Entertainment and Sports Law Program
Entertainment Law encompasses a wide range of practice areas in situations where the client – such as an actor, musician, or athlete; a production company or studio; or a music, film or television company – is involved in the entertainment, media, or sports industries.
Entertainment and Sports Law Degree
Common issues addressed by entertainment lawyers include intellectual property (especially licensing, trademark, and copyright issues), employment contract, tort, labor and employment, bankruptcy, immigration, securities, agency, right of privacy, defamation, clearance of rights, product placement, advertising, criminal, tax, international, and insurance matters.
Much of the legal work in the entertainment industry is transactional (i.e., contract drafting and negotiation); however, some situations – particularly those involving employer-employee, profit participation, and alleged defamation – may lead to litigation.
The Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law (EMS) initiative
The Entertainment, Media & Sports Law (EMS) initiative at Pepperdine School of Law provides a forum for law students interested in the fields of entertainment, media, and sports law to gain knowledge and experience in the EMS industry, engage with alumni and experts, and access information about conferences, courses, and competitions.
Professors Maureen Weston and Victoria Schwartz serve as Directors and adjunct professor William Nix as Industry Advisor.
EMS works closely with a wide array of campus groups.
- Activities with the student-run Sports & Entertainment Law Society (SELS) and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution include an EMS Industry Expert Conversations & Speakers Series, conferences, trainings/classes, and externships.
- Collaborations with the Graziadio School of Business and the University's Institute for Entertainment, Media and Culture (iEMC) to develop interdisciplinary coursework and other programming.
- EMS works with the Pepperdine Law Career Development Office to provide guidance for our students in industry externships and jobs.
- The Palmer Center also offers an Certificate in Entrepreneurship with a track focus on Intellectual Property/Entertainment.
Pepperdine University and the School of Law feature a vast array of entertainment, media, and sports law opportunities, and it is EMS's goal to seek out and develop the mutual synergies available to our students.
Examples of Pepperdine Professors with Entertainment Law Expertise
Recent Course Offerings
International Entertainment and Copyright Law
Entertainment Law Seminar – Music, TV, Film
Another important component of EMS activities involves working with students to participate in advocacy programs at national sports and entertainment dispute resolution competitions. These competitions provide students the opportunities to gain experience in the field of sports and entertainment, showcase their talents, and receive feedback from lawyers, judges, and experts in the EMS industry. Pepperdine has hosted the Annual National Entertainment Moot Court Competition for nearly 20 years. Pepperdine Law students regularly participate in the a variety of entertainment-sports related advocacy and dispute resolution competitions; some recent examples include:
- National Sports Law Negotiation Competition (San Diego);
- Southwestern Entertainment Law Negotiation Competition (Los Angeles);
- Tulane Baseball Salary Arbitration Competition (New Orleans);
- Tulane NFL Football Negotiation Competition (New Orleans)
- Fordham National Basketball Negotiation Competition (New York);
- International Chamber of Commerce Mediation Advocacy Competition (Paris)
- UCLA GAMEDAY Sports Case Competition (MBA & JD Teams)
- Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) competition.
- Cardozo BMI Entertainment Moot Competition (New York);
- Tulane Sports Law Moot Court Competition (New Orleans).
Examples of Pepperdine Law Alumni in Entertainment
- Christa Zofcin, EVP/Head of Business & Legal Affairs, River Road Entertainment
- Richard Cho, General Manager, Charlotte Bobcats