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Mia Marie White

Bright Lights, Big Future

By Mary Johnson

Winter 2009

Some people decompress through exercise and extracurriculars.

Mia Marie White ’10 prefers karaoke.

White discovered the healing power of off-key singing during her post-college work with at-risk youths in Ann Arbor, Mich. Monday night karaoke provided a much-needed break from the seriousness of her job. It also revealed a hidden side of White’s personality; it turns out she’s “a lot more of a ham” than she ever knew.

Now in her second year at Columbia Law School, the self-described ham is contemplating a career in entertainment law. Last fall, White landed an externship with the business and legal affairs department at VH1, where she drafted, edited, and negotiated performer and presenter agreements for the network’s 2008 Hip Hop Honors awards show. She also helped sort out the legal agreements for Celebrity Fit Club’s next season and conducted research for a litigation project with Viacom, VH1’s parent company.

“It was an incredible experience,” says White, who is a member of the Law School’s Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Society. “It has inspired a confidence in me to know this is something I can do, and do well.”

White sacrificed karaoke Mondays when she came to the Law School, but she has found a new outlet in weekly improvisation classes. “Improv is about just being able to laugh at yourself,” White explains. Although the cases she reads for class are often interesting, she says, “they generally don’t make me laugh.”