Ex. Arts and Entertainment Law

Course Information

Course Number
L9265-CLK
Curriculum Level
Upperclass
Areas of Study
Intellectual Property and Technology, Clinics, Externships, and Experiential Learning
Type
Externship
Additional Attributes
Experiential Credit

Section 001 Information

Instructors

Section Description

This course provides students with practical experience in intellectual property, entertainment and nonprofit law as they assist staff attorneys at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) in their representation of artists and nonprofit arts organizations. Through class discussions and journals, students reflect on the wide variety of clients and issues they encounter in their fieldwork, and engage in critical thinking about the role that law and lawyers play in the arts and entertainment world.

Students attend weekly two hour seminars designed to reinforce and expand on their work at VLA through discussion of cases, agreements, reflections from student journals and analyses of the concepts from various readings. We cover topics such as copyright, trademark, not-for-profit law, music rights and intellectual property licensing, as well as practical skills students need to work effectively at VLA, such as client interviewing, client counseling, and contract negotiation. There are assigned readings and journals or short papers due each week.

Students also spend approximately 11-12 hours each week working at VLA, for a total of 144 hours for the semester. The work is split over two days, in two shifts that must fall between VLA's working hours of 10-6 pm. VLA's clients are low-income artists and nonprofit arts organizations. Their legal concerns fall primarily into the areas of copyright, not-for-profit incorporation and tax exemption, trademarks, the music industry, and other arts and entertainment-related areas. Clients typically seek assistance reviewing, negotiating and/or drafting contracts; resolving disputes; protecting copyrights and/or trademarks; and becoming a nonprofit tax-exempt organization. Students will prepare for and participate in client intake, clinics and consultations. They will spend at least half their time on substantive research projects assigned by VLA staff attorneys on issues arising from client representation, VLA educational programs and advocacy.

Students participate in two role-playing exercises: a client counseling session and a negotiation.

Students receive four credits: two academic credits for the seminar and two clinical credits for the fieldwork. The seminar will be graded with letter grades. The fieldwork will be graded Credit/No Credit. Grades will be based on class participation, written work and performance in the simulated exercises. Performance in the fieldwork portion of the course can influence the grade for the seminar by half a grade in either direction (e.g. poor performance at VLA will lower an A- to a B+).

School Year & Semester
Spring 2022
Location
JGH 908
Schedule
Class meets on
  • Wednesday
4:20 - 6:10 pm
Points
2
Method of Evaluation
Other
J.D Writing Credit?
No

Learning Outcomes

Primary
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired an understanding of and/or facility in substantive areas of arts and entertainment law, such as copyright, trademark, music rights, licensing for television, technology licensing and book publishing.
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired facility in various lawyering skills such as client communications (interviewing and counseling), negotiation, mediation, legal writing and research, and working collaboratively.
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired an understanding of the concerns of newly forming arts groups, the process of becoming a nonprofit, and the alternatives (fiscal sponsorship, for-profit corp., partnership, limited partnership).
Secondary
  • By the end of the course, students will have acquired an understanding of the concerns of artists and nonprofit arts institutions and the role that lawyers can play in facilitating their work.

Course Limitations

Instructor Pre-requisites
Copyright Law, or, with permission of the instructors, the Seminar in Law and the Theatre, Seminar in Law and the Visual Arts, Authors, Artists and Performers, or any course with a significant Copyright Law or Intellectual Property component.
Instructor Co-Requisites
Copyright Law, or, with permission of the instructors, the Seminar in Law and the Theatre, Seminar in Law and the Visual Arts, Authors, Artists and Performers, or any course with a significant Copyright Law or Intellectual Property component.
Recommended Courses
None
Other Limitations
Admission is by instructor permission during the Externship application period - see the Social Justice Initiatives page for more information. Limited to eight students. Offered Fall and Spring. Open to J.D. and LL.M candidates.