Requirements to Become an Entertainment Lawyer

Written by nellie day
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Requirements to Become an Entertainment Lawyer
(Wikimedia Commons)

The entertainment field can be difficult to break into regardless of your speciality or qualification. It is not impossible, however, especially for those who begin the process, which will include specialised classes, entertainment law internships, passing the bar and becoming an expert networking, early. Many entertainment lawyers are located in large cities, and relocation is likely after law school unless you already reside in entertainment hubs like New York or Los Angeles.

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Law School Electives

While most classes are required of all law school students regardless of their desired speciality, most law schools will offer one or two classes aimed at the entertainment law field. They may only partially cover the entertainment field. You might see them called media law or law of mass communications. Sports law may also be offered for those interested in representing athletes and athletic organisations. For those interested in beginning the process of becoming an entertainment lawyer, Top-Law-Schools.com has published a list of the top entertainment law schools in the country.

Internships

Internships are a vital part of the law school experience. While the application pool can be competitive, especially in limited fields such as entertainment law, anyone looking at such a specialised field should get their feet wet early. They should apply for as many internship opportunities at entertainment-industry companies as they can. Begin the application process during Christmas break. For students not in major metropolitan areas, spend the summer in a city known for its entertainment industry, such as Los Angeles or New York.

The Bar

The reason why so few electives are allotted in law school is because the purpose of this three-year course is to prepare students to pass the bar exam in the state where they plan to practice law. The bar exam tests on every aspect of a state's laws. There are no specialities for individuals who are only interested in practicing one form of law within the state. This exam is typically offered twice a year and must be passed before an individual can become a practicing lawyer.

Networking

Most professions network. It's a skill that is best learnt early and practised often. One great way for a law school student to become an effective networker is to begin when he's landed his first internship. Students should utilise any entertainment-industry contact they have whatsoever to track down an internship. Once one is landed, the student should seek time with his or her supervisor as often as possible. Effective networkers will ask their supervisors about how they got their positions, ask for advice and ask for contacts, and ask to continue the internship the following summer. These same types of questions are utilised throughout law school and into real life.

Move Sideways

If graduates cannot land a job right away in the sector of the entertainment industry they desire, they can secure a position in a related field. This could mean working for a large corporation situated near an entertainment hub or for in a different sector of the industry. For example, someone interested in the film industry may take a job in television or with a publishing company before making the transition. Volunteering, or taking on entertainment-related cases pro Bono, can also foster opportunities.

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