» Entertainment Law Emphasis Program

The first and only program of its kind in the United States, faculty members with sizable industry experience provide students with expert knowledge of the legal aspects of the entertainment business, including intellectual property rights, entertainment contract negotiations, and licensing. 

Additionally, the school’s proximity to Hollywood and Southern California’s business market, which enhances Chapman’s commitment to train students to compete in the entertainment industry, offers untold opportunities for practical experience and networking.  

Students in this concentration also have the ability to take as many as 6 credits from the MFA program at Chapman’s noted Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, where the curriculum will include classes taught jointly by law and film professors (some of which are also available to film students).  Upon completion, law students will receive a formal certificate and transcript notation.

+ - Certificate Requirements

Successful completion of the Entertainment Law Emphasis Program requires the law student to

  • Earn a minimum 2.6 overall cumulative GPA
  • Earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA in the certificate courses
  • Complete the two (2) core courses (Entertainment Law & Intellectual Property)
  • Complete at least eight (8) credit hours of approved electives, of which six (6) credit hours may be experiential training (see approved list of courses)

+ - Core Courses

Entertainment Law (3)
This course explores legal issues connected with the development, production, and exploitation of entertainment product, focusing predominantly on filmed entertainment and news media, to some extent on musical compositions and recordings, and incidentally on other forms of entertainment. Topics include life story and personality rights (defamation, invasion of privacy, etc.); celebrity publicity rights; profit participation; collective bargaining agreements and artistic credits; non-copyright protection of ideas; contract formation and duration; ethics and regulation of talent representatives such as agents, lawyers, and managers; and selected copyright and trademark issues. Copyright is not a prerequisite, and this class should not be considered as a replacement for the copyright course.

Intellectual Property (3)
This course surveys the primary types of intellectual property under federal and state law. It emphasizes trademarks, copyrights, and patents while also addressing unfair competition, rights of publicity, trade secrets, and protection of designs. The course analyzes the rights and remedies associated with each type of intellectual property that it covers, as well as the relationships between different types of intellectual property.

+ - Approved Electives

Specialty Courses

Advanced Topic: Art Law (3 units)

Film and Television Law (2-3 units)

Gambling Law Seminar (3 units)

International Entertainment Law (Seminar) (2 units)

Law and Practice of the Hollywood Guilds (3 units)

Music Publishing & Licensing (2-3 units)

New Media and the Entertainment Industry (2 or 3 units)

Sports Law (3 units)

Video Games and the Law (2-3 units)

Clinical and Drafting Courses

Entertainment Law Externship (3-5 units)

Entertainment Law Clinic (3)

Entertainment Industry Contracts (3)

Intellectual Property Courses

Advanced Topics in Copyright Law (2-3 units)

International Intellectual Property (2-3 units)

Trademark Law and Prosecution (3 units)

Trademarks and Unfair Competition (2 units)

Related Courses

Art and Cultural Property Law (2 units)

First Amendment Law (3 units)

Internet Law (2-3 units)

Law and American Culture (2 or 3 units)

Law and Literature (Seminar) (2 or 3 units) 

Law, Lawyers, and the Legal System in Film (3 units)

Legal & Business Affairs in Hollywood (3 units)

For the course description, required prerequisites and other information visit here.

+ - Faculty

Faculty members have extensive professional experience, including work with major motion picture distribution companies, analysis of intellectual property rights, management of studio legal departments, and negotiation of music contracts.

+ - Contact Us

For more information about the entertainment law emphasis please contact,

Kathy Heller
Associate Professor of the Practice of Law & Executive Director, Entertainment Law Program 

Phone: (714) 628-2675

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Legal Clinics

Gain practical experience in this concentration via the Entertainment Contracts Law Clinic.