Southwestern's Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute was established in 2000 to take advantage of the law school's long history of involvement with the entertainment and media industries. It features a rich spectrum of media and entertainment law courses on subjects ranging from music publishing and motion picture production law to technology agreements and information privacy law. Southwestern has been recognized as one of the top 12 law schools in the country for entertainment law by The Hollywood Reporter, and as #1 in the Top Law Schools for Entertainment Law by lawstreetmedia.com, among other honors.
The Institute's comprehensive entertainment law externship program enables students to earn credit while working for leading companies and organizations such as the Lionsgate Entertainment, Warner/Chappell Music, Funny or Die, and the Independent Film and Television Alliance. Outstanding students are selected as Biederman Scholars through which they participate in a variety of Institute initiatives, including an industry mentor program, behind-the-scenes participation in Biederman Institute programs such as the "A Conversation with..." series, and priority placement in entertainment and media company externships and law firm practicums. The Entertainment Law Summer Session on campus and the London Summer Program in International Entertainment & Media Law offer specialized courses and opportunities in the field to experience life and work in the entertainment and media capitals of the U.S. and Europe. For attorneys who wish to expand their expertise in these areas, Southwestern established the nation's first LL.M. degree in media and entertainment law.
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The Institute maintains a direct connection to the industries through its alumni network, including a special Entertainment and Intellectual Property Alumni Association. Its highly experienced faculty is comprised of current and former practitioners in media, sports and entertainment law, as well as esteemed academics. The site of frequent guest lectures, conferences and other symposia, it serves as a valuable resource for the profession, while keeping the campus abuzz with industry-related events and discussions. The Institute also publishes the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law in conjunction with the ABA Forums on Communications Law and the Entertainment and Sports Industries. Through a unique course on Entertainment Law and Web 2.0, participating students research, write and post on matters related to entertainment law and serve as editors of the award-winning Biederman Blog. The Biederman Institute provides students with an in-depth education in one of law's most stimulating fields.