Five Students Selected as 2013-2014 Biederman Entertainment Law Scholars
In an effort to recognize excellence in academic achievement, and encourage and facilitate career success, the Biederman Institute established the Biederman Scholars program to help expand opportunities for promising future entertainment lawyers. Five outstanding students have been selected for this honor this academic year: Josh Krauss, Rebecca Magenheim, Trevor Puetz, Orly Ravid and Emmanuel ("Manuel") Vergara.
"Josh, Rebecca, Trevor, Orly and Manuel were selected from among an extraordinarily talented group of Southwestern students," said Professor Steve Krone, Director of the Biederman Institute. "Each of them combines outstanding academic credentials, a rich and interesting background and a fabulous work ethic. They have consistently excelled, and I expect great things of them in the future."
As Biederman Scholars, they will take part 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 Biederman Scholars will also assist faculty in developing new and continuing Biederman Institute programs, such as the entertainment and media law blog, the Biederman Awards event held to honor outstanding members of the Southwestern entertainment and media law community, and the Entertainment Production Practicum.
Josh Krauss is a second-year day student, Dean's Fellow and a member of Law Review and the Moot Court Honors Program. During the summer, he externed at Lionsgate in the legal and business affairs department and was also a Research Assistant for Professor Byron Stier. Prior to attending Southwestern, Krauss was a motion picture literary agent at CAA, a manager at Management 360 and a producer on the television show House M.D.
"It's a tremendous honor to be selected as a Biederman Scholar," Krauss said. "Law school was always something I wanted to pursue, and the Biederman Institute was an important factor in my decision to attend Southwestern. I've enjoyed my entire law school experience thus far, which has been one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of my life. I look forward to continuing to build upon my work in the entertainment industry."
Rebecca Magenheim, a second-year day student, is a Peer Mentor, a member of the Moot Court Honors Program, a research assistant for Professors Fagundes and Berch, and a teaching assistant for Professor Pugsley. Magenheim attended last summer's London Program in Entertainment and Media Law and she is currently externing at RKO Pictures. After law school, she would like to work in the music industry, eventually owning her own record label. "I came to Southwestern because of the Biederman Institute," she said. "I have so much respect for everyone associated with it, and it is an amazing honor to be recognized by them."
Trevor Puetz, a third-year evening student, is a member of Law Review and formerly a teaching assistant for Professor Carpenter. An alumnus of the London Program in Entertainment and Media Law, Puetz returned to London this past summer to work as a summer associate at a global reinsurance brokerage firm. While earning his Communications degree at the University of Colorado, Puetz spent summers in Los Angeles and interned at Verso Entertainment and Octagon. He is interested in getting involved in international film finance, returning to London if possible. "Being selected as a Biederman Scholar was a wonderful surprise, and I'm honored to be recognized as such," Puetz said. "I'm appreciative and excited about the opportunity to meet leaders in the entertainment field, and hopefully use this as a platform to continue pushing into the world of international film finance."
Orly Ravid is a SCALE II student serving on Law Review and writing briefs for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court as part of the new Amicus Project Practicum. She recently clerked for Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos, where she researched legal issues pertaining to the Jackson vs. AEG trial, and she will be clerking at the California Supreme Court in the spring. In 2009, she founded The Film Collaborative, the first non-profit to focus on film distribution without taking filmmakers' rights. Her other industry affiliations include programming for the Sundance and Palm Springs International film festivals, multiple film development and acquisition positions and serving on the Outfest Board of Directors.
"Southwestern's reputation in entertainment law is outstanding," Ravid said. "I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have been selected. Before I pursued getting a law degree, I worked in film and was impressed with Southwestern attorneys who I interacted with professionally. I'm grateful that soon I will be able to count myself amongst such a terrific group and to have had this opportunity."
Manuel Vergara, a second-year day student, is a Dean's Fellow, a student editor under Professor Epstein on the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law, and a Teaching Assistant for Professor McEvoy during the spring semester. After earning his cum laude Music Industry degree from USC, Vergara spent five years as an event and production manager, coordinating some of the biggest touring shows in Los Angeles. He is particularly interested in contract and copyright law and hopes to pursue a career in music and live entertainment.
"It's a great honor to have been selected as a Biederman Scholar," Vergara said. "I have a longstanding interest in the legal aspects of the entertainment industry that is informed by both personal and professional experiences and it feels wonderful to know that it's something the Southwestern faculty recognizes and supports. I look forward to working with Professor Krone and Biederman faculty and am excited for the opportunities this recognition will afford."
The candidates were identified by consensus among the Biederman Institute faculty, nominated by the Biederman Institute director and approved by the Institute's Executive Board. In order to be considered as a Biederman Scholar, students must be in the top 10% of their class and have a demonstrated interest in entertainment or media law.