Loyola Students Receive Top Writing Honors

Loyola’s Legal Research and Writing curriculum is designed to prime students with the analytical and technical skills they need to craft cogent legal analysis early in their careers.  Experienced faculty, many from the partnership ranks of prominent law firms, emphasize practical training that prepares students for the real world upon graduation.  During the course, required during the first year, students learn how to write objective legal memoranda, persuasive trial briefs, professional emails and client letters. They learn other fundamental lawyering skills along the way. Recently, Loyola students have capitalized on those skills early in their legal careers by entering and winning prominent legal writing competitions.

GRAMMY Foundation Entertainment Law Initiative

In the 15 years that the GRAMMY Foundation’s Entertainment Law Initiative has honored essays written by law students, they have never selected a first-year for this prestigious award.  That is, until Loyola’s own Nicholas Krebs impressed judges with his essay, "Covering Losses: SoundExchange's Role In The Next Generation Of Artists." 

Krebs heard about the competition during a student lunch event on campus. Henry Root from the GRAMMY Foundation and alumnus Mark Roberston ‘09, a previous finalist, led a panel to promote the competition and answer questions.  Though his spare time was already spread thin as a Day Student Bar Association section representative, he felt that this would be a great learning experience for him.  So he entered the contest with a mantra: “I should push myself and try my hardest at things I am passionate about,” he said. “My perseverance really did pay off.” 

His essay offers a way to fund music classes that have been cancelled in public schools because of budget cuts (watch his video).  Krebs cites the California Department of Education statistic that “48 percent of [public] schools have already cut music and art programs.”  As a musician himself, he stresses the positive impact that music classes can have on young people.  “I truly cared for the issue I wrote about because I can appreciate how important having a musical education is,” He said. He devised a practical solution to support future generations of artists.

SoundExchange is a nonprofit organization designated by Congress to regulate the digital media royalty collection and distribution process.  Current legislation only allows unclaimed monies to be distributed on a pro rata basis for the costs associated with locating and registering artists, in addition to distribution to known artists.  In his essay, Krebs proposed that some of this unclaimed money be allocated to private charities that support music programs in public education.  Krebs credits Loyola with providing him the groundwork and groomed his talent for writing. “My legal research and writing professors were extremely helpful,” he said.

Krebs was one of five finalists for the 2013 Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition and attended the annual luncheon for the winners in the Crystal Ballroom at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  There he met some Loyola alumni and one of his idols, Tom Brokaw, who was the keynote speaker at the event.  To top it off, he also scored a ticket to the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast as well as invitations to various other awards-show festivities.

Though his legal career is just beginning, Krebs has already set his sights on becoming a litigator, possibly within the realm of entertainment law.  On his decision to attend Loyola he said, “Loyola's reputation and proximity to the entertainment industry were factors… but Loyola's reputation for producing good trial lawyers was more persuasive.”  He is eager for experience in a firm to make his mark in the legal world. But for now, being honored by the GRAMMY Foundation is a pretty impressive feat too.

State Bar of California Fall 2012 Tax Writing Competition

Two Loyola entrants into the State Bar of California's Fall 2012 Tax Writing Competition also fared well. Evan Chait’s ’13 essay, “Taxing the Intangible: Deciphering State Software Taxation Schemes,” won first place. Lano Williams was awarded the runner-up prize for his essay, “Applying the All Events Test to Terms in Legal Settlements.”