From Los Angeles to London, Entertainment Law Alum Puts Education to Practice for Netflix

Student
Whitney Gore '13 (Photo by Violeta Meyners)

Being an attorney for media giant Netflix is much like studying entertainment law at LMU Loyola Law School, according to Whitney Gore ’13, who’s done both.

Gore has been a Netflix lawyer for over four years. She currently serves as director of legal and business affairs for original series, focusing on scripted series developed or produced in the United Kingdom, where she now resides.

Despite her distance from Los Angeles, Gore remains connected to the LLS community. She recognizes the opportunities afforded her during her time at LLS and is committed to giving back and helping the next generation of students.

As a member of the Juris Society, she leverages Netflix’s matching gift program to multiply her impact. She has also served as a mentor in LLS’s Entertainment Law Fellows program. This summer she officially welcomed the class of 2023 to the LLS family during new student orientation.

Entertainment law practice is more practice than law, as Gore sees it, and she appreciated that Loyola Law School’s offerings underscored a similar perspective. “You can actually draft and negotiate a deal,” she says. “You learn the reason that certain provisions in the contracts may not have anything to do with the law so much as to do with the history of how the entertainment business developed.”

Gore’s favorite class at LLS was Law and Practice with the Hollywood Guilds, taught by Brian Walton, an adjunct professor who was the director of the Writers Guild of America West for many years. In Walton’s class, she learned details about why writers’ contracts guarantee a minimum number of weeks and why actors can only be asked for exclusivity when they’re being paid certain amounts.

“I obtained a very practical education that has been hugely helpful, allowing me to jump in and hit the ground running in entertainment law,” Gore says.

A native of Canada, Gore attended college at Mt. Holyoke in Massachusetts and studied economics and international relations. She spent her junior year abroad, first in China, studying and working on business investments, then later studying in Paris while employed at a local bookstore.

In Paris she connected with Jason Epstein, the prominent New York publisher who was starting a new company to print books on demand. After graduating the following year, she had a short stint at an international affairs NGO in Washington, D.C., then joined Mr. Epstein’s company in New York City.

Keeping tabs on copyright issues for the start-up revived her interest in becoming a lawyer. She chose LLS for its Los Angeles location and its wide array of intellectual property and entertainment law classes. She also liked the campus compared to other law schools in the area. “Loyola felt the most welcoming and accessible,” she says.

Although she initially enrolled in LLS’s Day Program, Gore switched to the school’s top-ranked Evening Program because she needed to work. And she did, first with a small IP and business law firm and then with a talent agency that specialized in representing television writers and directors.

In January 2014 — just a month after being admitted to practice — she became the first lawyer in the brand-new television group at Legendary Entertainment. “I handled all the legal affairs work from soup to nuts, all the development, all of the production above and below the line, copyright and clearances, labor and marketing,” she says.

Netflix hired Gore in 2016. She was promoted from counsel to director in 2019. Gore has handled business and legal affairs for Netflix offerings like “Sex Education” and “After Life” and has been involved in building out the company’s development and production presence in the United Kingdom since 2017.

People in the industry like working with LLS graduates, she says. “Employers want someone they can have a conversation with and who can be a good partner in negotiating a deal. I think the lawyers who come out of Loyola are very well-rounded.”

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