Mia Marie White
Mia Marie White ’10 discovered the healing power of karaoke during her post-college work with at-risk youths in Ann Arbor, Mich. Every Monday night after work, White and her colleagues got together for a few laughs and a lot of off-key singing. The ritual provided a much-needed break from the seriousness of her job. It also revealed that White is “a lot more of a ham” than she ever knew.
At Columbia Law School, White channeled her love of the spotlight into a focus on entertainment law. In the fall of her second year of Law School, she worked with the business and legal affairs department at VH1, drafting, editing, and negotiating agreements for the network’s 2008 Hip Hop Honors awards show. “It was an incredible experience,” says White, who is a member of the Law School’s Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Society. “It inspired a confidence in me to know this is something I can do, and do well.”
After that externship, White served as both an intern and a teaching assistant with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, which provides legal services to artists. She won a scholarship from the Black Women in Entertainment Law Foundation, of which she has been a member since 2008. And she began working, on a project basis, with a private entertainment lawyer in New York City. “I feel really energized by studying the subjects I love,” says White, who was elected the J.D. Class of 2010 graduation speaker.
In the fall, White will join the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where she hopes to work with the entertainment law practice group. She also intends to pursue another newfound interest: mediation, which she developed through her work in the mediation clinic with Professors Alexandra Carter and Carol Liebman. “It’s having conversations with people,” she says, “conversations that allow them to have more creative outcomes, which you can’t always achieve in a courtroom.”