To qualify for the LL.M. degree in Entertainment and Media Law, students must have earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) or equivalent degree and complete a minimum of 24 additional credit hours; 18 credit hours must be in courses within the entertainment and media law curriculum*, including classes in our London and Los Angeles summer programs, and 18 credit hours must be earned at Southwestern.
Graduate students are free to elect up to 6 credits from any other courses offered by Southwestern. Courses taken for credit toward a J.D. degree will not be counted toward the LL.M.degree. Students may attend on either a full-time (usually completed in one year) or part-time (usually completed in two years) basis. Students enrolled in the LL.M. program must attain a cumulative grade point average of 2.33 to earn the LL.M. degree.**
A graduate student who earns 24 credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater, but less than 2.33, will be awarded a Certificate of Completion and may be eligible to take certain state bar examinations, and, if successful, be admitted to practice.
*Copyright Law must have been completed within three years prior to entering the program or during the first semester of the program.
**An LL.M. student who has a J.D. degree from a U.S. law school and does not attain a 2.33 GPA in a semester will be placed on academic probation and will be academically disqualified after two consecutive semesters of full-time work below 2.33.
This LL.M. program is a rigorous course of study designed to immerse graduate students in entertainment, media and intellectual property law. Admission is based on the applicant’s potential for distinguished performance in (and contribution to) the program, academic record, the institutions awarding the baccalaureate and law degrees, professional experience and accomplishments, recommendations, areas of interest, diversity and geographic factors.
Application for Admission
The same application form is used for entry into the program for either the Fall, Spring,or Summer semester. You may apply online through the LSAC here, or submit the paper application form (see PDF in sidebar) to us. Although online applications are preferred, a printed application form along with additional documentation not submitted electronically may be sent to:
Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute LLM Program
Southwestern Law School
3050 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite BW333
Los Angeles, CA 90010
All materials (including letters of recommendation) must be clearly identified with the applicant’s full name and LSAC account number.
Foreign applicants or applicants who completed their undergraduate and/or legal degrees at institutions outside the United States or Canada must fulfill additional requirements.
A nonrefundable $60 check or money order (in U.S. funds) made payable to Southwestern Law School must be submitted with the admissions application form or with the Certification Letter if applying online. The canceled check will serve as the receipt. Applicants may pay the fee using a credit card if applying online through LSAC and selecting the Electronic Payment Option or by contacting the LL.M. Program Office directly.
The applicant's personal statement should describe the motivation for pursuing the entertainment LL.M. degree, as well as relevant life experiences, relevant course credits, accomplishments, special interests, personal qualities, and career objectives that would be helpful to the Admissions Committee in making its decision. The personal statement should be 2-3 pages in length and typed.
A current resume that lists all academic and professional credentials and work experience is required.
Letters of Recommendation
At least two letters of recommendation should be submitted on behalf of the applicant by persons (other than relatives) who are familiar with the applicant's academic and professional abilities and potential. Letters may be submitted directly to the Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute Office.
Official, sealed transcripts are required from all law schools attended (or currently attending) and all colleges and universities at which a degree was completed. Transcripts should show the degrees earned, dates awarded, and class rank. For U.S. law school graduates, class rank must be indicated on the transcript, or separately from the law school registrar.
Foreign Applicants: English Proficiency and Credential Evaluation
Because the entertainment law program requires a professional level of English language proficiency, applicants whose primary language is not English or whose education has been in a language other than English must demonstrate English proficiency on either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. Students taking the TOEFL must achieve a minimum score of 90 on the ibt or 577 on the paper-based test. Students taking the IELTS must achieve a minimum score of 6.5. More information on TOEFL is available online at www.TOEFL.org and more information on the IELTS is available online at www.ielts.org.
The applicant must submit foreign academic transcripts for analysis by a credentials evaluation service (see a partial list of providers below). A degree equivalency statement with an assessment of grade point average should be requested.
For more information contact:
Global Services Associates, Inc.
409 N. Pacific Coast Highway #393
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Tel & Fax: (310) 828-5709
www.globaleval.org | email@example.com
International Education Research Foundation
P.O. Box 3665
Culver City, CA 90231-3665
Tel: (310) 258-9451 | Fax: (310) 342-7086
www.ierf.org | firstname.lastname@example.org
LSAC LL.M. Credential Assembly Service
662 Penn Street Box 8511
Newtown, PA 18940-8511
Tel: (215) 968-1315 | Fax: (215) 504-1456
www.lsac.org/llm | LLMinfo@LSAC.org
Students enrolled in Southwestern Law School’s program for the LL.M. degree in Entertainment and Media Law must complete the program at Southwestern Law School under the following standard letter-based grading system: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F. Students enrolled in the program will receive a letter grade as warranted by their examination or other performance criteria as prescribed by the supervising professor(s) of each corresponding class.
For the avoidance of doubt, no student enrolled in the program will be graded according to a non-letter scale under any circumstances (e.g., High Honors, Honors, High Pass, Pass, Fail, etc.). Students are advised to contact any jurisdiction in which they wish to take a bar examination to ascertain their eligibility to sit for the examination.
For more information on California Bar Certification see Bar Exam Policy in Section 1 of this handbook. Students enrolled in the LL.M. program must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.330 to earn the LL.M. degree. Any student who fails to maintain a 2.330 GPA in a semester will be placed on academic probation and will be academically disqualified after two consecutive semesters reflecting a GPA lower than 2.330.
Law Degree Requirement
Applicants educated in the United States must have a degree from an ABA-accredited law school. A foreign-educated applicant’s degree(s) must be from a university accredited in the country in which it is located or the applicant must be admitted to practice before the highest court in that country.
It is in the applicant’s best interest to apply as early as possible; however, the application file for Fall admission should be completed no later than June 30, for Spring admission no later than November 15, and for Summer admission no later than April 15. Applications submit after those dates will be considered on an individual basis. Waiting lists will be established early.
Admission to the Bar in the United States
Each state sets its own criteria for qualification for the bar. Students who earn the LL.M. degree or Certificate of Completion may be eligible to take certain state bar examinations. Please be sure to contact the jurisdiction or state in which you wish to take the bar examination to determine their eligibility requirements to sit for the examination. Information about the California State Bar Examination can be found at www.calbar.ca.gov.