Law 547 - Entertainment Law Research and Writing
David R. Ginsburg
Lecturer in Law
J.D. UCLA, 1976
This seminar (taught in the Spring Semester) is primarily but not exclusively intended for students who have completed an unpaid entertainment industry internship the previous summer and who are writing a research paper related to that internship for credit. Students will meet as a class group to review and comment upon the law, practice and policy relevant to their research topic. Early sessions will be spent on conceptual discussions of legal research topics and writing, and on brief reviews of the variety of professional and practical workplace legal experiences encountered in the respective internships. Concurrently, the students will be selecting and refining the topics for their research papers, with the advice and approval of the instructor. Over the balance of the sessions, at least one student per week will present his or her topic in the style of a colloquium as a work in progress, with two fellow students as editors (one for the whole semester, and the other rotating through several papers), and with the class as a whole providing critical analysis and feedback. Students will complete the writing and editing of their papers in consultation with the instructor.
Enrollment in Law 547 is only by advance application, and admission to the seminar will be in the reasonable discretion of the instructor. In order to allow students to plan their entire school year as far ahead as possible, applications and admission decisions will be made over the preceding summer. There will be an enrollment cap of 12 students, with no priority for 3Ls, but with a preference for entertainment industry interns who are declared participants in the Entertainment, Media, and Intellectual Property Law Program. While there are no firm prerequisites, applying students will need to indicate the general topics about which they are planning to research and write, subject to amendment early in the semester of instruction. However, if writing on an IP topic, the student should have already completed the respective IP course (such as Copyright Law). The seminar will be graded on the basis of one unit for contributory classroom seminar participation, plus two units for the final research paper itself. We will meet as a class once weekly.
Once admitted to the seminar, but prior to the first day of class, each student will be expected to:
(a) Develop and preliminarily research a topic for the paper;
(b) Discuss the topic with the instructor by phone or in person; and
(c) Do a literature search to make sure that your topic or your approach to the topic is novel and not pre-empted.
The above is intended to improve the development of the papers, and to avoid a last-minute rush during the early part of the semester. It also means that students will need to get to work in advance of the course’s actual commencement.