Entertainment & The Arts Legal Clinic

680PR | 3.0 credits

The Entertainment and the Arts Legal Clinic is a clinical course where students are given the opportunity to provide production legal and business affairs services for entertainment clients. Clients include independent filmmakers on low budget pictures, web TV creators, legit stage producers, artists and musicians who may need representation on specific projects. Film clients are generally limited to those producing "micro-budget" (generally under $500,000) movies that have already secured financing and are in pre-production, production or post-production during the semester. Students may assist with documentation of underlying rights and chain-of-title; draft personal services agreements for producers, directors, actors, other principal crew, location agreements, releases and other production-related documents. In some cases, the Clinic will also review sales agency and distribution agreements for select clients.

Potential clients are solicited from entertainment film societies, arts organizations, film institutes and film schools. Students in the Clinic often refer friends or colleagues with projects in development.  Several clients that have been referred by other filmmakers who have released films on which the Clinic rendered production services.  All prospective clients are screened by the professors and some may be interviewed by the class prior to engagement.  Students interact directly with the clients, though all legal services provided by the students are under the guidance and supervision of the professors.

Enrollment is by invitation only and applicants are notified by email about the application process approximately one month prior to the end of each semester. Those students selected will be enrolled for the following semester. Interested students should contact the Biederman Institute for more information.

  1. For Filmmakers

    Does your independent film need free legal services?

    Southwestern law students in the clinic provide services at no cost to filmmakers under the supervision of Professor Jay Gendron (formerly Vice President of Business Affairs, Warner Bros. Television). To be eligible, projects must be fully funded and scheduled to commence production in the near future. 

    Services may include:

    • documentation of underlying rights and chain-of-title
    • personal services agreements for the producer, director, actors and principal crew
    • location agreements, releases and other miscellaneous production documents
    • sales agency and distribution agreements

    Filmmakers who wish to apply should contact Professor Gendron. Films will be selected on an on-going basis.