Summer Job Diaries: Drafting Deals Begets Blockbuster Skills
Arianna Fisher, a rising third-year law student, is spending her summer as a Business and Legal Affairs Summer Associate at Legendary Entertainment, which counts alumnus Marty Willhite as general counsel. As a law student, Fisher has held positions at CBS Television Studios, Universal Pictures and Warner/Chappell Music.
How did you land your summer job?
I landed my summer job by applying through the Legendary Entertainment website. I have been trying to work in as many well-known studios as possible, and I have done a lot of research on which places I would be most interested in working. Legendary was one of them. I was lucky enough to hear back and land an interview, and from that interview, my position!
How did the Career Development Center help you secure the position?
The Career Development Center reviewed my resume before, so that has definitely helped me. However, I did do a little outside digging since my track is different than the traditional law firm search.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
I work at a very young and collaborative company. Compared to past studios where I have worked, Legendary has more of a start-up vibe, in the best way possible. I am constantly looped in on every aspect of a project, from creative to development to pre- and post-production. I interact with all departments and am trusted with a lot of privileged information regarding upcoming projects. Working at a studio, especially in TV, is never boring!
What has been your most challenging assignment thus far?
My most challenging assignment thus far has been learning how to understand the financial arrangements behind many of our contracts and summarizing the specific back-end details for the profit participants in our current series. TV deals include a lot of back-end profit participation, and calculating that value has been both challenging and rewarding.
What new legal skill(s) have you acquired during your summer job?
I have gained a deeper understanding of the TV and digital media industries. This has primarily included insights into how unions and guilds work, what back-end profit participation means is and how it is negotiated, and many of the financial intricacies involved in business affairs. I am not even halfway through my internship and I have learned a ton! I can’t wait to see how many new legal skills I will have acquired when I am finished.
How has your Loyola education helped you make a difference in your placement?
Loyola has a great reputation in LA, especially in the entertainment world, and that has helped me. Some of my coworkers are Loyola Law School alumni, and I think having that connection has helped me feel comfortable. Also, because Loyola allows you to extern and work during the semester, I came in with more knowledge and ability than I think my supervisors expected, and that speaks to Loyola students’ ability to not only be good students, but good working lawyers.
What LLS courses have you found most helpful to your position? Please explain.
By far the most helpful courses for me have been Copyright and Trademark. I am constantly reading over provisions of the Lanham Act and the Copyright Act in the contracts I draft and review, and there are always issues pertaining to these topics. It’s a great feeling to apply what you have learned in class to real life, and I have Professor Justin Hughes to thank for that. I took both of those classes with him; he laid a great foundation in both of those subjects, which has helped me a great deal at work.
In what additional ways has Loyola helped you map your career path?
Loyola has a great focus on entertainment law – with a ton of respected and knowledgeable faculty, diverse course offerings and an amazing reputation amongst entertainment professionals. For all of those reasons, Loyola has helped me map my career path as an entertainment attorney.