What is an “Entertainment Lawyer”?
At the core, an “Entertainment Lawyer” provides legal advice, counsel and representation to companies and individuals in the entertainment industries, including television, motion pictures, radio, music, theater, publishing, digital media and video games.
Although entertainment lawyers might represent “talent,” such as directors, actors or musicians, they more often advise companies that produce and distribute entertainment content, license celebrity brands, purchase and sell motion picture or music publishing catalogues, raise or invest debt and equity capital, and purchase and sell companies engaged in one or more of such activities. The areas of law most frequently associated with the field are intellectual property, contracts, corporate, employment/labor, securities, international, taxation, immigration, and litigation.
Why the Entertainment Law track within the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law LL.M.?
Entertainment law is a demanding career that requires a firm grounding in the applicable substantive law, as well as practical skills training relating to how the entertainment industry works.
By studying the entertainment track within the comprehensive EASL LL.M., it is possible for students enrolled in the track to fully prepare for the practice of “entertainment law” in today’s global environment, thereby giving them a competitive edge in the search for employment in the industry. In addition, Miami Law's program is ranked #3 in the U.S. by llm-guide.com.
There is also a strong tradition of focus on entertainment law at the University of Miami. The Entertainment and Sports Law Society(ESLS) is one of the most active student organizations and it has hosted an annual international symposium on Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law since 1997. (Pictured: ESLS members at Hard Rock Staduim with the Miami Dolphins Organization for a Legal Learning Series event, fall 2016)
Read more on entertainment law at Miami Law.
Miami – A Growing International Center for the Entertainment Industry
Miami is a rapidly expanding economy, which includes the entertainment industry in a significant way in motion picture, television and music production and distribution. As a center of music and film and a hub for the Hispanic media industry, the city is fueled by an influx of international ideas and has witnessed the growth of both homegrown companies and international offices. These companies include Fortune 500 Latin American headquarters for: HBO, CAA, BBC, Nickelodeon, Discovery Networks, Sony, Disney, ESPN, Viacom. Students have access to this network with local mentors, practicums and externships.
Courses and Requirements
The LL.M. comprises two semesters of intensive study and training, consisting of required and elective courses, and a practicum. The program is dedicated to preparing students to practice in the entertainment industry, by focusing not only on the substantive law (e.g., business associations, copyright and trademark law), but also practical skills training (e.g., drafting and negotiating agreements, and client presentations). All courses are taught by Law School permanent faculty, and, where applicable, prominent practicing attorneys. The blended nature of the LL.M. enables students to maximize their studies and create a curriculum particular to their goals. Prerequisites, required and elective courses provide a well-rounded but field-specific curriculum to match individual professional interests.
See Requirements for International Students Who Plan to Take the NY Bar
International students have the option to do a special course of study in the LL.M. in Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law to accumulate enough credits to comply with the State Board of Law Examiners’ requirements to qualify to sit for the New York Bar Exam. These students still complete the LL.M. in the same two-semester period and earn the same degree. If an international student does not want to take the N.Y. bar (or wants to take additional courses) he or she can use the additional courses for study of EASL electives of their choice.
Required Track Courses:
Entertainment Law: Motion Pictures and Television (2 credits)
Negotiating and Drafting for the Business of Entertainment I (2 credits)
Copyright Law (3 credits)
Trademark Law (2 credits)
Practicum (2 credits)
Required Elective Courses (that may be Substituted with Director's Permission):
Negotiating and Drafting for the Business of Entertainment (II) (1 credit)
Motion Picture Finance (1 credit)
Required NY Bar Courses:
* This course complies with the State Board of Law Examiners’ requirements to qualify to sit for the New York Bar Exam.
Entertainment Law: Motion Pictures and Television - Provides a comprehensive survey of the often intertwined legal and business issues encountered by transactional attorneys within the entertainment industry, with particular emphasis on theatrical motion picture and television.
Negotiating and Drafting for the Business of Entertainment - Introduces students to advising clients, and reading, drafting and negotiating contracts with application to mergers and acquisitions, venture capital and private equity transactions.
Copyright Law - Addresses the legal protection provided under the Copyright Act of 1976 (and subsequent amendments) for artistic, musical and literary works (including computer programs).
Practicum - A practicum requirement affords students the opportunity for additional training in the workplace.
Practicum placements have included: NBC Univiversal/Telemundo, HBO Latin America, BBC Worldwide Americas, Warner Music, Universal Music, Universal Creative, Spotify, Ultra, Jazwares, the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Chase Lawyers, and Attorneys David Ehrlich, Janine Small, Henry Root and Lita Rosario.
PREREQUISITES (4 of 6 required or equivalent)
EXAMPLES OF ELECTIVE COURSE OPTIONS
Students in the program also attend a two-day International Symposium on Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law the Law School co-hosts with the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Entertainment & Sports Industries.
ENTERTAINMENT LAW TRACK LEADERSHIP & FACULTY
Director Harold A. Flegelman, Lecturer in Law, was a partner in the Corporate Department and Co-Chair of Loeb & Loeb LLP Los Angeles Corporate Media and Entertainment Practice Group, regularly recognized by U.S. News & World Report as placing it among the "Best Law Firms." While in private practice, he was engaged principally in advising clients in all legal and business aspects of the entertainment and media industries, including mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, venture capital, debt and equity financings, restructurings, business planning, executive employment arrangements and general corporate representation.
Professor Lili Levi teaches copyright law and international copyright law, defamation and privacy law; and prior thereto, was Broadcast Counsel at CBS, Inc. Her scholarship focuses on media and communications law.
Ivy Kagan Bierman – Partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP in Los Angeles and one of a select few entertainment industry labor lawyers looked to for representation in guild and union matters. She was recently selected by the Beverly Hills Bar Association as the “2015 Entertainment Lawyer of the Year.”
Michael Cheah – General Counsel of Vimeo, one of the premiere video-sharing websites. Responsible for leading the company’s public policy and legal compliance efforts.
Ana Francois - Faculty member at University of Miami School of Communication, Francois specializes in media management issues such as startups, rights management and valuations.
Mansour Ghomeshi - IP expert and VP and General Counsel at 360fly; previously lead IP counsel at Motorola and teaches course on Intellectual Property, Transactions and Negotiations.
Vivek Jayaram - Intellectual property expert with years of experience handling complex IP and general business disputes for U.S. companies in state and federal courts and for several foreign businesses.
Nicholas La Terza – Partner with The Point Media law firm in Los Angeles, specializing in representing entertainment companies and creative talent in all areas of television, motion picture, publishing and new media.
Michael Olsen - Senior Vice President for Business Development at IndieBlu Music.
Hernán Pantaleón - Over 20 years' experience in art, entertainment, mergers & acquisitions, banking and finance; teaches courses on Legal Aspects of TV Production in Latin America and Doing Business in Latin America.
Henry W. Root - partner at Lapidus, Root & Sachrow, LLP with 30+ years of legal and business affairs experience in the entertainment, music, television and media industries.
Jose Sariego – Partner at Bilzin Sumberg, specializing in International corporate and entertainment lawyer with more than 25 years experience. He was previously the SVP– Business & Legal Affairs for Telemundo
Christine J. Vincent - Project Director for The Aspen Institute's Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative who advises private foundations and nonprofits and educational institutions.
Jaime Vining – Teaches Trademark and Advanced Trademark Law, and named a “rising Star” by Florida’s Super Lawyer Magazine since 2009.
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