Biederman Entertainment & Media Law Institute
Southwestern's Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute was established in 2000 to take advantage of the law school's long history of involvement with the entertainment and media industries. The Institute offers a rich spectrum of entertainment, sports, and media law courses and experiential learning opportunities under the direction of faculty who have tremendous practical experience in the field.
Southwestern has been recognized as one of the top ten law schools in the country for entertainment law by The Hollywood Reporter eight years in a row, and as #1 in the Top Law Schools for Entertainment Law by lawstreetmedia.com, among other honors.
Connections to the Industry
Southwestern's Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute is intimately connected to a plethora of entertainment and media companies, law firms and other organizations operating in every aspect of the industry. Lawyers and executives from many of these entities participate in various elements of the Institute’s programs.
*Click on the tabs below to learn more about our upcoming and recent events, "A Conversation With..." series, and our Annual MLRC Conference.
A Conversation With Two Theatre Lawyers
Tuesday, September 6, 2022,
12:30 P.M. PT via Zoom
Don't miss this edition of A Conversation With featuring entertainment transactional lawyers who will discuss their careers, some fundamentals of practicing law in connection with the theatre and live performance industry, and latest trends in live stage theatre productions and related deals and contracts.
Emily Lawson – Associate, Lazarus & Harris LLP (New York City, Lazhar.com)
Ms. Lawson works with clients in the entertainment industry with an emphasis on theatre. She assists in handling a wide range of transactional entertainment work for the firm's Broadway, Off-Broadway, touring, and international productions, including the preparation of investment documents, author and rights agreements, licenses and agreements among producers, and advises production company clients on their day-to-day production legal needs.
Prior to joining Lazarus & Harris in 2008, she worked for ten years in the entertainment industry, starting her career at the Jim Henson Company, initially as an assistant to the puppet costume designer for Sesame Street and later as the Production Manager for the Muppet Workshop.
Ms. Lawson has extensive experience with theatre and puppetry-related development and production in both creative and production management. Ms. Lawson is a volunteer with the Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition and the Brooklyn Cat Cafe. Ms. Lawson received her B.A. in Theatrical Costume Design from The Ohio State University in 1998 and her M.B.A. from New York University's Stern School of Business in 2007.
Stephen Pidcock – Senior Associate, Clintons (Covent Garden, London, UK.,Clintons.co.uk)
Stephen advises clients from the subsidised and commercial sectors on all areas of theatre and live performance, including commercial, licensing, intellectual property, and rights issues.
He also advises on areas of law, including charity, entertainment, marketing, publishing, fashion, leisure, and retail. Before qualifying as a solicitor, Stephen was a theatre publicist working in-house at the Royal Court Theatre and then for The Corner Shop PR in the West End and across the UK.
As a publicist, his clients included many of the leading West End theatre production companies. He is also an award-winning translator of new Italian plays, a member of SOLT / UK Theatre and the Charity Law Association, and a trustee of the Bush Theatre and of Mercury Musical Developments.
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These informative, insightful, and provocative "IRL living room" conversations with prominent entertainment and media figures are brought to you in collaboration with our Entertainment and the Arts Legal Clinic.
We welcome our Southwestern community, our Clinic clients, fellow HFPA grantees, those in the entertainment practice at large, and others in related fields to join us for these speaker series events.
*The Hollywood Foreign Press Association generously supports Southwestern Law School’s Entertainment and Arts Legal Clinic for the 2018/19, 2019/20, and 2020/21 academic years.
Past guests have included:
- Jeff Toobin, CNN legal and political analyst;
- Arn Tellem, at the time the Vice Chairman and President of the Team Sports Division of Wasserman Media Group, now Vice Chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment which owns the Detroit Pistons;
- Paul Williams, renowned composer, performer and ASCAP President;
- Leah Weil, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Sony Pictures;
- Martin Garbus, renowned trial lawyer, and First Amendment expert.
The Institute regularly co-sponsors symposia with the Entertainment and Intellectual Property Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Los Angeles Copyright Society, the Media Law Resource Center, and other organizations. Additionally, the Institute conducts continuing legal education (CLE) courses on entertainment and media law issues for alumni, practitioners, and laypeople.
Listen and Subscribe to "A Conversation With..." Podcasts
Influential members of the Entertainment, Sports, & Media Law industries discuss their careers and hot-button issues.
You will hear top-notch entertainment, sports, and media lawyers and experts share their journeys and provide insights in conversation style panels discussions with Q&A.
All previously-recorded episodes are now available!
Women In Sports Law
Episode 1 • Interview recorded on October 17, 2019
Episode 3 • Interview recorded on January 6, 2020
Episode 4 • Interview recorded on February 27, 2020
The Deepfakes Phenomenon
Episode 5 • Presentation recorded on June 16, 2020
Episode 7 • Interview recorded on August 22, 2020
Episode 8 • Interview recorded on November 17, 2020
Conference details for 2022 coming soon!
In an effort to recognize excellence in academic achievement, and encourage and facilitate career success, the Biederman Institute established the Biederman Scholars program to help expand opportunities for promising future entertainment lawyers.
Each year, three or four outstanding students are selected for this honor. Biederman Scholars participate in a variety of Institute initiatives, including an industry mentor program, behind-the-scenes participation in Biederman Institute programs, and priority placement in entertainment and media company externships and law firm practicums.
The Biederman Scholars can also participate in the Biederman Awards event honoring outstanding members of the entertainment and media law community, and other Institute activities.
Southwestern Entertainment and Intellectual Property Alumni Association (SWEIP)
Southwestern's Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute has brought together prominent attorneys and executives from leading entertainment companies, law firms and institutions to serve on its Executive Board. The Institute also works closely with the Southwestern Entertainment and Intellectual Property Alumni Association (SWEIP) which has over 500 members.
The Board and SWEIP play a critical role by helping to connect outstanding students with opportunities for industry experience and future job placement, shaping and focusing the curriculum, developing new programming concepts, and expanding the Institute’s access to speakers and resources.
View SWEIP's LinkedIn group.
Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law
Southwestern's Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute established the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law through a joint venture with the American Bar Association’s Forums on Communications Law and the Entertainment and Sports Industries.
The first of its kind, the Journal addresses all aspects of international and comparative media and entertainment law, including topics related to content, regulation, intellectual property, distribution, publishing, internet and technology, and transactions.
Students are selected to work with the Board of Editors, composed of Biederman Institute faculty and members of the Forum committees, and headed by Supervising Editor, Professor Michael Epstein.