• J.D./M.F.A. in Film and TV Producing

    J.D./M.F.A. in Film and TV Producing

    Offered in conjunction with Chapman University’s School of Law

» J.D./M.F.A. in Film and Television Producing

About the Program

Offered in conjunction with Chapman University’s School of Law and Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, the four-year J.D./M.F.A. in Film and Television Producing is designed for those who seek careers as entertainment attorneys; legal counselors at production companies, agencies, guilds or studios; or as producers or other executives in the entertainment industry.

The four-year J.D./M.F.A. program provides a strong emphasis on the legal aspects of film and television producing, such as drafting and negotiating contracts, the attorney’s role in the filmmaking process, intellectual property protection, and copyright law. You’ll collaborate with fellow students’ writers, actors, directors, producers, editors, cinematographers, sound and production designers, while studying the fundamentals of film production to gain first-hand knowledge of how these functions come together to produce a film.

During summer internships you’ll have the opportunity to put your classroom learning and hands-on experience into context, gaining valuable experience in the field while forming important mentoring relationships. You will then use these skills to develop your M.F.A. thesis project — an original short film or media project you’ve personally produced.

Upon graduation, you’ll have two highly marketable professional degrees and a fully developed portfolio. 

+ - Degree Requirements

In conjunction with the Dale E. Fowler School of Law, the Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts offers a joint program leading to both a J.D. degree and an M.F.A. in Film and Television Producing degree. Offered to full–time students, the program requires at least four years of study and acceptance to both the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and the School of Law. The J.D./M.F.A. in Film and Television Producing gives students the opportunity to obtain two highly marketable professional degrees designed for individuals seeking careers as entertainment attorneys, legal counsel at production companies, agencies, guilds or studios, as producers or as executives in the entertainment industry.

The Dodge College of Film and Media Arts offers an M.F.A. in Film and Television Producing that consists of 48 credits and is completed by full–time students in four semesters, while the Fowler School of Law offers a J.D. program that consists of 88 credits and is typically completed by full–time students in six semesters. The two programs, combined into the joint degree, require the completion of only 123 credits, a savings of 13 credits, resulting from the cross–application of completed coursework in the two schools.

Students must satisfy the minimum requirements for each degree program including course requirements, GPA, residency and other requirements listed in the graduate catalog.

Requirements for the degree

first year (35 credits)

fall requirements (15 credits)

LAW 7103

Torts I


LAW 7105

Legal Research and Writing I


LAW 7107

Contracts I


LAW 7130

Civil Procedure I


LAW 7110

Criminal Law


spring requirements (14 credits)

LAW 7115

Torts II


LAW 7119

Contracts II


LAW 7123



LAW 7132

Civil Procedure II


LAW 7134

Civil Procedure Lab


LAW 7135

Legal Research and Writing II


summer requirements (6 credits)

LAW 7520

Client Interview and Counseling


LAW 7653

Externship Entertainment Law


second year (27 credits)

fall requirements (12 credits)

FS 502

Evolution of Narrative Film I


FP 531

Production Workshop I


FTP 534A

Production and Set Management for Film Production (Producers)


FTP 560

Overview of Producing


spring requirements (12 credits)

SW 527

Fundamentals of Screenwriting


FTP 566

Story Development for Producers


FTP 567

Independent Feature Filmmaking


FTP 631A

Production Workshop IV for Producers


summer requirement (3 credits)

FTV 690

Independent Internship


third year (30 credits)

fall requirements (12 credits)

FTP 661

Marketing, Distribution and Exhibition


FTP 697

Thesis in Producing I


LAW 7538

Entertainment Law


spring requirements (12 credits)

FTP 562

The Development Process of Film and Television


FTP 564

Film and Television Financing


FTP 698

Thesis in Producing II


LAW 7830

Entertainment Industry Contracts


summer requirements (6 credits)

LAW 7581



LAW 7653

Externship Entertainment Law


fourth year (31 credits)

fall requirement (16 credits)

LAW 7126

Constitutional Law


LAW 7133

Federal Income Tax


LAW 7142



LAW 7145



LAW 7139

Professional Responsibility


spring requirements (15 credits)

LAW 7325

First Amendment Law


LAW 7555

Intellectual Property


LAW 7631

Entertainment Law Clinic


LAW 7636

Selected Topics in American Law


LAW 7657

Practice Foundations Transactions


total credits



+ - Learning Outcomes

M.F.A. in Film and Television Producing:

  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to identify, develop and market creative material appropriate for film, television and the internet.
  • Through critical essay and writing assignments, students demonstrate an understanding of the development of film language, including aesthetic perspectives.
  • Through closely-mentored projects, students demonstrate the knowledge and collaborative skills necessary to produce a film or media project from start to finish.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the business elements of producing, including production management, intellectual property, rights and issues, financing, marketing and distribution.

Juris Doctor:

Effective client representation integrates doctrine, theory, skills, and legal ethics. Effective client representation involves several skill sets, including

  • Advocacy
  • Negotiation
  • Counseling
  • Interviewing

Effective client representation also involves the exercise of professional judgment consistent with the values of the legal profession and professional duties to society, including recognizing and resolving ethical and other professional dilemmas.

Through close faculty mentorship in coursework, clinics, competitions and externships, law students will be able to effectively represent clients in a variety of legal situations at a level of competency appropriate for an entry-level practitioner. Assessing this outcome will require measuring the students’ abilities to 1) appraise client situations and make appropriate legal recommendations, 2) negotiate productively, professionally, and ethically on behalf of clients, and 3) advocate effectively, professionally, and ethically on behalf of clients in a variety of settings.

  • Effective legal analysis begins with knowledge and understanding of substantive law, legal theory, and legal procedure. Students must be able to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to derive and apply legal rules in a variety of contexts. Students will be able to formulate clear and effective legal analyses based on knowledge acquired through research, case and statutory analysis, practical experience, and analysis of other legal materials.
  • Effective legal writing differs depending on the document, such as an appellate brief, trial brief, transactional document, letter, or memo. However, all effective legal writing requires:
    • Understanding and appropriately and effectively using legal authority
    • Precise use of language
    • The communication of legal and factual analysis clearly to a designated audience

Students will be able to compose legal documents in a variety of settings appropriate to the legal profession. Through multiple writing projects, and individualized assessment of their written work, students will learn to write precisely, clearly, professionally, ethically, and persuasively.

+ - Application Requirements

In order to apply to the J.D./M.F.A. in Film and Television Producing program, you must be a first year student in the Law School and obtain at least a 2.6 GPA in your first year.


  • Statement of Intent
  • Resume
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Creative Supplement

Other Required Materials:

  • Official copy of your undergraduate transcript from your degree granting institution
  • GRE (if GPA from undergraduate program is below a 3.0)

No additional information should be sent to Dodge College or the Office of Admissions outside of what is required on the application. Any outside work sent to either office will not be reviewed as part of the admission process.

View additional application details

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