The Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute is named in memory of Professor Donald E. Biederman (1934-2002), a highly admired teacher, scholar and pioneer in the world of entertainment and media law and the Institute's founding director.
Prior to joining Southwestern's full-time faculty in 2000, Professor Biederman served for nearly two decades as Executive Vice President and General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Business Affairs at Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., the world's largest music publishing company. Earlier in his career, he was a partner in the law firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, Vice President of Legal Affairs and Administration for ABC Records, Inc., and a general attorney for CBS Records Group, among other positions in private practice and government.
Professor Biederman began his affiliation with Southwestern in 1983 as an Adjunct Professor of Law offering some of the law school's first entertainment law courses. Over the ensuing years, he taught a variety of popular cutting edge courses to hundreds of students. Upon his appointment to the full-time faculty as Director of the Institute, he devoted himself to enhancing recognition for the Institute and recruiting a cadre of leading entertainment law experts from around the world to serve on the Advisory Board, as adjunct professors in specialized entertainment and media law courses, and as guest lecturers. He also established the continuing series "A Conversation With..." that features lively interviews with prominent industry experts, and developed Southwestern's program for the Master of Laws in Entertainment and Media Law, the first post-J.D. degree of its kind in the country.
Professor Biederman was also the author or editor of some of the most comprehensive publications on entertainment and media law, including International Entertainment Law (with L. Sobel, Praeger Publishers, 2003) and Law & Business of the Entertainment Industries: Fourth Edition (with Silfen, et.al., Praeger Publishers, 2001). He also gave generously of his time to the legal profession and the community, and in March 2000, he was honored by the Beverly Hills Bar Association's Entertainment Law Section as the Entertainment Lawyer of the Year.
Professor Biederman earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 1955 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1958. In 1970, he earned his Master of Laws degree in taxation from New York University School of Law.
Donald E. Biederman was devoted to his students and to the Institute he nurtured. He will be remembered with great fondness and admiration by the Southwestern community and thousands of others whose lives he influenced throughout his career.