Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Entertaining the idea of Law School? The Best Schools for Future Entertainment Lawers

I'll begin this article with one important caveat. No matter what your parents say or how your degree in Theatre or Film looks now that it is staring back at you from the diploma case, don't go to Law School if you do not want to be a lawyer (or work in the Public Sector). It will be a waste of time, money,   and will be vastly unproductive. Follow your passion. If you aren't passionate about law and a career in it, you'll quickly fall behind those that do.

Okay, now that we got the real talk out of the way. If you are passionate about contract law and becoming an entertainment/ intellectual property lawyer, there is likely one question on your mind: What law schools should I apply to? 

Last year, The Hollywood Reporter wrote a fantastic article in which they identified which schools the Power 100 Entertainment Lawyers attended. Los Angeles schools (UCLA, USC) lead the pack, followed by Ivys, some New York schools, and the center of the nation's law in Washington D.C (Georgetown, George Washington).

Using the article as a great starting point, I've chosen to focus on the three schools here in the heart of Hollywood that are unparalleled in internship opportunities and industry experiences.

The Los Angeles Powerhouse Law Schools

Accounting for 37 of the 100 Powerhouse lawyers, it's no doubt Los Angeles schools UCLA, USC, and, to a lesser extent, Loyola Law School are famous for producing the lawyers that run the industry.  Just like in Film School, anyone looking for a career in the entertainment industry will most likely have to spend some time in Los Angeles eventually.


The top of your list and arguably the best law school for entertainment lawyers, UCLA is located in the heart of Los Angeles in the centrally located Westwood neighborhood. What sets it so far apart from the rest?

  • 19 alums made the Powerhouse 100 + innumerable alumni working in the Entertainment Industry
  • Central Location with easy access to Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Downtown LA for Internships and Externships
  • California Resident price (save more than $6,000 per year!) 
  • Declare a Specialization in Entertainment, Media, and Intellectual Property Law: The Program is the Most Comprehensive in the World
  • Courses like: Art and Cultural Property LawMusic Industry Law and Motion Picture Distribution
  • Speaker Series with Industry players
  • Entertainment Roundtables with alumni 
  • UCLA Entertainment Symposium: The industry's top legal conference on entertainment legal issues.
Median LSAT Score: 167
Median GPA: 3.79
US News and World Report ranking: #17 

2. USC

The second school to command the most lawyers on the Powerhouse 100 list and also located in Los Angeles, USC should make it on your list. What sets it so far apart from the rest?

  • 16 alums made the Powerhouse 100 + innumerable alumni working in the Entertainment Industry
  • Location on the east side with easy access to Downtown LA, Burbank, and Glendale for Internships and Externships
  • Private University with the #1 Film School 
  • Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic that provides free assistance to filmmakers, musicians, and artists - in addition to The Entertainment Law Society 
  • Media, Entertainment, and Technology Law Program/ Certificate 
  • Courses like: Video Game Law, Digital Media Transactions, etc.
  • Also, the ability to take classes at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (i.e. Seminar in Motion Picture Business) 
  • Two Annual Conferences: Institute on Entertainment Law and Business & Intellectual Property Law Institute
Median LSAT Score: 166
Median GPA: 3.76
US News and World Report ranking: #18

3. Loyola Law School
Further down on the list, clocking in at #9, is Loyola Law School. The East-side brother of private Catholic University Loyola Marymount, Loyola has made strides in the industry in the past few years (having a top ranking film school doesn't hurt either). It just launched a Fashion Law Program in addition to already having an impressive Sports Law Program. This is interesting as Fashion has been greatly ignored by the other schools who have chosen to focus on music and film.
  • 3 alums made the Powerhouse 100 + recent alumni working in the Entertainment Industry
  • Central Location with easy access to Downtown LA, Burbank, and Glendale for Internships and Externships
  • Private University with a Top Film School (although you are far from that campus) 
  • Concentration in Entertainment Law offered, divided into two categories: Transactional & Advocacy
  • Sub-concentrations in Fashion Law (no current concentration in Sports Law) 
  • Courses like: Fashion Mergers and Acquisitions, Sports Law Negotiations, Entertainment-Focused Business Planning Class
  • Impressive student-run Entertainment Law Review 
  • Annual Fashion Law Symposium & Frequent Live Symposia on Sports Law

Median LSAT Score: 157Median GPA: 3.29US News and World Report ranking: #75
Of course these are far from the only schools that teach Entertainment Law - these are not even the only schools that do so in the area! These are merely the schools that are proven to supply the entertainment industry with bar-passing lawyers. Your search for a law school will take you far and wide, yet these schools should be at the top of your list.
Best of luck with the October LSAT!

© No Experience Required Maira Gall.