Olivia Barnes

Summer Job Diaries: Rising 3E Olivia Barnes Works on Publishing, Licensing, and Copyright for Biggest Names in Music

JD Evening student Olivia Barnes ’26 is no stranger to the entertainment industry, with over six years of experience at Warner Music Group under her belt. But her summer internship in Universal Music Publishing Group’s business & legal affairs department is showing her a whole new side of the industry.

How did you land your summer job?

One of my colleagues that I used to work with accepted a position at Universal Music Group and told me about the internship program at UMPG. I applied and entered the pool of over 20,000 applicants for one of the 200 spots.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

The most interesting part of my job this summer is the music and the creative individuals I get to be around and learn from. I am working for some of my favorite artists and songwriters by reviewing their publishing and brand licensing deals as Universal Music Publishing owns their copyrights. Some of these artists include Billie Eilish, Sabrina Carpenter, H.E.R., Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Arianna Grande, Taylor Swift, and more.

What has been your most challenging assignment thus far?

It’s still a bit early on, but the most challenging assignment I’ve received to date would be having to research copyright and right of publicity laws to aid the team in a potential infringement suit for one of their copyrighted works. The task required that I research the past and current copyright law changes in the digital space and recognize the potential risks associated with advancing certain arguments.

What new legal skill have you acquired during your summer job?

 Increasing my legal research and writing skills by drafting synchronization licensing and songwriter renegotiation deals and considering all the different political, legal, and moral considerations unique to each deal.

What bit of legal knowledge have you been able to display?

I was able to showcase some of my legal researching and basic copyright knowledge when strategizing with the team on a potential legal claim.

How has Loyola helped you map your career path?

Loyola has helped expand my interests by providing an extensive network of impressive individuals and professors. Although I have not taken any entertainment law concentration requirements yet, I have still been immersed in the entertainment industry by joining various organizations around campus and connecting with various Loyola alumni and professionals working in the entertainment and intellectual property fields. As a first-generation law student, the conversations, industry panels, and mentorship opportunities I’ve received because of Loyola Law School has been invaluable as I have been able to learn about the current legal landscape and from those sitting in the same legal positions I strive to reach.