While it is not necessary to specialize in an area of practice during law school, many future attorneys are so certain about the subfield in which they would like to work that selecting a school known for its reputation in that field makes sense. Law students seeking to specialize in entertainment law will likely want to choose a law school in either New York City or Los Angeles that has a specialized program and that is known for producing entertainment attorneys.
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California Gould School of Law has a strong reputation for its Entertainment Law program. In addition to being taught by top entertainment executives and taking core classes crucial to any entertainment attorney's educational background, such as contracts and intellectual property, USC law students also participate in the school's Entertainment Law Society and are able to tap into USC's deep alumni network in the entertainment industry. An Entertainment Practicum is also available; this course allows students to gain credit for externing alongside a supervising attorney within the entertainment field.
University of California at Los Angeles
Also located in Los Angeles, the University of California at Los Angeles' Entertainment and Media Law Program offers an entertainment law curriculum to both upper-level Juris Doctor students and Master of Law students. In addition to in-class instruction, UCLA Law School provides opportunities for students to engage their interest in entertainment law beyond the classroom. Whether it is working on the "Entertainment Law Review," completing an externship or participating in the school's renowned annual Entertainment Symposium or the Entertainment Law Association, students are able to convert their classroom knowledge into practical experience.
In addition to offering law students numerous externship opportunities, Fordham's law school, located in New York City, offers coursework beyond the traditional entertainment law curriculum. Fordham's courses reflect the industry's changing environment by incorporating new media and the Internet into its teaching. The school also recognizes that ancillary skills, such as negotiation and taxation training, are vital to an entertainment attorney's success. Finally, Fordham's definition of entertainment is broad and includes professional sports. Law students with an interest in combining their passion for sports with their interest in the law may want to consider Fordham.
New York University
New York University School of Law, located in trendy Greenwich Village, is not only routinely ranked as a top law school in publications such as "U.S. News & World Report," but also renowned as a top entertainment law school. Because it is on par with Ivy League schools in terms of reputation and education, admission is extremely competitive. Students who survive the admission process can choose from among 43 entertainment-related upper-level courses.
Robyn Lynne Schechter is a freelance writer currently living in Los Angeles, Calif. She has been an online contributor since 2007 on brandchannel.com, covering branding developments in the fashion, music, sports and entertainment industries. Schechter graduated from Hood College with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and is also a graduate of Albany Law School.