Students in the Media, Entertainment and Technology Law and Policy Specialization gain training in fundamental principles and specialized knowledge to practice law related to film, television, music and other creative industries. The specialization is part of the Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law, which offers the comprehensive, advanced and innovative approach to the study of entertainment, media and intellectual property law in the country. In addition to offering the formal Specialization, the institute brings an annual series of influential speakers to campus and helps students secure externships and internships with entertainment-related businesses and organizations.
Formal participation in the Specialization’s curriculum commences in the second year of law school. To declare your interest in fulfilling the curricular requirements, please complete the Declaration Form [PDF] and submit it to the Records Office. Formal declaration is not required except for registration preference in limited-enrollment Specialization courses (subject to approval of the respective professor), and for final reflection of having completed the Specialization on the student transcript and diploma.
Contact Susan Akens, the Executive Director of the Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law.
The Specialization in Media, Entertainment and Technology Law and Policy’s J.D. curriculum involves completion of seven courses arranged in three tiers. While the tiers are roughly progressive (in that, for example, basic copyright and entertainment law are helpful for the more advanced courses), generally the courses below may be taken concurrently (subject to a given instructor’s prerequisite requirements in specific instances). It is strongly recommended, however, that students in the Specialization complete the Introductory A-Tier in the second year of law school. These mandatory courses are intended to present the fundamental principles and practices of contemporary entertainment law, and they cover copyright protection, various transactional doctrines, and media law. The array of courses in the middle tier offer choices of subject areas that establish the foundation of entertainment law as a form of business practice encompassing certain routinely encountered law and doctrines. Taken together, the A-Tier and B-Tier courses tend to act as a gateway to the more specialized electives that populate the C-Tier, where students may choose to focus more narrowly on their particular professional interests in entertainment law.
- Introductory - A-Tier Courses
Foundational - B-Tier Courses
TWO Foundational ("B Tier") CoursesLAW 201
Constitutional Law IILAW 220
Introduction to Federal Income TaxationLAW 230
Business AssociationsLAW 234
Accounting For LawyersLAW 248
Business BankruptcyLAW 250
Secured TransactionsLAW 252
Business TortsLAW 260
Labor Law ILAW 291
Taxation of Business Enterprises
Specialized - C-Tier Courses
THREE Specialized ("C Tier") Courses, but no less than 6 creditsLAW 213
Law of Advertising & the 1st AmendmentLAW 244
Television LawLAW 274
Trademark LawLAW 301
Art and Cultural Property LawLAW 302
Copyright LawLAW 303
Music Industry LawLAW 306
Patent LawLAW 307
Intellectual PropertyLAW 357
Navigating through the Entertainment Unions and GuildsLAW 364
Motion Picture DistributionLAW 386
Digital Technologies and the ConstitutionLAW 391
Venture Capital and the Start-Up CompanyLAW 432
International and Comparative Sports LawLAW 437
Telecommunications RegulationLAW 480
Motion Picture / Television Special IssuesLAW 483
Privacy, Data and TechnologyLAW 511A/B
Social Media and the Future of DemocracyLAW 525
Patent IntensiveLAW 546A/B
Entertainment, Media, and Intellectual Property ColloquiumLAW 578
Digital Wars - Major Current Legal Battles in Information EconomiesLAW 681
What Drives InnovationLAW 683
News Media Law in the Digital AgeLAW 743
Corporate Practice ClinicLAW 760A/B
Patent ClinicLAW 765
Trademark ClinicLAW 767
Music Industry ClinicLAW 768
Sports Law SimulationLAW 769
Documentary Film Legal ClinicLAW 776
Copyright Amicus Legal Clinic
If 302 - Copyright Law and 307 - Intellectual Property are NOT taken as A-Tier Courses, then they can be taken as B-Tier Courses
A faculty-supervised research paper which meets the Law School’s writing requirement, subject to the prior written approval by the Executive Director of its relevancy and appropriateness to the Specialization. The research paper may be written as part of an individual Law 340 course or as a supervised law review comment.
Program Curriculum Notes
- While at present, law students are allowed the opportunity to take two approved courses outside the Law School, only one such outside course will apply against Specialization requirements in the C-Tier, subject to the prior written approval of the Assistant Dean for Students and the Executive Director of the Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law. As examples, both the graduate division of the School of Theater, Film and Television and the Anderson School’s Entertainment and Media Management Institute offer an academically worthy array of courses suitable as a complement to the Specialization. Students should be cautioned, however, that enrollment in courses outside the Law School is generally by petition and subject to availability only after the respective school’s students have first been accommodated, and that many of the outside courses may be offered only irregularly.
- An approved full-time, semester-long externship, or an approved part-time school-year externship (of at least two-units), will count as one C-Tier course, subject to the prior written approval by the Executive Director of its relevancy and appropriateness to the Specialization. Please note that a student who takes a part-time externship will not be eligible for a full-time externship, and a student who has taken a full-time externship is not eligible for a part-time externship.
- A minimum average GPA not lower than a B- will be required in Specialization courses for final transcript certification of satisfactory Specialization completion.
- Students should declare their intention to complete the Specialization so as to be given preference in the A-Tier and C-Tier courses above (subject to instructor approval). The Declaration form is available online or from the Records Office. See the Admissions page for details. Note: All priority courses count towards your first pass. Students enrolled in the Entertainment and Media Law and Policy Program receive preference for admission into Tier A and Tier C courses only. Once all program requirements have been fulfilled in Tier A and Tier C, there is no further preference. We cannot guarantee that you will be enrolled into all requested courses since many courses have a limited number of spaces. Therefore, we recommend that you list and indicate alternate course options (in order of preference) for the Fall 2019 term.
- Students who have completed the Specialization requirements may elect, at their option, to have the certification noted on their transcript. That election cannot be changed after the student has been graduated.
- Note also that, while specific course offerings vary from year to year, all courses taken on the approved curriculum of a given year of law school will apply toward the Specialization. Thus, third-year students who have taken approved courses in their second year may assume that such courses have been appropriately credited to completion of the Specialization.