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generally get no fewer than 20-30 inquiries per week from high schoolers and college students asking me how to become an entertainment lawyer and what law school to attend. After a few years of this, I developed the Lawgirl FAQ in which I attempted to unshroud the mystery surrounding entry into my profession. Since the stream of inquiries continues, clearly I have failed. I don't want to sound in any way ungracious. However, after receiving these inquiries since my site was launched in 1997 (which, let me think, at 20 per week adds up to over 7,000 identical inquiries) admittedly, this is getting a little annoying. Don't get me wrong, I love getting letters from readers, and I'm always happy to help, but after espousing the same advise over 7,000 times I've had enough, so I've decided to write it all down for the 7,001 time and finally post it. So, here you have it. Lawgirl's 10 insights into getting into law school and finding a job in entertainment. ONE: Go to the best school that you can get in to, irrespective of whether they offer an entertainment law program. Yes, that means a top-ranked national school if that is available to you. This last time I looked, this meant (in no particular order) Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Cornell, UTA, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, UCLA, USC, NYU, Columbia. I may be missing a few, but you get the idea. As idiotic as it may sound, this factor in itself may help you more than any other single factor in getting your first job and launching you on your way. If you can't get into a top-ranked national school, go to the best school you can get into period. There are lists readily available ranking schools. TWO: Do the very best that you can in school, especially your first year. This, again, is a critical factor in launching you on your way because getting your first job will be a hell of a lot easier if you are highly ranked in your class. THREE: Don't worry about whether your school offers an "entertainment law program." There is nothing that you will learn in an "entertainment law" class that you cannot learn from a book or a little job experience. You should, however, make sure that you take contract law, copyright law, trademark law and perhaps corporations and First Amendment law so that you have a firm grasp on the concepts that underly everything you do in entertainment law. I would venture to guess that every law school in the U.S. offers these courses. FOUR: Don't be too focused on defining your career path until you are through, or at least half way through, with your first year of school. You have more important things to think about and you will probably change your mind anyhow. Yes, that means you high school seniors who are writing to me stressing about how you are going to launch their entertainment law careers don't need to be bugging me about this for at least five more years. FIVE: In the summers after your first year/second year, try to get a job, clerkship or internship that relates in some way to what you want to do. This will help build up your resume and give you experience in your field. This can even be a job that isn't directly related to entertainment, but builds up your foundation, like a job in copyright litigation, which is where I started. This is where going to school in a place that has some relation to entertainment comes in handy (New York, L.A., Nashville, etc.) However, you can always find a job in intellectual property anywhere which, for reasons set forth above, will help you. SIX: If you can't find a job/internship in entertainment/IP while in school, try to find a clerkship with a judge. This will give you a lot of interesting experience, and makes you look smart on your resume (I did this too). SEVEN: Try to get on a law journal. Law Review is best, but any journal is better than nothing. This makes your resume look good and gives you good writing/research experience. Moot Court is also good, but I know little about this since I didn't do this. EIGHT: In your third year, try to get a part-time job in something entertainment or IP related. This is an optional but very helpful step, that will also build up your resume, knowledge and confidence and help you make some contacts. You may even be able to secure a permanent position through one of these jobs. I know many people who got started this way. NINE: Start making friends who work in entertainment/IP. Contacts do help in getting jobs. Also, read the trade publications (Billboard, Hits, CMJ, Variety, Hollywood Reporter and the like), get on online industry mailing lists, attend networking groups, etc. Insinuate yourself into the industry. People may think that you belong there. TEN: If by the time you are about to graduate from law school all of the above has not worked for you, you can always venture out on your own and label yourself an "entertainment lawyer." Though this approach is inherently rife with poverty and liability issues, at least you are now an entertainment lawyer. GOOD LUCK!

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โˆ™ 2006-11-10 14:35:43
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Q: What is the job description for an entertainment lawyer?
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