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Meet our Students and Alumni

Students

Brian Adesman

Class of 2016

Summer at Legendary Pictures
I worked at Legendary Pictures in their Legal & Business Affairs department during my 1L summer. It was a fantastic learning experience - I was quickly trusted with drafting various agreements including: option purchase agreements, director agreements, producer agreements, and writer agreements. I don't have a single unitary goal for my career path after I graduate. As a USC student, I am constantly afforded unique and valuable opportunities. My current plan is to continue taking each of these as they come. I love that most of the entertainment law courses are taught by real, practicing attorneys in the field. As such, the classes are extremely practical and invaluable for starting a career in entertainment law.

Naader Banki

Class of 2016

Semester at Insomniac Events/Live Nation; Summer Associate at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips
After 1L, I had the chance to intern in the Legal Department at Insomniac Events/Live Nation. My experience there was incredibly informative and gave me great insight into the day-to-day practice of law from the perspective of an in-house counsel. I had the opportunity to work on hundreds of different agreements, including talent booking agreements for musical performers, venue rental agreements, vendor and services agreements, and many, many more. I enjoyed it so much I decided to stay for an entire year, working from the summer after 1L and throughout the school year until the summer of 2L. The Media, Entertainment, and Technology Law Program at USC gave me a comprehensive understanding of the legal and business sides of the Entertainment Industry. The courses are very practical, and almost all of the professors are seasoned entertainment professionals who are not only knowledgeable about their field, but also highly accessible and great sources of advice/guidance. And the Entertainment Law Certificate gives you the opportunity to take amazing classes outside of the Law School with students from Marshall School of Business, USC School for Cinematic Arts, and Thornton School of Music. After finishing my summer, a friend and I decided to co-found the Music Law Society together, and both the faculty and students involved in the Media, Entertainment, and Technology Law Program were incredibly supportive throughout the entire process.

Alumni

Alex Dumas

Class of 2015

Semester at the Writers Guild of America
I came to USC with the dream of practicing entertainment law and now that is a reality because of the training and preparation I received through USC's Entertainment Law Certificate program. During my tenure at USC, I gained invaluable instruction and mentorship from professors who are the leading professionals in their respective fields. Through USC's strong ties to the entertainment industry, I was able to intern at the Writers Guild of America where I was afforded the opportunity to sit in on negotiations with studio companies, handle and observe arbitration hearings and learn the substantive legal issues in entertainment today. Furthermore, USC's location in the heart of the entertainment capital has provided me with numerous networking opportunities and has provided a strong foundation for the commencement of my career.

Natasha Gill

Class of 2015

Summer at Fox Rothschild LL; Marvel's Business Affairs
Prior to law school, I had some production experience with indie films, but not much understanding of the financial and business aspects of the industry. At USC I've had the opportunity to learn that side of the business by enrolling in the Entertainment Certificate Program. I spent my 2L summer working at Fox Rothschild LLP, where I had some amazing opportunities to work hands-on in their Entertainment Department under one of The Hollywood Reporter's top ranked Entertainment Attorneys of the Year. I've also worked for Disney's legal department, in-house for Marvel's Business Affairs. I also attended diversity workshops at NBC Universal and developed great relationships there. Additionally, I served as the Sundance Coordinator for USC Gould's Entertainment Law Society and have enjoyed attending the film festival every year and taking advantage of the networking opportunities there. For anyone seriously interested in practicing Entertainment Law, USC is the place to be!

Paige Smith

Class of 2015

Semester at TYLT Lab Venture Capital Firm
I enrolled in USC's Business and Entertainment Law Certificate programs, and now am proud to say I'm fluid in discussing and analyzing the legal challenges businesses face, from start-up to IPO. Courses such as Digital Media Transactions, Contract Drafting and Negotiation, and Deal Making in the Entertainment Industry, have allowed me to hone skills in drafting, intellectual property, and negotiation within the context of LA's vibrant ecosystem. I also enrolled in USC Marshall's Investing in New Enterprises, which led me to extern a semester at TYLT, a venture capital firm in the "Silicon Beach." As an analyst at TYLT, I perform due diligence on closing venture investments for the firm and analyze risks of potential deals. I'm learning start-up trends first-hand while meeting major players in the space. After I earn my J.D., I plan to continue my work in entertainment and business transactions as well as pursue further opportunities in film production and entrepreneurship.

Lauren Traina

Class of 2014

Warner Brothers
During my first year of law school at USC, I was awarded an Entertainment Fellowship, which gave me the opportunity to intern at an entertainment law firm and in Warner Brothers' in-house litigation department. Working for a firm and with an entertainment client in a single summer provided an invaluable perspective on how the players in entertainment law work together. In my second year, I enrolled in an intellectual property course and various business law courses to learn about the foundational legal issues in the entertainment field. I met Professor Jonathan Barnett through my intellectual property class and under his guidance I wrote a note on trademark law for the Southern California Law Review. Overall, USC Gould provides unmatched academic and professional opportunities that prepare students for successful futures in entertainment practice.

Jeff Watkins

Class of 2014

Universal Music Publishing Group
Miramax
Sheppard Mullin

I always knew I wanted to pursue entertainment law as my focus in law school. As an undergraduate, I worked in a number of legal-related jobs in the entertainment industry, including at Fox and Sony Music, and realized I had a passion for it. In my mind, there is no better school to pursue entertainment law at than USC. USC offers a broad range of entertainment courses, taught by the top lawyers in the industry. The course list touches on TV, film, music, and digital media. Apart from coursework, just being in the Los Angeles area and part of the Trojan Family has been incredible for networking in the industry. While at USC law, I've worked at Universal Music Publishing Group, Miramax, and Sheppard Mullin's Entertainment, Technology, and Advertising group. USC offers cutting edge training with industry leaders, but also lets you apply what you learn in class with opportunities to work with some of the biggest entertainment companies in the world.

Michael Hartman

Class of 2013

Summer at Sony Network Entertainment
I worked at Sony Network Entertainment in their business and legal affairs division over the summer. My experience at Sony exposed me to working in-house at a major studio and content provider. I also made great connections with the attorneys I worked with, and the legal issues they face at the corporate level. I did a lot of drafting and transactional work and incorporated deal points into long form agreements. I was drawn to USC Gould because of the new Entertainment Certificate program and the great selection of media and business related classes USC offers, including graduate classes at the School of Cinematic Arts.

Andy Tan

Class of 2013

I came to law school with no entertainment experience. Taking courses such as Entertainment Law and the Topics in Entertainment seminar was invaluable because they introduced me to the inner-workings of a fascinating industry, and the cutting edge legal issues in entertainment. USC's entertainment law professors are all incredibly successful in their fields, and have provided me with personal guidance and opportunities in employment and the development of my legal interests. I am also a member of the Entertainment Law Society, which has allowed me to meet prominent individuals in the entertainment industry, as well as in the Los Angeles legal community in general. Overall, USC Gould's Entertainment Law program is unmatched when it comes to offering educational and networking opportunities right in the heart of the entertainment industry.

Jamie Hughes

Class of 2012

Summer at Radar Productions
I interned at Radar Productions in their business and legal affairs department my first summer at USC Gould. Now, I hope to pursue a career as a talent agent, and my experience at Radar showed me the perspective from the other side of the negotiating table. At USC Gould, I would have to say that the best course I have taken in the field is Media Law with Prof. Jack Lerner, director of the Intellectual Property and Technology Clinic. Professor Lerner is an expert in the field and it was great taking such a relevant class with such a knowledgeable professor. The entertainment law courses at USC do a really good job of giving students a basic overview of issues they will face working in the entertainment industry. The courses I've taken have helped me hone in on the area of entertainment in which I hope to specialize.

Bridget Russell

Class of 2012

Semester at Sony Pictures Television-International Networks
The opportunity to intern at Sony was irreplaceable in my legal education. I was able to intern while taking Entertainment Law and it was extremely useful to learn about the field while working on actual Entertainment deals. While in the end my semester of writing licensing deals taught me that I was more interested in Entertainment litigation, the opportunity to determine my career interests prior to Fall OCI allowed me to target firms with strong Entertainment Litigation practices. Now having had the opportunity to summer at a firm and extern at a studio I am excited to take courses focused on my specific entertainment interests next semester.

Natasha Chua Tan

Class of 2012

Semester at NBC Universal-Business Affairs
Interning with the Business Affairs Group of NBCU was one of the best experiences I've ever had. It was exciting to see show development at different stages: from the pitch to negotiating talent agreements to bi-coastal show launches. My internship not only crystallized what I learned in class (contract drafting, intellectual property concerns) but taught me things you could only learn in practice like competitive pricing and how to successfully negotiate.

Jenn Westhoff

Class of 2012

I was the President of the Entertainment Law Society and earned my Entertainment Law and Media Program certificate. The purpose of program and the Entertainment Law Society is to help students learn the basics of an entertainment practice while making them well rounded lawyers. We also present students with a look into the multitude of ways they can use their law degree in entertainment. The Entertainment Law Society brings in speakers who discuss their path to entertainment law and the skills and resources law school gave them that they found invaluable. We also focus on networking opportunities and taking full advantage of the Trojan Network. As will the legal field in general, but more so for entertainment, it really is about who you know. We also try to give people the opportunity to participate in interesting entertainment related events beyond law. That's why we run a trip to the Sundance Film Festival and go see films and network with people in the industry there. We also put on screenings at the cinema school where we work with the directors and the subjects of the films to allow students to see things they wouldn't normally get to see. Simply by being USC and in Los Angeles, USC Gould students have an advantage when it comes to preparing for careers in Entertainment Law and eventually finding jobs with firms or studios. The other big asset is Dean Rasmussen. The Entertainment Law Program is his one of his biggest initiatives and he has worked really hard to help the program grow. He is also really open to listening to students and employers about what the program needs. It's also important that because USC attracts people interested in entertainment law you get a better atmosphere for students who are interested in pursuing it.

USC Gould Institutes

USC Intellectual Property Institute

USC Entertainment Law and Business Institute

Entertainment Law News

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