't that much less than biglaw. If I was making a lot less it might be different, and I would certainly not recommend this route to someone with a particularly large amount of debt.

But if you know this is what you want to do, the pay is comparable and/or you don't have an enormous amount of debt, and you have the opportunity, I say go for it.

I will also say that the laterals who have come in 2 or 3 years out say they wish they could have just jumped straight into entertainment and that the years spent in biglaw were not particularly helpful. I'm not sure why a lot of the older attorneys still recommend the biglaw route.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273200
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:57 am

2L with a biglaw SA lined up for this summer in LA. This late in the game, do you think there is any chance at making a move like you did and somehow get an offer to an entertainment firm after graduation? I was just under the impression that none of them hired straight out of law school---they all say to do some biglaw first. If possible, I would love to skip the biglaw.

TheDogWhisperer
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:55 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby TheDogWhisperer » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:04 pm

I mentioned to a partner/recruiter once that I was interested in these area and he laughed and said "its just law with different clients".

TTTooKewl
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:03 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby TTTooKewl » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:23 pm

TheDogWhisperer wrote:I mentioned to a partner/recruiter once that I was interested in these area and he laughed and said "its just law with different clients".


that's what I tried to tell my girlfriend, "its just sex with a different person." in her opinion, the "different" part was still significant, even though it was essentially "just" something.

TheDogWhisperer
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:55 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby TheDogWhisperer » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:30 pm

TTTooKewl wrote:
TheDogWhisperer wrote:I mentioned to a partner/recruiter once that I was interested in these area and he laughed and said "its just law with different clients".


that's what I tried to tell my girlfriend, "its just sex with a different person." in her opinion, the "different" part was still significant, even though it was essentially "just" something.


I couldn't say that to the partner though...

desola
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:26 pm

Re: 1st yr at media/entertainment boutique - taking Qs

Postby desola » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2L with a biglaw SA lined up for this summer in LA. This late in the game, do you think there is any chance at making a move like you did and somehow get an offer to an entertainment firm after graduation? I was just under the impression that none of them hired straight out of law school---they all say to do some biglaw first. If possible, I would love to skip the biglaw.


I switched as a 3L, after I got an offer from my 2L firm, so no its definitely not too late. In fact I would say that 3L is the best time to do it.

I was also under the same impression as you, the firm i'm at now said "go to biglaw then lateral back here." But every firm needs junior associates they can bill out at low rates. If things are busy there will be interest. Honestly any firm that has a categorical "no first years" rule seems pretty stupid to me, unless their billing rates are low enough that a third year bills out at the equivalent of a first year elsewhere.

The last thing i'll say is that I feel like some of these firms use the ability to land biglaw as a proxy, for both (i) your general ability to be hired and do the work and (ii) your genuine commitment to entertainment work. Once they know you lasted 10 weeks at a vault firm and got an offer they may be more inclined to extend the offer for you as a first year if the genuine interest is there. And if after all that your'e still 100% on entertainment, they'll know the commitment/passion is there.

TL;DR - get an offer at your vault firm, continue to express strong interest in the entertainment firm, and go back as a 3L and say 'look this is what i want to do can I start with you'.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.