Entertainment Law Thrives at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles


Adjunct Professor Lee Straus '96, NBC Network Entertainment executive vice president, recently took his students to the set of "The Voice."

In just one recent lunch hour, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles students had the opportunity to glean advice and chat with alumni in top business & legal affairs positions at the syndication arm of 20th Century Fox Television, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and NBC Network Entertainment. In fact, Loyola alumni occupy so many top Hollywood legal positions that Variety named the Loyola Law School among the top 10 law schools in the country in its 2018 Legal Impact Report.

Entertainment law is an increasingly important part of Loyola’s curriculum. Lawyers and executives from top studios, law firms and Hollywood unions regularly visit campus to meet with students and professors about emerging issues in their practice areas. Loyola’s IP Speaker Series draws preeminent scholars in the field. In addition, Loyola hosts prominent industry events such as TechTainment, a recurring look at the impact of innovation on entertainment held with the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association.

Entertainment law is increasingly a focus of Loyola’s story arc thanks to a range of new and ongoing initiatives:

Entertainment Fellowship Program Creates Pipeline of Future Lawyers

The Entertainment Fellowship Program is a unique partnership program between Loyola and top Hollywood studios and law firms designed to create a pipeline of highly qualified, ready-to-perform lawyers through unique training, mentorship and networking opportunities. Selected students are paired with an industry mentor at the start of their first academic year. Entertainment Fellows are guaranteed a position in legal or business affairs during their tenure at Loyola and ongoing engagement with their industry mentor.

Professors Bring Real-World Studio Experience to Classroom

Marty Willhite, the former chief operating officer and general counsel of Legendary Entertainment, recently joined Loyola as the Practice Professor of Media, Entertainment and Technology. Already an LLS adjunct professor of Mergers & Acquisitions, Willhite will draw on his vast Hollywood experience to create connections and opportunities to enhance the education of Loyola’s entertainment law students. Willhite, who helped helm Legendary during its run of hits including the “Hangover” and “Dark Knight” series, is now vice-chairman of Tulco, LLC, an operating company focused on creating value through technological innovation.

Willhite joins a roster of seasoned entertainment law professors. They include Professor Jay Dougherty, who served in top posts at 20th Century Fox, Turner Broadcasting System and other major studios. Glaser Weil LLP Entertainment Department Head Barbara Rubin, named to Variety’s Legal Impact Report, helps guide Loyola Entertainment Law Practicum, which places students in entertainment law externships. Meanwhile, Professor Jennifer Rothman is a sought-after consultant on issues related to right of publicity in celebrity cases such as the recent lawsuit by actress Olivia de Havilland challenging her portrayal in the FX series, “Feud.”

Students Specialize with Entertainment & Media Law Areas of Focus

Loyola Law School offers students the ability to focus on entertainment law in its JD, MLS and LLM programs. JD students may select from two Entertainment & New Media Law tracks: Advocacy and Transactional. Participating students have access to customized guidance and exclusive experiential opportunities. Additionally, students of all three degree programs are able to select from Loyola’s vast array of entertainment law offerings, including Digital Media & the Law, Law & Practice with the Hollywood Guilds, Law of Video Games & Online Virtual Worlds and Reality TV & New Media Production & Distribution.

Loyola Alumni Make Their Mark on Hollywood

Loyola’s alumni base of 17,000+ includes many in the upper echelons of Hollywood studios and their supporting law firms, including those named to Variety’s prestigious Legal Impact Report. Loyola alumni are so well-represented on the list that the Law School was ranked among Variety's list of "The Top Ten" law schools nationally. Loyola alumni on the list include:

  • Angela Agrusa '87, DLA Piper
  • Tom Ara '99, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Leslie Cao '11, STX Entertainment
  • Tyler Chou '06, Skydance Media
  • Shaun Clark '96, Sheppard Mullin LLP
  • Gregg Gellman '95, Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman
  • Joshua Grode '91, Legendary Entertainment
  • Robert Haymer '87, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Joseph Mannis '71, Hersh Mannis LLP
  • Pauline Micelli '93, MRC Studios
  • Daniel Rozansky '92, Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
  • Barbara Rubin '78, Glaser Weil LLP
  • Joseph Scudiero '84, Entertainment Partners
  • Julie Shapiro '89
  • Amy Siegel '05, O'Melveny & Myers LLP
  • Richard Stone '83, Jenner & Block LLP
  • Russell Weiss '94, Sidley Austin LLP

Read more about how Loyola alumni retain strong presences in the worlds of music and sports law.

Want to make a difference in the world of entertainment? Register for a campus visit and find out more.