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Author Topic: Entertainment/Media Law Schools  (Read 9945 times)

Morganb

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Entertainment/Media Law Schools
« on: June 25, 2012, 01:59:00 PM »
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!

jack24

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Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2012, 03:51:14 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.

Morganb

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Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 04:04:27 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.

jack24

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Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 04:35:51 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

Anti09

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Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2012, 04:41:31 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.

Morganb

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Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 04:54:13 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 :)

jack24

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Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 05:06:42 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.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 05:17:57 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.

Morganb

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Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 06:51:26 PM »
Thanks! I really appreciate the insight and advice guys.

legend

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Re: Entertainment/Media Law Schools
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2012, 05:47:21 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.