Entertainment Gig is Music to Third-Year Student's Ears
Nathan Guze ’20 will be spending his summer as a Business & Legal Affairs intern with the Cutting Edge Group, a leading independent music publisher, financier and services provider for film and TV studios, independent production houses, gaming studios, global brands, online media platforms and advertising agencies.
Q: HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR SUMMER JOB?
A: I landed my job at Cutting Edge Group by applying on Symplicity. After a batch of applications to a few companies and firms, I went to each of their LinkedIn pages to see if I had Loyola or other connections who worked there. Lo and behold, I scored a double-whammy with Cutting Edge Group. My friend and fellow classmate Sam O’Braitis worked there in the spring 2019 semester and was able to both put in a good word for me and give me some great advice. My current supervisor, Timothy Aoki, is also a Loyola graduate who was happy to help me out. Those two people contributed the most in helping me land the internship position.
Q: WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING PART OF YOUR JOB?
A: The most interesting part of the job has to be my exploration of and learning about an area of the entertainment industry that I previously did not know well. My career goals have long been to work in the music industry. Working at Cutting Edge Group allows me to experience the part of the entertainment industry where music and film industries meet, which is perfect for this L.A.-based music lover. It has been interesting to see the process behind the business, as well as the legalities of movie score and soundtrack creation and publication, the lives these creations have after the movie has been released and the financing behind all of it.
Q: WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST CHALLENGING ASSIGNMENT THUS FAR?
A: My most challenging assignments have been learning the ropes and trying to think like a transactional lawyer. The workload can be substantial and detailed, and supervising attorneys generally expect a quick turn-around, so learning how Cutting Edge Group operates as a business has been important.
This is not a law firm, so I am not doing research into published cases and typing up motions. Instead, I am drafting, editing and reviewing composer agreements, license deals, film production agreements, musician interest releases, copyright assignments and more -- each using lingo that I often found myself looking up or asking supervisors about. Getting up-to-speed with what each of these 30-plus-page contracts intend to do, what they actually do and where they fit in in the company’s business has been the most challenging ongoing assignment.
Additionally, I am researching ongoing cases to see what effect they might have on potential business deals, as this can pose huge hidden costs. This position requires thinking about the law in a transactional setting and thinking beyond a litigation mindset. Litigation does not always help business flow smoothly and may, in fact, turn a business into a pariah!
Q: WHAT NEW LEGAL SKILLS HAVE YOU ACQUIRED DURING YOUR SUMMER JOB?
A: My contract drafting and review skills have grown immensely this summer. When you work with contracts all day, every day, this is bound to happen. I have learned what is industry standard language on a variety of issues. Comparing and contrasting Cutting Edge Group’s contracts to other contracts from businesses around the industry has been invaluable in developing these skills. I can’t help but think that this will help me keep in mind what contractual language works best for my own practice after law school.
Q: WHAT LEGAL KNOWLEDGE HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO DISPLAY?
A: I was able to use some knowledge from my Business Associations class most recently. With confidentiality in mind, I was able to help out the company with some corporation formation issues. Even though the entity was already incorporated, this helped answer questions that the entire Business & Legal Affairs department could not answer.
Q: HOW HAS LOYOLA HELPED YOU MAP YOUR CAREER PATH?
A: Having professors who are more than happy to discuss my future and provide some guidance has helped me map my career path. Professor Gary Craig has always been more than happy to help me plan out classes for each semester that keep internships on the table. Professor Jay Daugherty has also provided valuable guidance. After asking me which part of the industry I wanted to work in and about my specific goals within it, his experience in the entertainment industry provided me with relevant internship openings that I applied for.
Professor Barbara Rubin’s guidance has been invaluable, too. I took her Entertainment Law Practicum class, wherein her deep entertainment industry knowledge exposed me to the opportunities of which one can take advantage. She also provided valuable feedback on projects and introduced me to some big industry players in her class. Professor Jeffery Atik has also provided me with help on writing and how to channel my thoughts into effective and clear arguments that led to a published law review paper.
Without these professors, the skills they taught me and the networks they have helped me develop at Loyola, I would not have landed any of my law school internships nor would I have achieved many law school goals. I am positive the help they have given me thus far will also help me with after graduation.