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Media & Entertainment Law Certificate - JD

USC Gould School of Law

Earning a certificate in Media and Entertainment Law in addition to your JD degree gives you the insights and practical skills to succeed in legal practice relating to film, television, communications, digital media and the internet, copyright and trademark, music, sports, and much more. It also offers you a credential that demonstrates your specialized training in this exciting area of the law.

You may concurrently earn multiple certificates offered by USC Gould. Some courses count toward more than one certificate.

Certificate Requirements

To earn the certificate, you must take at least 21 units of mandatory courses, core electives and other electives as outlined below:

  • 11 units from the Mandatory Courses
  • At least 4 units from the Electives: Skills, Clinical

No more than 4 units counted toward the certificate may be taken CR/D/F. The Entertainment Law Practicum does not count against the 4-unit limit.

Our Media and Entertainment Law courses emphasize the importance of acquiring both strong legal skills and familiarity with business concepts. The curriculum features a combination of lecture-style and skill-based courses taught principally in a workshop format. The courses go beyond the doctrinal and policy-oriented offerings in a traditional curriculum to provide you with experiential training that prepares you for practice. You also have the option of enrolling in electives through the renowned USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Mandatory Courses

  • Business Organizations
  • Intellectual Property
  • Taxation

Electives: Substantive Law

  • Antitrust Law
  • Art Law
  • Business for Lawyers
  • Cyberlaw: Legal Issues Impacting Providers and Users of Internet Services
  • Topics in Entertainment Law: Entertainment Unions and Guilds
  • First Amendment
  • Fundamental Business Principles
  • Information Privacy Law
  • Intellectual Property Licensing
  • Intellectual Property - Trademark
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Topics in Entertainment Law: Legal and Business Issues in the Digital Age
  • Venture Capital and Emerging Companies

Electives: Skills, Clinical (at least 4 units required)

  • Business Planning: Structuring and Financing a New Enterprise
  • Computer Science for Lawyers
  • Contract Drafting and Negotiation
  • Contract Drafting and Analysis
  • Counseling the Startup Company
  • Deal Strategies in Business and Entertainment Law
  • Digital Media Transactions
  • Entertainment Law in Practice
  • Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Legal Technology
  • Music Law in Practice
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Negotiation Theory and Application
  • Small Business Clinic
  • Sports Law in Practice
  • Technology Transactions
  • Television and Digital Media: Business and Production Issues
  • Transactional Due Diligence
  • Dealmaking in the Entertainment Industry
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Trademark Law in Practice
  • Trademark Moot Court
  • Video Game Law

Electives: USC School of Cinematic Arts

  • The Business of Representation
  • Digital Technologies and the Entertainment Industry
  • Entertainment Marketing in Today's Environment
  • Feature Film Financing and the Studio System
  • Seminar in Motion Picture Business
  • The Television Industry: Networks, Cable and the Internet
  • The World of the Producer

Not all courses are offered every year.

Other courses at USC Gould or other schools at USC or other universities may count as electives or may substitute for mandatory courses with approval from the associate dean for Academic Affairs.


I really like the practical classes that I have been able to take. In my favorite class, we've been dealing with a very hands-on hypothetical start-up. We focus on a fictitious studio from conception to creating its legal entity to the release of a slate of movies. We reviewed financing as well as domestic and foreign distribution agreements, negotiated and drafted documents, and learned how to use those agreements to secure initial funding from banks.

Mei Tuggle, JD 2017