Future Lawyer Blog

Pro Bono: Entertainment Law Advice Clinic opening at The City Law School

Fancy giving legal advice to musicians? Image Credit:Lawbore

Josh Schuermann (current GDL student) is in the process of establishing a new and exciting Pro Bono opportunity, here’s what he has to say about the project:

Along with City Law School Pro Bono Coordinator Dr.  Dan Wilsher, we are opening a new Free Entertainment Law Advice clinic providing free, practical legal advice to young amateur artists – musicians, filmmakers, illustrators, performers etc – who wish to protect, sell, license their creative works but cannot afford to speak to a solicitor for accurate, reliable and friendly legal advice.

These young artists are often extremely vulnerable to their work being stolen or copied, and often sign contracts which include very strict clauses they do not fully understand.

Contacting a solicitor is too expensive and intimidating for many young artists who therefore often go without sound legal advice in their early careers, which in some cases comes back to haunt them at some point.

Later this year, the clinic will function through one-on-one meetings between a volunteer student and an assigned client with a specific legal issue. The volunteer would then be required to do the necessary legal research, and would be supervised by qualified lawyers before advising the client. We are currently in contact with firms and independent lawyers to get this up and running in the next months.

How can I get involved?

In the meantime we are setting up a website which will also play a key role in the project, as it will provide young artists with articles containing valuable practical information about specific aspects of entertainment law, and a forum on which they can ask questions which will be answered by volunteers.

For this purpose, we are looking for students to write 1000-2000 word articles about a specific aspect of media and entertainment law, to be posted on the website when it goes live. These articles should be aimed at young artists, and should therefore give practical advice, as well as some case law and statue law. The subjects we still need articles for include:

–       Sampling

–       Image rights (on the internet & social media)

–       Copyright – Protecting musical works

–       Creative Commons Licences

–       Performance rights

–       Licensing

–       Publishing rights

–       What to do if someone steals your work

However if you have any relevant experience or particular interest in another aspect of entertainment law and would like to write about it, by all means send in your idea!

This project is the ideal opportunity to use your legal skills in an interesting environment, combining your studies with your artistic interests – whether it be music, film or anything else – and a chance to apply your knowledge of the law to help young aspiring artists. It is also a good opportunity to practice your client relation skills (interviewing, advising…) which are fundamental to any successful lawyer.

If you are interested in taking part, please send a brief teaser on the subject you wish to write about, along with your name and the course you are currently on, to schuermannjosh@gmail.com. I would also be glad to meet up for coffee to answer any questions, or tell you a little more about the project!

I hope to hear from you soon!


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