IP/Arts Externships

Explore IP/arts externships:

Course 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 can play in the arts and entertainment world.

The Arts Law Externship consists of three components: a weekly seminar; a fieldwork placement at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts; and two simulated exercises, in client counseling and contract negotiation.

The Seminar
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 analysis of the concepts from various readings. In the seminars, the professors cover topics such as copyright, trademark, nonprofit law, music rights, and intellectual property licensing, as well as some of the practical skills students need to work effectively at VLA, such as client interviewing, client counseling, and contract negotiation. In a few of the seminars, guest speakers will discuss their pertinent work experience and relevant cases during a portion of a class. There are assigned readings for almost all weeks, and weekly journals or short papers are expected to be handed in. Students are encouraged to use journals and classroom discussions as a time to integrate their field and seminar work and to reflect on their development as lawyers in training.

Students spend 10 hours each week working at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (1 East 53rd Street).  The work is split over two days, in two 5-hour shifts or one 4-hour and one 6-hour shift, and must fall between VLA’s working hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  VLA’s clients are low-income artists and nonprofit arts organizations. Their legal concerns fall primarily into the areas of copyright, nonprofit incorporation and tax exemption, trademarks, the music industry, and other entertainment-related areas. These clients typically seek assistance reviewing; negotiating and/or drafting contracts; resolving disputes; protecting copyrights and/or trademarks; and becoming a nonprofit tax-exempt arts organization. During their 10 hours at VLA, students will handle calls on VLA’s Art Law Line and participate in regularly scheduled client consultations.  They will also spend at least 5 hours on substantive research projects assigned by VLA staff attorneys on questions and issues arising from client representation and VLA educational and advocacy programs.

Simulated Exercises
Students participate in two role-playing exercises, one simulating a client counseling session, and the other, a negotiation.

Students will 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+).

Requirements and Application Process
The course will be limited to eight students to facilitate active engagement and contribution by all. The course will be taught in Fall and Spring and will be open to J.D. and LL.M. candidates. Students in the course are required to have taken, or be concurrently enrolled in, either Copyright Law, or, with permission of the instructors, the Seminar in Law and the Theatre; Seminar in Law and the Visual Arts; or Authors, Artists, and Performers.

To apply, please complete the externship application available through LawNet. The application period is from March 30, 2020 to April 10, 2020. Prospective applicants may be contacted for an interview once all applications have been submitted.

Any additional questions can be sent to Susan Kraham at [email protected].

David Marriott and David Kappos, Lecturers-in-Law (2 graded academic and 2 ungraded fieldwork credits)

Course Description
The Copyright Dispute Resolution Externship is comprised of (a) a weekly, two-hour seminar, focused on the issues arising in copyright litigation, and (b) 10 hours per week of fieldwork in copyright dispute resolution in actual cases (handled pro bono). The course will be limited to eight students.

Students will receive four credits total: two graded academic credits for the in-class seminar and two ungraded credits for the fieldwork component. The seminar will be graded on weekly class participation, assignments and simulations. The course will be taught in the fall, and will be open to J.D. and LL.M. candidates. Students participating in this externship should have had a prior course in copyright law or otherwise have significant background in copyright law.

Seminar content and fieldwork will focus on the key elements of copyright dispute resolution. Those elements include, among other things, evaluating a case; drafting a complaint and preparing an answer; managing motions for a preliminary injunction; serving and responding to written discovery; taking and defending depositions; meeting with experts; dealing with dispositive motions; trying the case; negotiating settlements; and drafting licensing agreements.

A basic goal of the Externship is to teach students to understand the policy and doctrine of copyright law and to effectively handle the various tasks that arise in seeking to resolve copyright disputes. This will be facilitated both by the seminar and through fieldwork comprised of representing real clients in actual copyright cases (handled pro bono).

The course will be taught, and fieldwork supervised, by David Kappos and David Marriott, both partners at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. David Kappos was Undersecretary of Commerce and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark office during the first Obama Administration. David Marriott is a litigator whose practice focuses on complex litigation including copyright litigation.

The Copyright Dispute Resolution Externship will identify cases/clients (to be used in fieldwork) with the assistance of the Copyright Alliance. The Copyright Alliance is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest and educational organization representing artists, creators and innovators across the spectrum of copyright disciplines.

The Cravath firm provides its assurance that students participating in the Copyright Dispute Resolution Externship will receive an educational experience related to the practice oflaw and that they will be assigned exclusively to non-fee-generating pro bono matters.

The Seminar
Using the Copyright Litigation Handbook by Raymond Dowd, the weekly seminar held at the Cravath office will address the policies and doctrines of copyright law and the basic elements of copyright litigation. The seminar will not only include traditional classroom discussion but will also present the issues in the context of an actual copyright dispute, which students will handle as part of their fieldwork. Discussion of current cases being handled by students will be included in the seminar sessions, as applicable. In addition to discussion of legal materials and some academic scholarship, the seminar sessions will include role-playing.

The proposed syllabus outlines in detail the weekly seminar topics and associated readings. Assignments will be based on one or more hypotheticals presented at the beginning of the semester. Those hypotheticals will be carried through the semester, to ensure continuity and efficient focus on building skills across a defined set of facts throughout the semester. It is expected that guest lecturers will join at least two of the seminars to provide differing policy and/or practice perspectives.

In addition to the seminar, students will undertake 10 hours per week of hands-on fieldwork on actual copyright disputes (handled pro bono). Students will work in four teams of two to represent actual clients in real disputes. Under the close supervision of Cravath lawyers expert in copyright matters, students will, as circumstances permit, evaluate a case; draft a complaint and prepare an answer; work up motions for a preliminary injunction; prepare written discovery; take and defend depositions; meet with experts; draft dispositive motions; participate in settlement negotiations; and draft licensing agreements.

Students are expected to represent musicians, authors, visual artists and other creators in cases sourced in collaboration with The Copyright Alliance. Generally, it is expected that students will assume responsibility for their case in the period just prior to filing the complaint and that they will handle most aspects of the case that arise during the course of the semester. Students will learn to transition onto and/or off of existing cases, as will be required in actual practice.

Students will receive an educational experience related to the practice of law. In that connection, they will be assigned exclusively to non-fee-generating pro bono matters.

Requirements and Application Process
This externship is only offered in the fall. The online application period is from March 30, 2020 to April 10, 2020. 

Any additional questions can be sent to Susan Kraham at [email protected].