Entertainment Law?

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ArtVandelay
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Entertainment Law?

Postby ArtVandelay » Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:01 pm

I know entertainment law is a small and competitive field, so is it even worth aiming for or does one pretty much luck into it? I'll be starting at Notre Dame and (according to their stats) California is their top market. They also have an entertainment law club. What are the chances of someone being able to break into entertainment law with this kind of background?

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nealric
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Re: Entertainment Law?

Postby nealric » Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:06 pm

There are two issues:

1) A lot of "entertainment" law is just ordinary transactional or litigation work that just happens to be for entertainment companies. It's necessarily any more glamorous or interesting than the same work for a non-entertainment firm.

2) It can often be very difficult to choose your practice area as a young lawyer. A lot of that tends to be serendipity- which is to say who offers you a job.

Go ahead and join the Entertainment law club. If you do, try to form relationships with people who practice in the area. But be prepared to do something else. Along with sports and "international" law, it's one of those fields that every 0L wants to practice, but very few attorneys do anything remotely resembling what the 0Ls imagine.

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hi_im_josh
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Re: Entertainment Law?

Postby hi_im_josh » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:10 am

Do your best to try to transfer into UCLA if you want entertainment law.

sdv
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Re: Entertainment Law?

Postby sdv » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:24 am

technically speaking, the easiest path to entertainment law is by going to one of the top 4 ny/la schools(columbia, nyu, ucla, usc) or, to a lesser extent, Vandy because of its ties to the music industry. Even coming from any of these places, though, one's chances of becoming an entertainment lawyer right out of law school is roughly the same as becoming an in house lawyer out of law school - its just not the way the path works. generally the best routes to entertainment law are via experience doing either corporate or IP (more the former than the latter), and even then it's particularly difficult to move into entertainment without some significant contacts. I wouldn't worry about your particular background in this case, if that's what you want I'm sure you can attain it, but I'd expect to work corporate law in LA for awhile first.

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ArtVandelay
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Re: Entertainment Law?

Postby ArtVandelay » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:14 pm

Thanks for the responses, they're very helpful and pretty much what I expected.

I was waitlisted at UCLA and USC. Would it make sense to try to transfer there even though it would still be hard to break into entertainment law? Or, since ND seems to have a good reputation in California (and I have a great scholarship), should I just do well at ND and try to get a corporate law job in LA?

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nealric
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Re: Entertainment Law?

Postby nealric » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:41 pm

should I just do well at ND and try to get a corporate law job in LA?


Hate to say it, but unless things change drastically between now and the fall of 2011, your chances of getting any corporate law gig at all aren't all that great.

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funkblaster
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Re: Entertainment Law?

Postby funkblaster » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:55 pm

Do you have an entertainment background or any connections in the industry? If so, it is possible to work for a firm and bring in entertainment clients. From there, you gather clients and either create a practice area within your firm or strike out on your own. At least that's one strategy that's been suggested to me. I have the background and the connections, but my connections are satisfied with their current representation. My backup plan: represent lottery winners that get into tax trouble.

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bearsEATtrees
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Re: Entertainment Law?

Postby bearsEATtrees » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:09 pm

I actually had a meeting with a lawyer for NBC/Universal over this same thing.

She said that they don't hire anyone straight out of law school and that the best way to work in house for one of the big studios is to work for a private firm for AT LEAST 5 years and then apply to the studios. Working for a private firm will allow you to gain contacts within the industry and give you the experience the studios require. Most of the studios also offer 1L and 2L summer internships though they are extremely competitive and DO NOT lead to a job offer.

There are also non traditional paths like the one she took- she worked as an assistant DA and in the LA City Attorney's office first.

USC and UCLA have the strongest programs for entertainment law though from what I gather USC's is a bit better (probably because of the alumni network).

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ArtVandelay
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Re: Entertainment Law?

Postby ArtVandelay » Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:50 am

funkblaster wrote:Do you have an entertainment background or any connections in the industry? If so, it is possible to work for a firm and bring in entertainment clients. From there, you gather clients and either create a practice area within your firm or strike out on your own. At least that's one strategy that's been suggested to me. I have the background and the connections, but my connections are satisfied with their current representation. My backup plan: represent lottery winners that get into tax trouble.


No background and no significant connections.

bearsEATtrees wrote:I actually had a meeting with a lawyer for NBC/Universal over this same thing.

She said that they don't hire anyone straight out of law school and that the best way to work in house for one of the big studios is to work for a private firm for AT LEAST 5 years and then apply to the studios. Working for a private firm will allow you to gain contacts within the industry and give you the experience the studios require. Most of the studios also offer 1L and 2L summer internships though they are extremely competitive and DO NOT lead to a job offer.

There are also non traditional paths like the one she took- she worked as an assistant DA and in the LA City Attorney's office first.

USC and UCLA have the strongest programs for entertainment law though from what I gather USC's is a bit better (probably because of the alumni network).


Thanks for the info, I appreciate it. Are there any "feeder" firms that I should be looking at? It seems like even the big LA firms have very few associates in their entertainment groups.

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funkblaster
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Re: Entertainment Law?

Postby funkblaster » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:06 pm

Most, at least many, entertainment firms and firms with entertainment practice areas unfortunately hire laterals with entertainment experience. On the other hand, they also look for skilled coroporate/transactional people to fill entertainment jobs. If you get a job in a different practice area within the firm, excel, offer to pick up any scraps to help out with entertainment practice, and they decide there is room for one more, some firms might let you transfer to that area. It's who you know, how you plan, and how good you are. Unfortunately, just like the entertainment industry in general.

ziggysmarley
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Re: Entertainment Law?

Postby ziggysmarley » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:24 pm

I believe UCLA is the better school for entertainment. USC only started its program in the past two or three years, whereas UCLA's has been in operation for a bit longer. UCLA has great connections for entertainment summer positions (paid), externships, etc.

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MTal
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Re: Entertainment Law?

Postby MTal » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:27 pm

You're a unique snowflake who can do anything you put your mind to.




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