Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
RamTitan
Posts: 1046
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby RamTitan » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:08 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I think that you misunderstand the BA program at USC. Most in the program will be published authors with other college degrees. This is different from the film school which is far less selective. But, if you won't even research the USC program, then I suspect that neither law nor screenwriting is for you.

CanadianWolf, if this is what is what you're talking about, then I have researched it - http://cinema.usc.edu/writing/

Please don't insult my integrity, especially when you know little to nothing about me.
Last edited by RamTitan on Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
RamTitan
Posts: 1046
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby RamTitan » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:13 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:OP: Calling is fine, but substantial information is available on the website. All required courses are also listed. The higher level program only accepts one or two writers per year & they must have written major/significant works. Again, I think that you misunderstand the program when comparing it to an MFA degree or just another BA degree. This is the pipeline to writing for television & film.

Are you talking about the now defunct writing program at USC?

That makes more sense; the link to the program I just posted belongs to the film school. There used to be a program at USC that sounds exactly like what you're talking about that is no longer in existence.

Edit - link to what I'm referring to - http://dornsife.usc.edu/mpw/

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:55 pm

It's the first program "Writing for Screen & Television". Acceptance rate when I initially looked into it was less than 6%, if I recall correctly & every single graduate had jobs lined up before graduation.

I wonder if the second program has any relation to Middlebury's Breadloaf School (if that's the correct name.)

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:57 pm

Also, don't know why you think that I insulted your integrity. I questioned your motivation. And this isn't meant to be an insult, just a way of helping you to determine which path you want to follow. Isn't that why you started this thread ?

User avatar
RamTitan
Posts: 1046
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby RamTitan » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:40 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:It's the first program "Writing for Screen & Television". Acceptance rate when I initially looked into it was less than 6%, if I recall correctly & every single graduate had jobs lined up before graduation.

I wonder if the second program has any relation to Middlebury's Breadloaf School (if that's the correct name.)

I just have an incredibly hard time believing professional writers are filling out the common application and sending their high school transcripts to get admitted into the BFA program (listed requirements). And a simple google search of "USC film school job prospects" will provide a litany of articles that disputes that every graduate has jobs lined up before graduation.

As for the integrity part, I was insulted about when you said that "if you won't even research" (which I did) "then I suspect neither law nor screenwriting for you." Law may not be for me, but I am a writer; like I said, I've had a play produced, and I am a published short story writer. I've written screenplays, and have had three short ones filmed. Even if I didn't do the research (which I did), I don't see how that would correlate to me lacking motivation towards writing; if anything, it shows a lack of motivation to go to school to study it.

Maybe I'm being too touch (probably), but it made me angry.

User avatar
RamTitan
Posts: 1046
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby RamTitan » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:53 pm

I just sent this text to my Mom, and I'm going to post it here as I think it accurately captures my mental psyche right now, and why I may be coming off as inconsistent with my motivations:

"I want to be a writer, but you don't get paid to do that, which is why it's something I have to do on my own time. Advertising and Public Relations had always interested me, but I've been knocking on that door for 6 months and no one is answering. It's an extremely frustrating situation, so law school looks appealing. I'm studying my ass off, and finding that 'hey, I'm pretty good at this too.' Then I research, and lo and behold, it confirms my worst fears about that industry, things people have been telling me for years; there are no law jobs, and you have to be a top player at the best schools in the country if you want A job, let alone a really good one. So I'm questioning my motivation; do I really want to go to law school to be an attorney, or am I just going because I'm afraid that I have nowhere else to turn? These questions constantly plague my mind..."

lawman84
Posts: 3247
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby lawman84 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:11 pm

RamTitan wrote:I just sent this text to my Mom, and I'm going to post it here as I think it accurately captures my mental psyche right now, and why I may be coming off as inconsistent with my motivations:

"I want to be a writer, but you don't get paid to do that, which is why it's something I have to do on my own time. Advertising and Public Relations had always interested me, but I've been knocking on that door for 6 months and no one is answering. It's an extremely frustrating situation, so law school looks appealing. I'm studying my ass off, and finding that 'hey, I'm pretty good at this too.' Then I research, and lo and behold, it confirms my worst fears about that industry, things people have been telling me for years; there are no law jobs, and you have to be a top player at the best schools in the country if you want A job, let alone a really good one. So I'm questioning my motivation; do I really want to go to law school to be an attorney, or am I just going because I'm afraid that I have nowhere else to turn? These questions constantly plague my mind..."


That's not exactly true.

But you should be question your motives here. Going to law school for the latter reason just isn't a good idea. If you decide to go to law school, you have to do it because it's something you really want to do...not just your Plan B out of fear that you can't find a job.

User avatar
Holly Golightly
Posts: 4618
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:30 am

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby Holly Golightly » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:16 pm

Now I'm thinking flame.

BigZuck
Posts: 10842
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby BigZuck » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:28 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:Now I'm thinking flame.

The whole study of law being inherently interesting/valuable even if you don't want to be/don't become an attorney thing really did it for me

I mean. Like, no. I can't imagine a grimmer combo of uninteresting/useless. It's passable if you want to become an attorney because it's a means to an end. But if you don't want to be an attorney? Go study art history at a community college or something. It'll certainly be more interesting and probably more useful as well.

User avatar
RamTitan
Posts: 1046
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby RamTitan » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:00 pm

It seems pretty unanimous; I'll explore other options.

User avatar
RamTitan
Posts: 1046
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby RamTitan » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:03 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:Now I'm thinking flame.

I'm confused, and searching for help; that doesn't justify this kind of reaction.

User avatar
chuckbass
Posts: 9957
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:29 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby chuckbass » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:36 pm

Just keep applying to jobs and don't get too discouraged. And as someone else said, it sounds like you need to move out to LA.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:32 am

OP: You need to focus on the particular program that I've outlined. The graduates all secure jobs in the industry as writers. There are only 26 who start each cohort/class (out of thousands of applicants each year) & I suspect that some don't make it all the way through. USC's Film School has a lot of programs & majors.
As I wrote above, just going through the application process should be helpful to you. It is an unusually selective program.
Sorry, if pushing you to take action in this direction offends you as that is not my intention.
I do find it hard to believe that this program has any unemployed student by graduation date as that certainly has not been the case in prior years. The program is ultra-selective, very demanding & the most respected program of its kind in the world. Be careful not to mix employment results of this program with the results for the entire film school or even for all writing majors/programs within the film school.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:46 am

OP: I've reread your posts in this thread and want to assure you that I am trying to be helpful. Based on your lack of success in getting a job, it is understandable how you react emotionally to my suggestion. Your successes in getting some screenplays filmed, a short story published & a play produced are not uncommon for folks in your field who remain unemployed. Actually I know several theatre/writing students with similar accomplishments which were simply part of their undergraduate class requirements & who have no plans to pursue writing/acting/directing as a profession. This is not intended to discourage you, but you need to realize that the competition from even recent graduates of NYU, Northwestern & USC have accomplished a lot as undergraduate students in the arts. Illinois Wesleyan just isn't a player in the field. The program that I recommended gets their graduates employed in the industry; all of them if they so desire.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:59 am

One of my long-term friends is heavily involved in the "entertainment law" field (he is regarded as one of the best in the country). It consists primarily of contract law & employment litigation. He works in a law firm of over 1,000 lawyers & heads the department. In my opinion, it is unlikely that this area of law would be much of an outlet for one's creative side. Very few regard ERISA litigation as a creative endeavor.

So, as an alternative to having your parents fund any law school COA not met by scholarship awards, why not go to Los Angeles & get an unpaid internship since you have a source of funds for living expenses ? Even graduates of the elite universities in the creative arts have to start with unpaid internships or very low wages after graduation to get into the industry.

In short, I, along with other posters above, just don't think that law school is the best option for you at this time based on your posted thoughts & information.

User avatar
RamTitan
Posts: 1046
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby RamTitan » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:42 am

CanadianWolf wrote:OP: I've reread your posts in this thread and want to assure you that I am trying to be helpful. Based on your lack of success in getting a job, it is understandable how you react emotionally to my suggestion. Your successes in getting some screenplays filmed, a short story published & a play produced are not uncommon for folks in your field who remain unemployed. Actually I know several theatre/writing students with similar accomplishments which were simply part of their undergraduate class requirements & who have no plans to pursue writing/acting/directing as a profession. This is not intended to discourage you, but you need to realize that the competition from even recent graduates of NYU, Northwestern & USC have accomplished a lot as undergraduate students in the arts. Illinois Wesleyan just isn't a player in the field. The program that I recommended gets their graduates employed in the industry; all of them if they so desire.

CanadianWolf, I will follow your suggestions and do more research on the program you outlined; I'm sorry for being so volatile. I will say that my writing accomplishments do not stem from being unemployed (I graduated less than a month ago) or from undergraduate requirements; these are things I have done on my own volition.

I'm in agreement that I need to do some soul searching. I'll keep studying for the LSAT in the meantime (got a 165 on my practice test this morning), and exploring other options. I'm speaking with a sports agent this Friday, and a criminal attorney the next to learn more, but I think if I do go to law school I'll push it back another year (so if I did go it would be fall of 2017) just to be sure that it is something I really want to do and not something I'm doing out of insecurity or fear.

User avatar
RamTitan
Posts: 1046
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby RamTitan » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:44 am

CanadianWolf wrote:One of my long-term friends is heavily involved in the "entertainment law" field (he is regarded as one of the best in the country). It consists primarily of contract law & employment litigation. He works in a law firm of over 1,000 lawyers & heads the department. In my opinion, it is unlikely that this area of law would be much of an outlet for one's creative side. Very few regard ERISA litigation as a creative endeavor.

So, as an alternative to having your parents fund any law school COA not met by scholarship awards, why not go to Los Angeles & get an unpaid internship since you have a source of funds for living expenses ? Even graduates of the elite universities in the creative arts have to start with unpaid internships or very low wages after graduation to get into the industry.

In short, I, along with other posters above, just don't think that law school is the best option for you at this time based on your posted thoughts & information.

I would go for the unpaid internship but my parents don't want me doing that (nor would they want me to go to back to school for writing), so I need to establish some financial independence and really figure out what I want to do before I make any decisions.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:50 am

Consider applying for a teaching position. Many writers teach writing, acting, English Literature or related fields while working on their own projects. The University of Iowa has a noted undergraduate writing program so perhaps someone in the dept. might offer an instructor position, paid TA plus tuition, or just career suggestions. Its hard. (You can be a graduate student at a large university & enjoy free tuition & housing if willing to teach & grade papers.)

Writers in my family became the head editor of a NYC foreign language newspaper & the other worked at newspapers as a head editor before landing an endowed professorship at a regional college in a great city. He has lots of time to work on his own projects. Good luck.

treeey86
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:26 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby treeey86 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:37 am

I'm an in-house lawyer at a full-service entertainment agency (we do tv commercials, represents nba/ncca coaches, professional athletes, professional broadcasters, professional writers, serve as advertising agency for F 100 companies, etc).

In our Talent Representation Department, we have sports and talent agents. None of them went to law school. They secure the deals and send to the legal department to turn into contracts. Being an agent is all about your connections, your ability to negotiate, and your ability to network.

For what your interests are there is no need for you to go to law school, even if for free. That's 3 lost years you can spend paying your dues and working your way up in the industry,

AReasonableMan
Posts: 1504
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:32 pm

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby AReasonableMan » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:42 am

I have a pretty similar skill set to the OP, and found it made learning law much easier because if you are a naturally creative and visual thinker then it's relatively easy to visualize how something would apply to a fact pattern. It's also useful in practice because in this economy, clients want their lawyer to be able to give them advice about the big picture in addition to the issue at hand.

One issue to expect is you're going to find many employers won't want to hire you solely because you were involved in the arts. For whatever reason being skilled in something other than law or accounting tends to make some people think you're not really interested in law. In addition, some people not in the industry tend to think that everyone who has worked in the film industry in any capacity will get a million dollar offer, and be featured in gossip magazines when the reality is that opportunities in film aren't based on any objective criteria like in the corporate world. Your artistic talent also won't be helpful getting a job in entertainment law, and pursuing a job as an entertainment lawyer will only make the concerns you're going to jump ship to win an Oscar much larger.

I'd actually recommend downplaying your interest in entertainment as much as possible, and instead play up that you're a typical English major like many other law students. If you aren't interest in practicing law and are more interested in the entertainment industry then absolutely do not go to law school. Most film sets are chalk full of labor violations and drugs. The last thing anybody would want is a production assistant lawyer, and it would be near impossible for any decent movie to be made if producers were forced to comply with every law. I can't speak for becoming an agent, but I don't see how what you'd learn in law school would be helpful.

Troianii
Posts: 542
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:13 am

Re: Should I go to law school? Entertainment Law/Talent Agent

Postby Troianii » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:15 am

lawman84 wrote:I don't recommend law school if you dislike the idea of being a lawyer.


:lol:

Image



EDIT: didn't see how old this was and that it was sort of necroed - my bad




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Earlskies, rnoodles, UCLA1984, UnicornHunter, Yahoo [Bot] and 13 guests