Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: Morganb on June 25, 2012, 11:59:00 AM

Title: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: Morganb on June 25, 2012, 11:59:00 AM
I am pretty set on studying entertainment/media law. It's about time to start applying to law schools, and I'm undecided on where I should go. As far as entertainment law goes, the schools that offer classes in this concentration are either top 14 law schools or tier 3 law schools. I'm still waiting for my LSAT score (I took it this month) but my gpa is going to hurt me. It's a 3.3 because I worked two jobs all four years of college and evidently was not very good at balancing everything. However I have been scoring around 164 on my practice LSATs, so I'm hoping that will help. I most likely will not apply to NYU or UCLA and waste my money.

I'm looking into Cardozo, Miami, Loyola, Pepperdine, and Tulane for sure. I would love to be in New York, so I'm thinking Cardozo is probably my first choice. But I don't want to move to New York, attend Cardozo, and ultimately face massive competition from NYU and other top NYC law school graduates in the job market. I feel like I would have a good shot at getting into Fordham but they don't offer as many entertainment/media law classes as Cardozo. Should I give up this concentration and try to get into a higher ranked law school? I would be giving up a dream of mine but increasing my likelihood for permanent employment after graduation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: jack24 on June 25, 2012, 01:51:14 PM
You don't need to look for programs that offer a lot of those classes.  Most of media law is made up of constitutional law, contracts, agency, and business law.  You need to look for firms with media law practices, and see what kind of associates get jobs there. 

You are off to a great start in looking at a large market.  You need to make a plan on how to get into an entertainment law practice in a firm in a large media market (NY, LA) or a specialty market (Like Vegas). 

Also, remember that entertainment and media law are different, even though they overlap.   A lot of "media" lawyers deal with defamation cases and copyright.  Some are even IP lawyers.  A lot of "entertainment" lawyers deal with contracts, agency, and negotiation.
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: Morganb on June 25, 2012, 02:04:27 PM
I believe finding a school that offers those classes is very important. I would be taking higher level entertainment law classes from adjunct professors that could also be practicing in the type of firm I'm looking for. If I just go to a law school with a highly ranked IP Law program I would be missing out on invaluable connections and networking opportunities. It's not just something one can learn at any law school.
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: jack24 on June 25, 2012, 02:35:51 PM
Forgive me Morganb.  I don't know you.  You might have contacts and great information about the industry.   Based on what I've read so far, you may be giving law schools too much credit.
Give me an example of what kind of class you are going to take.   Is Drew Rosenhaus going to come in and teach you how to negotiate or find clients? 
An adjunct professor will teach you stuff that you won't need yet. 

Law schools do a terrible job of teaching anything.  I had a brilliant adjunct professor teach a construction law class and he was terrible.  He openly admitted that you needed on-the-job experience to learn the craft.  He recommended that we work on improving our writing skills and study contract law.

Many people who want to be criminal lawyers take all the criminal classes they can.   Crim Pro, Crim Pro 2, Advanced Crim Pro, Plea Negotiation, Jury Tactics, Evidence, Federal Crim Pro, Crim Law, Habeus, Criminal Philosphy (dealing mostly with punishment and death penalty).

I'm not saying you should go to a school with a good IP focus.  I'm saying you should talk to some firms that do entertainment law and see which schools they recommend.  If you get a bunch saying, "Oh, this school has a great program!"  Then yeah, go there.

Look at http://www.msk.com/entertainment/
You can email every single one of them and ask advice about whether you need to worry about finding a school with the right program.  I'd love to know the results.

Where did the  attorneys go to school? (in order)
USC
Michigan
UCLA
William and Mary
Columbia
Yale
UCLA
Chicago
Georgetown
New York Law School
Duke
NYU
American
GW
UCLA
Roger Williams University.  (Where?)
New York Law school
Berkeley
UCLA
Emory
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: Anti09 on June 25, 2012, 02:41:31 PM
"Entertainment" law is mostly a flame.  Those who get it either go HYS or have significant connections.  You won't have a snowball's chance in hell with any of the schools you're considering.  It also doesn't matter how good they say their "concentration" in that particular field is, nobody cares about specialty rankings south of the T14.
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: Morganb on June 25, 2012, 02:54:13 PM
I wasn't implying that I know more than anyone about the industry or have any great connections. Obviously I'm new (hence the post asking for advice.) The advice I've gotten so far is to scrap my "concentration" and get into the highest ranked school I possibly can inside a large media market, so that is what I will take from this discussion. Thank you :)
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: jack24 on June 25, 2012, 03:06:42 PM
I wasn't implying that I know more than anyone about the industry or have any great connections. Obviously I'm new (hence the post asking for advice.) The advice I've gotten so far is to scrap my "concentration" and get into the highest ranked school I possibly can inside a large media market, so that is what I will take from this discussion. Thank you :)

And while I think that is right, I think you also need to make sure you are building up your contacts now.  School is almost never a networking tool.

A lot attorneys went to law school knowing what they wanted to do.  You know the ones who got it right?  Anyone who planned on family law, bankruptcy, tax, or estate planning.   Oh, and those who dominate law school.

If you want to be an entertainment lawyer, you need to start talking to entertainment lawyers right now.  Call every firm with an entertainment focus and ask about their clerkship programs.  What do they look for?
I mean, if you were on here saying you wanted to be a tax lawyer, then I would be singing a different tune.  But entertainment law is a bull, and you need to grab it by the horns now.
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on June 25, 2012, 03:17:57 PM
I worked at a very successful entertainment firm (as a clerk, not a lawyer) in LA. Some of the attorneys were from Ivies, others were from Loyola, and one was hired while still in law school at Southwestern. I met tons of lawyers from other entertainment firms at local bar association gatherings, etc as well as in-house counsel from the studios. Some went to T14 schools, but plenty were from Loyola, Southwestern, and Pepperdine. The people hired at the firm I worked at didn't have industry connections, but they did have extensive contracts/negotiations experience. I also worked at the largest film distribution and marketing association in the United States, and it was the same story. I don't remember all of the attorneys' bios, but we had T14 as well as Loyola/Southwestern, etc.

I agree, however, that specialty rankings (especially at non-elite law schools) are highly overrated. The fact that you can take a few classes in entertainment law will not really matter too much. As Jack24 said, a focus on agency/contracts is really what they look for. Think about where you want to live, because outside of truly elite national schools pretty much all law is local.

Of course, it will be easier to get internships and a job if you go to an elite school. But if you go to someplace like Loyola and focus on obtaining good, marketable experience, you can do fine. Just be realistic and informed about the costs and options.
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: Morganb on June 25, 2012, 04:51:26 PM
Thanks! I really appreciate the insight and advice guys.
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: legend on June 27, 2012, 03:47:21 PM
Before I say anything realize that what ever you read from anonymous  internet posters my post included should be taken with a heavy grain of salt. Michael Scott does a good job explaining why this is true. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFBDn5PiL00 a little humor, but it is true. Nobody posting knows anything you, your situation, or likely anything about these particular schools.

There is some good advice above, but after reading your basic outline I think you are making some common 0L mistakes, that I myself made when choosing my school several years ago.   I was taking rankings, legal specialties, stuff I read on the internet etc far to seriously. Unfortunately, I was not using  common sense such as importance of location, cost, how I personally felt about the school and so forth which are really more important than anything a private unregulated magazine like U.S. news thinks or anonymous internet posters on sites like this, top-law schools, etc who know nothing about your situation, personality, etc. Remember whatever you choose it is going to be 3 long years of your life, 100,000 of your money, and your legal career.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:
First it looks like you are applying to schools all over the country, which begs the question of why are you doing this? Have you considered the long term ramifications of the location of your school. You are applying to schools in New York, LA, Miami, and Louisiana. I have no idea where your from, but realize law school does not exist in a vacuum. Are you a person that could handle freezing weather in New York, could you force yourself to learn the intricacies of the UCC or why Dale didnítí have the intent to steal from Victor when it is beautiful 90 degree day and you could go to the beach in L.A or Miami year round? Those are things only you can answer. I went to school in a fairly foggy city, which helped I loved going to the beach and honestly I donít think I could have done law school in Miami or L.A, but that is just me. Each personís decision is highly subjective and personal

Furthermore, wherever you go to school odds are you going to live there the rest of your entire life.  Your going to meet friends in law school, possibly start a romantic relationship, get an apartment, find favorite restaurants, bars, all this stuff is going to happen. Up and leaving after making friends over a 3 year period will be tough. People do it and maybe you can go to Louisiana and end up in L.A, but I would not bet on it happening.

If your close to your family or have a lot of good friends where you live moving cross-country away from that support system will also be difficult. Your still a living, breathing, human being when your in law school with emotions and these are just some factors to consider. When I talk to someone in your position applying to schools all over the country I wonder if they have considered it. I personally didnít when applying I just though law school years knock it out and then the world is my oyster, but that is not the way it works and thankfully some people really made me think about all these factors before I choose a school

PERSONAL FEELINGS ABOUT THE SCHOOLS:
This is very important each school has a culture to it. I did mock trial a lot in law school and now I do mock trial coaching and I go to a lot of different schools and interact with a lot of different schools. There are definitely some places I like and others I donít. That is my personal opinion you will have your own, just because I some random person on the internet doesn't like Y school doesn't mean you won't. Just because I love X school doesn't mean you will. I know nothing and you know nothing about me and this why taking anonymous internet advice is so dangerous.

To my own experience when I was applying I visited a lot of places and some just felt off to me I didnít like them and others I loved. You need to listen to that feeling because the law school you choose is YOUR decision, YOUR life, YOUR money, YOUR career, donít listen to what U.S. News or I or any another anonymous poster tells you to do. It is highly personal decision and visit the schools speak to professors, talk to admins, students, and if you can try to go there on a day when they donít have a structured orientation. Any ABA school is generally capable of putting on a good show for an admitted students day.

That is another reason why the location of the schools I canít imagine as OL you have the resources to visit all these schools and making a 3 year 100,000 commitment to a place you havenít seen is probably not a idea. I am just an anonymous internet poster, but if you live in Oregon now and go to school in Miami then have to find a new apartment in Miami, get familiar with the city, then see the school for the first time and realize you donít like that is not a good start to your law school career. 

Again whether you like or dislike a school is extremely personal and make sure whatever school your attending is right for YOU.

RANKINGS:
This is a common mistake in my opinion. Iím sure someone out there disagrees with me, but when I was considering I thought what U.S. thought was everything. I imagine it matters to somebody somewhere, but U.S. News is nothing more than a magazine offering an opinion.  They have decided Albuquerque, New Mexico is one of the top 10 places to live should you move there because of this?
http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2009/06/08/best-places-to-live-2009 (proof of it)

I am sure there is some reason why Albuquerque is great, but honestly I have no desire to ever go there, and Iím not going to make a life altering decision by moving there because U.S. News said it was good. The same applies to law schools they rank them, but it is far from a precise formula and it changes every year. When I enrolled my school was in the 70ís when I graduated it dropped to tier 3 last year it was in a 11 way tie for 84th place. I donít care what it is anymore now that I have graduated. Schools of the caliber your listing will change drastically by the time you graduate or maybe they wonít, but schools do change drastically in their rankings so donít take them to seriously. They have some impact, but donít make a life altering decision based on what a magazine says. (That applies to everything in life not just law school decisions and I imagine you knew that about everything else in life, but possibly like me as 0L and many others that what a magazine thinks about law school is different, but in my anonymous internet poster opinion it doesnít make much difference.
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: legend on June 27, 2012, 03:48:19 PM
This is a continuation of my prior post.

COST-
This is something I did think about when choosing law schools, but many students donít. With your numbers you are probably capable of getting some pretty outstanding scholarships and one thing that doesnít change regardless of your personal opinion, location, or what U.S. News thinks is debt. Paying off 150,000 that is accruing 8.5% interest or 6.8 % the whole packages is a very real factor. I donít know what each school costs, but look into it. Apply to some other schools in the locations and get scholarship money, BUT if you get scholarship pay attention to the conditions this article does a good job explaining why. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all

Really be careful about it I remember one school in Miami I think FIU is only 10,000 a year, which is a phenomenal price and you donít even have to worry about scholarship conditions just something to think about. There are few schools around the country that offer in-state tuition and those are phenomenal deals. Just factors to consider.

REALITY OF LEGAL EDUCATION
At basically every ABA school you will essentially learn the same thing. First year will be torts, criminal law, LRW, con law, civil procedure, contracts, property, criminal procedure or some variation on that. No matter where you go you will be using the same textbook and reading Supreme Court cases whether no matter what school you go to that will be your first year possibly with some slight variation.

You may get some entertainment law classes mixed in, but there is a 50% chance you will be in the bottom 50% of whatever school you go. Nothing personal just how law school works, everybody on the first day is pretty certain they will be in the top 10%, but 90% will be wrong. Then there is a 50% chance you will be in the bottom half of the class and you may freak out about the bar and then start taking bar related courses opposed to anything with entertainment law. Or after going through first year you might just freak out about the bar even if you do well.  I imagine most schools have a 40-50 required units and most require between 85-88 to graduate so you might have 30 units of course and I doubt any place offers 30 unites of entertainment law course and even if they did the courses would overlap during a two year period and these again are just realities to think about.

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY DREAM

It is great you want to do entertainment law, but unfortunately so do a lot of other people. It is a very competitive field and there is a good chance you will not the ideal entrainment law job your seeking. Donít let me deter you it is just a fact plenty of people overcome odds, and Iím sure your capable of doing it, but it is very competitive.
Furthermore, do you have any actual experience with entertainment law? Do you actually know what it is or do you just think it sounds fun to work on movie deals? I donít know you or your situation, but if you just think it would be cool to do movie deals and have no experience in it I would recommend seeing what is they do. There are some cool things, but fighting for 6 months about  clause 242 of Mick Jaggerís contract that imposes shipment costs on the studio instead of Mick might not be as exciting as it sounds.  Again I donít know if you have experience you do, but these again just things to think about.

Honestly, many people go in to law school thinking they know exactly what they want to do, but it usually changes. I thought IP law was where it was at when I started (of course I knew nothing about IP law had no background in computer science or anything like that, but my school was ranked top 10 in IP law (stupidly this was a factor in my decision). Of course I did not end up taking one IP law class after the first year and got really into any trial advocacy, which when I started law school is something I never though would happen since I Was terrified of public speaking when I enrolled, but things change.

-I was an idiot for making that a basis of my decision and Iím sure your not making the same mistake, but I wanted to relay that story just in case. Thankfully things worked out for me and I found that I loved trial advocacy and I get to do it all the time. I donít think this is a unique situation one of my 1L friends is now really big into Water-Law just things happened and he got into that and he enjoys it, but he was interested in Entertainment law when he started. So point is things change.

LOCATION AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW DREAM:
If you are really focused on entertainment then remember to apply common sense. Studios, etc are in New York and L.A almost exclusively. Entrainment law internships, adjunct professors, and so forth would therefore be in L.A. or New York. You are much more likely to get an entrainment law internship from a small L.A. school like Southwestern than Tulane. Simply because 9 months out of the year you would be in Louisiana and I donít think any major movies or studios are located in New Orleans. While are 7 ABA law school in L.A and this place called Hollywood nearby and those companies will just draw from those schools simply because the students are there and they could work with them during school.

Maybe some place would keep a spot for  a Tulane Law student instead one of the 100ís of applications they get from students readily available year round, but using common sense you can see why that is unlikely
As for the location this applies with all specialties if you want to do IP law go to the bay area that is where most of it is happening Apple, Cisco, AOL, E-Bay, Facebook, etc are in the Bay Area. Of course my  top IP law school was not in the bay area which made my decision even stupider, but you can see that logic
If you wanted to do Agricultural law go to school the midwest, Maritime law go to school on a coast and I canít imagine Nebraska would have a good maritime program. 

COURSE SCHEDULES:

If you really are someone that wants entertainment law and you have considered all the other above factors. Then look at the course schedules for these schools if Cardozo offers 12 units of entertainment law or a certificate then use that as a tiebreaker over Brooklyn, but the reality is as other posters stated that you canít learn much from school. It will help and certainly if it is your absolute dream go for it.  Unfortunately, a lot of incoming law students donít realize how competitive, unglamorous, and low-paying it can be. Again I donít know you or your situation you know better than anyone else how bad you want it or how little you know I canít speak for your and no anonymous poster can.

CONCLUSION:
This is quite a long post, but I think it is important for incoming OLís to think about all the possibilities, I didnít and maybe I was just an idiot, but I donít think my situation was that unique. Good luck whatever you end up doing and hopefully some of it was helpful. Also remember I am nothing more than an anonymous internet poster and despite my good intentions everything I said could be 100% wrong.

Good luck
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: Nathaniel on June 28, 2012, 08:59:15 AM
Morganb, I had a 166 and 3.5 combo and attended 'SC.  It stands to reason 'SC is a big entertainment/media school.  It's down the road from Hollywood, nestled in South Central.  Admittedly, the surrounding area looks like a barrio.  It's ugly, run down, and there's hispanic language on the walls.  However, the campus is rich and verdant.  Some snidely remark that USC stands for the University of Spoiled Children.  Perhaps that's the case.  I kinda sorta got that vibe.  Unfortunately, I dropped out before I hooked a trophy wife to a reel and spoiled myself a little bit.  Maybe that's because I hadn't signed my life away to some fat cat law firm upon graduation with a five figure sign on bonus yet...

Why didn't I get a trophy wife?  I was a law student at 'SC.

Now, I'm back on the LSAT track again.  I have my sights set on a 170. 
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: Henri_Allen on August 27, 2012, 02:11:53 PM
It seems like being able to take these specific classes is important to you.  However, I would point out that many of those in entertainment law picked up that specialty through their law school internship - which is really the best way to network and insure yourself a job when you're done with law school.  Also, being near one of the entertainment city hubs may be the most important thing to consider.
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: SoCalLawGuy on September 26, 2012, 01:18:47 AM
Where have you decided to go? I also agree with all the advice the guys gave you, you shouldn't give up on your dream but you should get more info from wherever you can.
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: jaycube on October 25, 2012, 11:52:00 PM
There is nothing to worry because it is for sure that some entertainment media courses must be there in syllabus in law schools. 
Title: Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
Post by: Morganb on October 29, 2012, 01:25:18 PM
My focus is still up in the air. It will depend on what school I choose to attend. I'm applying in Boston, New York, DC, and LA, so entertainment is still on my list of interests. I realize the courses are of little importance now and will choose a school and focus based on scholarship options and opportunity. At this point I'm just waiting on my LSAT score from earlier this month. Damn you Hurricane Sandy.