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Entertainment Law Clinic

»Entertainment Law Clinic


The Fowler School of Law Entertainment Law Clinic provides students with a unique opportunity to work directly with low budget independent filmmakers and to serve as production legal counsel for a feature length motion picture. Filmmakers who have used the services offered by the Entertainment Law Clinic have won numerous awards and honors, including the Newport Beach Film Festival Audience Award for Best U.S. Film, the Netflix Find Your Voice Film Competition, and have premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. The names of our clinic students appear in the on-screen credits for each film. 

Under the supervision of the faculty, participating students set up corporations or LLCs, file for copyrights, and draft all production-related contracts and documents including crew, actors, and locations agreements for real clients. 

In conjunction with entertainment industry organizations such as the Directors Guild of America, Chapman law Professor Kathy Heller, identifies eligible film(s) that are ready to begin production. The producer and/or director of the selected film then works directly with clinical students who will draft all production-related contracts and documents. 

The Student Experience

  • Christian M. ('10)
  • Sean T. (’09)
  • Mcguigan“Through the networks I developed and the skills I acquired from Professor Kathy Heller’s Entertainment Law Clinic, I was able to step right into film and commercial producing while continuing to have the day-to-day interaction in business and legal affairs that I was trained for.”

    -Christian M. ('10)

  • Sean T."The experience was worthwhile because it provided me with actual practice, and not just theory. I learned how to interact with clients and that, in turn, actually helped to expand my knowledge of both law and business."

    -Sean T. (J.D. '09)

+-Course Information for Students

This clinic is a 3 unit course and students will complete the production legal work for a minimum of two films per semester. 

Prerequisite: Negotiating and Drafting Media Industry Transactions. This course will satisfy the Practical Writing Requirement OR the Lawyering Skills Requirement; one course cannot satisfy both requirements. This is an approved elective for the Entertainment Law Certificate.

Download the Clinic Student Handout (.pdf)

+-Award Winning Films

Filmmakers who have used the services offered by the Working with Entertainment Law Clinic have won numerous awards and honors, including:

  • Newport Beach Film Festival Audience Award for Best U.S. Film
  • Netflix Find Your Voice Film Competition 
  • Denver International Film Festival People’s Choice Award 
  • LA Film Festival premier film 
  • Tribeca Film Festival Official Selection 
  • AFI Film Festival Official Breakthrough Selection 
  • Urbanworld Film Festival Narrative Audience Award 
  • Chicago International Film Festival Official Selection 
  • Cinequest Film Festival Premier 
  • Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles selection
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Recent News

Chapman alumnus' experience in clinic and interest in video game industry inspired him to pursue video game law. Learn more »

Alumnus' work in Entertainment Law Clinic led to a position in a global entertainment company. Learn more »

Professor Kathy Heller

"For more than five years, our clinic has been the only clinic that gives law students the opportunity to gain experience working directly with actual filmmakers making a feature film. Both students and filmmakers find that the experience is beneficial." 

    Contact Us

    Professor Kathy Heller
    Phone: (714) 628-2675
    Email: Kheller@chapman.edu

    Joint JD/MFA

    Chapman University Fowler School of Law, in conjunction with Chapman's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, is proud to offer the first and fully integrated JD/MFA in Producing program in the country. Learn more »

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