Southwestern's Entertainment and Media Law Program

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, among other honors.

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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.

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*Click on the tabs below to learn more about our upcoming and recent events, "A Conversation With..." series, and our Annual MLRC Conference.

MLRC Conference 2023 

MLRC 2023 is happening on March 23, 2023. Conference details coming soon! 

A Conversation With Professor Michael Epstein

A Conversation With Professor Michael Epstein
Monday, October 24, 2022,
7:00 P.M. PT via Zoom

Click here to register

In the Summer of 2022, the U.S. Department of State sent Michael Epstein to Sierra Leone as a Fulbright specialist to develop fact-checking strategies in the fight against election-related fake news and disinformation. In connection with his Fulbright project, Dr. Epstein met with government ministers, university faculty, and leading journalists in Sierra Leone. He also interviewed working-class Sierra Leoneans in makeshift teahouses known as atayabases, at bus shelters, and in shantytowns. 

Join Biederman Institute director Orly Ravid as she talks with Dr. Epstein about the fragility of Sierra Leone’s democracy, the country’s struggle to create laws guaranteeing a free press, and its citizens’ widespread concern that election-related fake news may lead to unrest, extremism and even violence.  

About Professor Michael Epstein:

Michael M. Epstein is a founding faculty member of the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute and the long-time supervising editor of the Journal of International Media & Entertainment Law. He also directs the Amicus Project at Southwestern, a pro bono outreach program that invites law students to prepare amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court and in other jurisdictions.

Professor Epstein received his undergraduate and law degrees from Columbia University and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan. In 2022, he received a Fulbright Specialist Award from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Cultural Affairs to fight fake news in Sierra Leone.

Professor Epstein has published on a variety of media and entertainment topics, including live music intellectual property rights, crowdfunding creative arts projects, media diversity reform, and broadcast spectrum allocation. He's also written extensively about entertainment culture, including articles on Perry Mason, Law & Order, Star Trek, and the entertainment priorities of television news.

Join our e-mail list to stay up-to-date on upcoming Biederman event programming and courses.

Click here to view our past events

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. 

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*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

A Conversation With Podcast Logo

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 panel discussions with Q&A.


All previously-recorded episodes are now available!

Women In Sports Law
Episode 1
• Interview recorded on October 17, 2019

Dina LaPolt
Episode 2 • Interview recorded on February 11, 2020

Andrew Schwartzman
Episode 3
• Interview recorded on January 6, 2020

Sandra Williams 
Episode 4
• Interview recorded on February 27, 2020

The Deepfakes Phenomenon 
Episode 5
• Presentation recorded on June 16, 2020

Nina Shaw
Episode 6 
• Interview recorded on August 18, 2020

Judith Finell
Episode 7
• Interview recorded on August 22, 2020

Neville Johnson
Episode 8
• Interview recorded on November 17, 2020

Mark Hiraide
Episode 9 
• Interview recorded on January 28, 2021 

Kenneth Wu
Episode 10 
• Interview recorded on July 7, 2021

Priyanka Khimani
Episode 11 
• Interview recorded on August 18, 2021

Anita Surendran
Episode 12 
• Interview recorded on October 12, 2021


Ina Fichman
Episode 13 
• Interview recorded on April 12, 2022

Listen and Subscribe

Southwestern is excited to offer you the opportunity to audit spring 2023 courses from our award-winning and top-ranked Entertainment and Media Law Program! 

Explore the latest and most compelling legal topics in entertainment law with industry experts. Click below to learn more and register.

Sign me up for the courses! 

Copyright Law (3 units)
Prof. Kevin J. Greene, John J. Schumacher Chair 
Monday & Wednesday  |  10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Copyright Law (3 units)
Prof. Kevin J. Greene, John J. Schumacher Chair 
Wednesday  |  6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Drafting Tech Agreements (3 units)
Prof. Michael Scott, Founding Director Emeritus, Technology Law & Entrepreneurship Concentration
Saturday  |  9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Gambling Law (2 units)
Prof. James Fischer, Professor of Law
Monday  |  6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Information Privacy Law (2 units)
Prof. Michael Scott, Founding Director Emeritus, Technology Law & Entrepreneurship Concentration
Tuesday  |  8:10 p.m. – 10:10 p.m.
Mass Media Law (2 units)
Prof. Michael Epstein, Director of Entertainment and Media Law Concentration & Supervising Editor of the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law
Monday  |  8:10 p.m. – 10:10 p.m.
Motion Picture Production Law (2 units)
Prof. George Ruiz, Talent Manager and Attorney at Law, Intelligent Arts & Artists
Thursday  |  8:10 p.m. – 10:10 p.m.
Patent Prep. & Prosecution (2 units)
Prof. Vincent Look, Associate Attorney, Womble Bond Dickinson, LLP
Tuesday |  3:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
The Music Publishing Industry (2 units)
Prof. Steven Lowy, Managing Shareholder, Isaacman, Kaufman, Painter, Lowy & Zucker P.C.
Thursday  |  3:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Television Production Law (2 units)
Prof. Susan Cleary, Vice President & General Counsel, Independent Film & Television Alliance
Monday |  7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Unscripted TV Production Law (2 units)
Prof. Mitch Federer, Associate, Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein Lezcano Bobb & Dang
Tuesday  |  8:10 p.m. – 10:10 p.m.
Trademark Law (2 units)
Prof. Stephen Strauss, Shareholder, Buchalter
Wednesday |  6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.



  1. Biederman Scholars

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    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.


  2. Southwestern Entertainment and Intellectual Property Alumni Association (SWEIP)

    Image - SWEIP Board Members at BEMLI Gala 2019

    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.



  3. Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law

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    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.

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