Southwestern's Entertainment and Media Law Program

Biederman Entertainment & Media Law Institute

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. The Institute offers a rich spectrum of entertainment, sports, and media law courses and experiential learning opportunities under the direction of faculty who have tremendous practical experience in the field.

Southwestern has been recognized as one of the top ten law schools in the country for entertainment law by The Hollywood Reporter eight years in a row, and as #1 in the Top Law Schools for Entertainment Law by, among other honors.

BEMLI Hollywood Reporter Top Ent. Law School

Connections to the Industry

Southwestern's Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute is intimately connected to a plethora of entertainment and media companies, law firms and other organizations operating in every aspect of the industry. Lawyers and executives from many of these entities participate in various elements of the Institute’s programs.

Image - Entertainment Externships

*Click on the tabs below to learn more about our upcoming and recent events, "A Conversation With..." series, and our Annual MLRC Conference.

Save the Date: "A Conversation With" Speaker Series Programming

Mark your calendars, everyone! The Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute is excited to announce the upcoming "A Conversation With" programming throughout the academic school year! Detailed invitations will be forthcoming, but please see below for scheduled dates. We don’t want you to miss out on these conversations!

Upcoming "A Conversation With" Speaker Series Events

Erika KirkwoodParamount Television Studios

(Executive Vice President and Head of Business Affairs)

Date: Thursday, September 7, 2023

Time: 7:30 p.m. PT

Location: In-Person at the 2nd Floor of the Bullocks Wilshire Building; Reception to follow at 8:30 p.m. PT

Professor Henry Lydiate

A renowned London-based international art lawyer

Date: Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Time: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. PT

Location: Option to attend via Zoom OR In-Person at W511 (with free pizza offered to those attending in person on behalf of the Biederman Institute)

Ken BasinGlobal Head of Business Operations (Film/TV) for Riot Games

(previously at Paramount Television Studios, Sony Pictures Television, Amazon Studios), author of The Business of Television

Date: Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Time: 7:30 p.m. PT

Location: In-Person at the 2nd Floor of the Bullocks Wilshire Building; Reception to follow at 8:30 p.m. PT

Speaker TBA

Date: Thursday, April 11, 2024

Time: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. PT

Location: Via Zoom


MLRC Conference 2023 

20th Annual Entertainment & Media Law Conference Banner featuring a purple skyline of Los Angeles with palm trees

For 20 years, the Media Law Resource Center and Southwestern Law School have hosted an annual forum at which renowned experts discuss the most timely, important, and controversial topics in entertainment and media law. 

Thursday, March 23, 2023
1:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. PT

Southwestern Law School
4 MCLE Credits offered

Panel topics include: 

  • Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith and the Future of Fair Use
  • Protecting Creativity with a Bottle of Jack on the Floribama Shore
  • Danger and Intimacy on Set: Safeguards and Lawsuits
  • Documentarian Roundtable

Click here to view the full event details and list of speakers.

Join our e-mail list to stay up-to-date on upcoming Biederman event programming and courses.

Click here to view our past events

These informative, insightful, and provocative "IRL living room" conversations with prominent entertainment and media figures are brought to you in collaboration with our Entertainment and the Arts Legal Clinic.  

We welcome our Southwestern community, our Clinic clients, fellow HFPA grantees, those in the entertainment practice at large, and others in related fields to join us for these speaker series events. 

Image - HFPA Logo

*The Hollywood Foreign Press Association generously supports Southwestern Law School’s Entertainment and Arts Legal Clinic for the 2018/19,  2019/20, and 2020/21 academic years.

Past guests have included:

  • Jeff Toobin, CNN legal and political analyst;
  • Arn Tellem, at the time the Vice Chairman and President of the Team Sports Division of Wasserman Media Group, now Vice Chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment which owns the Detroit Pistons;
  • Paul Williams, renowned composer, performer and ASCAP President;
  • Leah Weil, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Sony Pictures;
  • Martin Garbus, renowned trial lawyer, and First Amendment expert.

The Institute regularly co-sponsors symposia with the Entertainment and Intellectual Property Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Los Angeles Copyright Society, the Media Law Resource Center, and other organizations. Additionally, the Institute conducts continuing legal education (CLE) courses on entertainment and media law issues for alumni, practitioners, and laypeople.

Listen and Subscribe to "A Conversation With..." Podcasts

A Conversation With Podcast Logo

Influential members of the Entertainment, Sports, & Media Law industries discuss their careers and hot-button issues.

You will hear top-notch entertainment, sports, and media lawyers and experts share their journeys and provide insights in conversation-style panel discussions with Q&A.


All previously-recorded episodes are now available!

Carolyn Forrest
Episode 16 
• Interview recorded on February 7, 2023

Dr. Michael Epstein
Episode 15 
• Interview recorded on October 24, 2022

Two Theater Lawyers
Episode 14 
• Interview recorded on September 6, 2022

Ina Fichman
Episode 13 
• Interview recorded on April 12, 2022

Anita Surendran
Episode 12 
• Interview recorded on October 12, 2021

Priyanka Khimani
Episode 11 
• Interview recorded on August 18, 2021

Kenneth Wu
Episode 10 
• Interview recorded on July 7, 2021

Mark Hiraide
Episode 9 
• Interview recorded on January 28, 2021

Neville Johnson
Episode 8
• Interview recorded on November 17, 2020

Judith Finell
Episode 7
• Interview recorded on August 22, 2020

Nina Shaw
Episode 6 
• Interview recorded on August 18, 2020

The Deepfakes Phenomenon 
Episode 5
• Presentation recorded on June 16, 2020

Sandra Williams 
Episode 4
• Interview recorded on February 27, 2020

Andrew Schwartzman
Episode 3
• Interview recorded on January 6, 2020

Dina LaPolt
Episode 2 • Interview recorded on February 11, 2020

Women In Sports Law
Episode 1
• Interview recorded on October 17, 2019

Listen and Subscribe

Southwestern is excited to offer you the opportunity to audit spring 2023 courses from our award-winning and top-ranked Entertainment and Media Law Program! 

Explore the latest and most compelling legal topics in entertainment law with industry experts. Click below to learn more and register.

Sign me up for the courses! 

Copyright Law (3 units)
Prof. Kevin J. Greene, John J. Schumacher Chair 
Monday & Wednesday  |  10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Copyright Law (3 units)
Prof. Kevin J. Greene, John J. Schumacher Chair 
Wednesday  |  6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Drafting Tech Agreements (3 units)
Prof. Michael Scott, Founding Director Emeritus, Technology Law & Entrepreneurship Concentration
Saturday  |  9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Gambling Law (2 units)
Prof. James Fischer, Professor of Law
Monday  |  6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Information Privacy Law (2 units)
Prof. Michael Scott, Founding Director Emeritus, Technology Law & Entrepreneurship Concentration
Tuesday  |  8:10 p.m. – 10:10 p.m.
Mass Media Law (2 units)
Prof. Michael Epstein, Director of Entertainment and Media Law Concentration & Supervising Editor of the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law
Monday  |  8:10 p.m. – 10:10 p.m.
Motion Picture Production Law (2 units)
Prof. George Ruiz, Talent Manager and Attorney at Law, Intelligent Arts & Artists
Thursday  |  8:10 p.m. – 10:10 p.m.

NFTs & the Metaverse: Foundational Overview of Entertainment Transactions & litigation Issues  (1 unit)
Prof. Orly Ravid, Associate Dean, Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute
Thursday  |  8:10 p.m. – 10:10 p.m.

Patent Prep. & Prosecution (2 units)
Prof. Vincent Look, Associate Attorney, Womble Bond Dickinson, LLP
Tuesday |  3:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
The Music Publishing Industry (2 units)
Prof. Steven Lowy, Managing Shareholder, Isaacman, Kaufman, Painter, Lowy & Zucker P.C.
Thursday  |  3:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Television Production Law (2 units)
Prof. Susan Cleary, Vice President & General Counsel, Independent Film & Television Alliance
Monday |  7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Unscripted TV Production Law (2 units)
Prof. Mitch Federer, Partner, Weinstein Senior LLP
Tuesday  |  8:10 p.m. – 10:10 p.m.
Trademark Law (2 units)
Prof. Stephen Strauss, Shareholder, Buchalter
Wednesday |  6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.



  1. Entertainment & the Arts Legal Clinic

    The Clinic provides pro bono legal services to independent filmmakers, series creators, writers, actors, legit stage producers, artists, and musicians. Students work on documentation of underlying rights (clearance reports and fair use analysis) and chain-of-title review, drafting shopping and commenting on and option purchase agreements, music agreements, personal services agreements for producers, directors, actors, other principal crew, location agreements, releases and other development and production related contracts. The Clinic also reviews sales, licensing, and distribution agreements. The students, trained by taking copyright and other entertainment law courses, do the legal work (including client correspondence) which is supervised and reviewed by a panel of 4 or 5 experienced practicing attorney professors.

    Learn more about the Entertainment & the Arts Legal Clinic here. 

  2. Biederman Scholars

    Image - Biederman 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.

    Each year, a few outstanding students are selected for this honor. Biederman Scholars participate in a variety of Institute initiatives, including an industry mentor program, behind-the-scenes participation in Biederman Institute programs, and priority placement in entertainment and media company externships and law firm practicums.

    The Biederman Scholars can also participate in the Biederman Awards event honoring outstanding members of the entertainment and media law community, and other Institute activities.


  3. Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law

    Image - JIMEL 9.2

    Southwestern's Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute established the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law through a joint venture with the American Bar Association’s Forums on Communications Law and the Entertainment and Sports Industries.

    The first of its kind, the Journal addresses all aspects of international and comparative media and entertainment law, including topics related to content, regulation, intellectual property, distribution, publishing, internet and technology, and transactions.

    Students are selected to work with the Board of Editors, composed of Biederman Institute faculty and members of the Forum committees, and headed by Supervising Editor, Professor Michael Epstein.

    Image - JIMEL Group Photo

  4. Southwestern Entertainment and Intellectual Property Alumni Association (SWEIP)


    ​​Cowboy Lawyers at BEMLI Gala

    Southwestern's Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute has brought together prominent attorneys and executives from leading entertainment companies, law firms and institutions to serve on its Executive Board. The Institute also works closely with the Southwestern Entertainment and Intellectual Property Alumni Association (SWEIP) which has over 500 members.

    The Board and SWEIP play a critical role by helping to connect outstanding students with opportunities for industry experience and future job placement, shaping and focusing the curriculum, developing new programming concepts, and expanding the Institute’s access to speakers and resources.

    View SWEIP's LinkedIn group.

    Image - SWEIP Board Members at BEMLI Gala 2019