Southwestern Student Honored by GRAMMY Foundation
Elissa Felman, a second-year day student, was selected as one of five scholarship recipients from a nationwide pool of talented law students who entered the GRAMMY Foundation's 12th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI) Writing Competition. Her essay focused on the economic impact of strict visa requirements for foreign entertainers trying to enter United States and how it affects the industry. It also explored how the creation of a new visa could open up opportunities for more entertainers and have a positive financial impact.
Felman (pictured fourth from right), a singer and piano player, earned a B.B.A in music business from Belmont University in Nashville and chose law school - particularly Southwestern's Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute - in order to further her career in the music industry. Although the ELI competition coincided with a particularly hectic time (during finals and the holidays), she knew it was important to compete. According to many entertainment lawyers, winners of the GRAMMY and other essay contests are highly sought candidates when they are ready to enter the field of entertainment law.
As a runner-up, Felman won $1,500 and got a first class GRAMMY experience, which included: having her paper published, accommodations at the Biltmore hotel during GRAMMY weekend, tickets to every GRAMMY event including the ELI luncheon where finalists spoke in front of 450 entertainment lawyers, the MusiCares Person of the Year show, the GRAMMY Merit Awards event, The GRAMMYs, and the after party, among other activities.
"I had the most amazing weekend with a group of really fun and interesting finalists [from] throughout the country," Felman said. "We were guests at these incredible events and were constantly meeting industry people who made us feel as though we were the guests of honor! It was one of those weekends and experiences that I will never forget... especially when I look back and remember seeing Andy Samberg, Snooki, or Lady Gaga walk right by us at the Awards show!"