Entertainment, Media and Sports Law: Becoming an expert

The practice areas of entertainment, media and sports law are multidisciplinary, global and challenging. Lawyers with that establish expertise in these fields work with entertainers, athletes, production companies and other businesses that support these international industries.

Practicing attorneys who want to gain specialized legal knowledge of the entertainment, media or sports industries should consider an LL.M. program designed to develop a higher level of expertise.

“Pursuing a specialized course of study in media, entertainment, and technology law and policy through the LL.M. program allows practicing lawyers with prior professional experience in a field outside of this discipline to convert their expertise into the transactional practice area of the entertainment industry,” said Tiffany Parnell, Assistant Director of International Programs at UCLA School of Law.

At UCLA Law, students of the Entertainment, Media and Technology LL.M. program are able to experience the entertainment industry in Hollywood first hand, studying business transaction through experiential courses and externships.  Students develop specialized knowledge tailored to their professional interests and re-enter the workforce with a level of expertise that would take years to acquire in practice.

“The entertainment and media world is a global, multi-billion dollar industry that grows apace with digital and technology expansion,” Parnell said. “Because the entertainment industry is rapidly expanding alongside the booming tech world, those who pursue this discipline can expect to enter a global arena that, in many cases, entails cross-border practice.” 

Sports law is a similar field of practice that requires specialized knowledge. Similarly, lawyers can develop expertise in sports law with continuing education at an institution like Pepperdine University School of Law.

Starting fall of 2017, Pepperdine Law offers an LL.M. in Entertainment, Media and Sports Law. The program is designed to provide practicing attorneys with a holistic understanding of the sports industry.

“The program will give students access to the industry, hone skills specific to sports law, and provide unique networking opportunities, said Victoria Schwartz, co-director of the LL.M. and Certificate Programs in Entertainment, Media and Sports Law at Pepperdine Law.

The school has partnered with AEG Global Partnerships, connecting students to internship opportunities with the STAPLES Center, the L.A. Kings and L.A. Live. Students will receive in-class lectures from industry insiders and participate in experiential learning activities in a world-class arena.

“The value of the LLM degree is not in the piece of paper,” Schwartz said. Rather, it is the knowledge, skill set and connections that program graduates use to become industry leaders.