What is the Entertainment Law Practicum (ELP)?
ELP takes you behind the scenes of celluloid and digital magic at such media giants as Home Box Office (HBO), MGM-UA Studios, Paramount Pictures, Universal Music Group, Warner Brothers Television and Yahoo.
Students obtain positions in the legal departments of companies in most branches of the entertainment and media industries, from the largest studios to independent production companies, and in law firms with entertainment and media practices. They are permitted to earn credit for a combination of their field placement work and completion of a course component focusing on important aspects of the practice of law in the entertainment and media industry context, and a paper regarding their field placement.
Does ELP or the Field Placement office place students in firms and/or in-house departments at private companies?
No. Students are responsible for identifying, applying to, and securing placements on their own. However, students who have particular areas of interest can discuss their interests with Prof. Barbara Rubin and Prof. Jay Dougherty for recommendations on where to apply.
Students can also set up a meeting with Prof. Grace Parrish, the Director of the Private Field Placement Department to discuss other recommendations on potential placements. Students can also visit the Field Placements Department to view books that the Department maintains on where prior students have externed.
I am an extern and/or law clerk at an entertainment placement, do I have to take ELP?
Yes. All students who extern/clerk at an entertainment placement, whether paid or unpaid, are required to take ELP during the term in which they initially extern/clerk at the entertainment placement. If the student is externing for the placement during the Summer, they are required to take ELP in the Fall or Spring of the next academic school year.
Who is eligible to participate?
Students who have completed the first year of law study, either day or evening [a student must have a minimum of 28 units completed], are eligible if they are in good academic standing (not on probation) with a Loyola GPA of 2.33 or higher.
Transfer students cannot participate in ELP until their second semester at Loyola.
Can I take ELP in the Summer?
No. The Entertainment Law Practicum ("ELP") course I & II is offered only in the Fall and Spring semesters. For students in a private field placement in the Summer, they will be enrolled in the Private Field Placement course concurrently with their field placement. The student will be required to take ELP in the Fall or Spring of the next academic school year to fulfill the requirements of ELP.
How do students identify a private field placement that qualifies for ELP?
Students are responsible for obtaining their own positions that qualify for credit. A chart showing places students have worked previously is available on the ELP website (only accessible from an on-campus server). In addition, as field placement employers notify the director of the ELP of current positions and interviewing, the opportunities are posted to the site, and notification sent to the Entertainment and Sports Law Society (ESLS) and the Entertainment Law Review. A number of notices are posted on Prof. Dougherty's office door (Burns 344), and he and other professors sometimes announce current opportunities in class. Sometimes new notices are also placed in In Brief.
Students can build and use their own networks for potential field placements. The primary requirement is that the field placement must involve a substantial component of legal type work under legal supervision (e.g., will not be primarily a clerical or administrative position).
If the field placement is at an organization that has not previously used LLS externs, then the student should speak with the director of the ELP, currently Prof. Dougherty or Prof. Barbara M. Rubin, prior to accepting the field placement so that s/he may confirm that the position meets the required standards.
Several of the large studios now have paid placement programs each semester, and because they are paid, they do not notify LLS to request applications. Interested students should review the major studios' websites for information regarding those programs.
A student interested in ELP is responsible for identifying the placement and a licensed attorney at the placement who is willing to serve as a supervisor.
For unpaid placements that a student wishes to receive academic credit for, the supervisor must agree to meet all law school requirements to qualify for an unpaid private field placement, including providing assignments and feedback, signing timesheets, assisting the student in identifying field placement goals, and completing an evaluation.
All unpaid private field placements must be vetted and approved by the Program Director for Private Field Placements prior to a student’s enrollment in ELP. Thus, students must adhere to all applicable deadlines in submitting their application for ELP.
Some firms/companies have been “pre-approved,” subject to a site visit to be performed by the Program Director for Private Field Placements, Prof. Grace Parrish. Although a firm/company may be “pre-approved,” students must still apply to ELP and confirm that they meet all program requirements prior to enrollment in the program.
All private field placements must be approved in advance by Professor Grace Parrish. Thus, students should submit their applications for ELP at least 4 weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student seeks to extern. Applications should be submitted online to the Field Placements Department.
How many units do I receive for ELP and how many units can I receive for an unpaid private field placement?
Students enrolled in ELP I or ELP II will receive 1 unit for the course component and an additional 1-3 units for an unpaid field placement. Students must complete a minimum of 52 hours of supervised legal services in their field placement per unit. However, for students taking 1 unit, they must complete a minimum of 104 hours for the 1 unit.
Field placement units will be graded pass/fail. Students should check the JD Handbook for any restrictions on pass/fail units, however, of the 87 units that are needed to graduate, 20 units may be ungraded and 14 units may be field placement units (6 units total for private firms/corporations).
All students participating in the ELP must enroll in a concurrent course. If the student has not yet taken ELP, the student will be required to take ELP in the Fall/Spring semester in which they are externing in an entertainment private field placement. If the student has already taken ELP, they may be enrolled in the Private Field Placement course taught by the Program Director for Private Field Placements during the same term in which they are completing private field placement units.
All ELP externs in unpaid private field placements must also attend a mandatory orientation at the beginning of the semester, whether or not they previously attended the mandatory orientation session in a prior semester at Loyola.
Students may take a maximum of 6 units of private field placement units during their tenure at Loyola, subject to the following limits:
- If you are taking ELP during the Fall or Spring semester, students may choose to do 1, 2, or 3 units of private field placement in addition to the 1 unit they receive from the ELP course.
- ELP students are permitted to enroll in 1 unit of private field placement, however, students must complete a minimum of 104 hours for the 1 unit.
- Please note that units taken during the Summer are not part of a student’s regular tuition. Thus, students should check with the Student Accounts office as to tuition costs per unit during the Summer term.
- Students may not do more than one private field placement during the Fall or Spring semester. During the Summer term, students may do more than one private field placement (subject to approval by Prof. Grace Parrish) provided they do not exceed the 6 unit maximum described above. Students must also receive written confirmation from the firms/companies that the student wishes to extern at approving employment at both and confirming that there is no conflict in working at both placements.
How do I apply for ELP?
A student interested in ELP should begin planning at least one semester before the student intends to participate in the private field placement. The application process is as follows:
- Identify the firm or office for the private field placement and a licensed attorney at that firm or office who will serve as a supervisor.
- Complete the ELP application online, including attaching a resume. As part of the application, students must also identify the firm/company and supervising attorney. Thus, students should not apply until they have secured a placement.
- Submit the completed documents online within the following deadlines:
- At least 4 weeks prior to the beginning of the Fall semester for a Spring semester
- At least 4 weeks prior to the beginning of the Summer term
- Professor Parrish will contact the supervising attorney to confirm the field placement, conduct a site visit, and ensure that the supervising attorney will agree to the Duties of Supervising Attorneys for off-campus field placements.
- If the private field placement is approved, the Field Placement Office will assist you with enrollment and procedures.
When is the deadline to apply for ELP?
All application materials must be submitted online to the Field Placement Department at least 4 weeks in advance of the beginning of the term in which the student seeks to extern.
Can I receive academic credit and receive pay from the employer?
No. Private field placements must be unpaid. While students in paid placements are allowed to enroll in ELP and take the course in conjunction with their paid placement, they will not receive any units for the placement portion of ELP. They will only receive 1 unit for completing the ELP course.
Students in paid placements must still submit the application materials online for ELP and identify the placement that qualifies them to take the ELP course.
Students should check the JD Handbook for the school’s guidelines relating to field placements.
How do I enroll in units?
The Field Placement Department will provide the student with instructions on how to enroll in units for the term. Students will receive instructions on enrolling after submitting the required application materials to the Field Placements Department and gaining approval by Prof. Grace Parrish.
Do I have to attend the mandatory orientation each semester I participate in the ELP program?
Yes. The orientation is part of the mandatory classes that the student must attend during the term in which the extern.
Can I extern at the same firm/company in multiples semesters?
Yes, so long as the student does not exceed the 6-unit maximum for private field placement units.
I am a transfer student, can I participate in the ELP program?
Transfer students cannot participate in the ELP program during the first semester at Loyola. They may participate beginning in their second semester at Loyola.
Does my supervisor have to be licensed in California?
No. However, all students must be supervised by a currently licensed attorney. Paralegals and/or support staff cannot act as supervisors.
Does ELP count towards experiential unit requirements?
Yes. All private field placement units count toward the student’s experiential unit requirements.
Can I get credit for a placement that I did in a prior semester/summer term but was not enrolled in the ELP program?
No. Students must complete all hours during the semester in which they are enrolled in private field placement units. Students must take a concurrent course component during the term in which they extern and thus, students cannot retroactively apply to receive credit for work performed in a semester or summer term in which they were not enrolled in the ELP program.
I signed up for 2 units but completed more than 104 hours, can I increase the number of units I received?
No. Students must select the number of units they wish to receive at the beginning of the semester. Students often complete more hours than the 52-hour/unit minimum, however, they will not retroactively receive additional units at the end of the semester for completing more hours.