It's not every day that a law student gets to see the fruits of her labor on TV but that is exactly how one student at Chapman spent her semester. Christina Ignatius ('09) decided to pursue her interest in entertainment law by doing an internship in the legal department at MTV Networks. "The staff was very welcoming and the attorneys were very humble, especially in light of the fact that they, at one point, held positions at large prestigious law firms". Christina also learned about MTVN's casual culture. "Many of the attorneys wore jeans to work. Even though I never did, it was nice to know I had that option."
In addition to the great work environment, Christina gained invaluable experience by handling a variety of contracts during her internship. "At MTVN, I drafted complex production services agreements and reviewed contracts to determine credit placement and the contracting parties' rights for international distribution," she noted. Christina also documented deal points and monetary amounts given to production companies and talent to evaluate future negotiations. "Because of my experience at MTVN, I improved my drafting skills and became very familiar with the legal terminology and negotiable deal points that are specific to the entertainment industry." Christina also attended several pitch meetings during her internship at MTVN. "My supervisor was amazing. She let me attend meetings that most legal interns do not get to attend. I really enjoyed it because I was able to see how a show is produced from start to finish. I think it is important for attorneys to learn everything they can about their projects. The more aware they are of the circumstances surrounding the contract, the more likely it is for them to meet their client's needs and create a contract that will be upheld in court. Instead of hearing or reading about the process, I was able to observe it with my own eyes and I am very grateful that I got that opportunity."
In addition to her work at MTVN, Christina gained hands-on experience in Professor Kathy Heller's class, Moviemaking & the Law. "I loved her class. We drafted option and collaboration agreements for film students. It is rare to find a class that is so practical. I definitely recommend that students take it."
Christina received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Irvine. She obtained her paralegal certificate and worked at several law firms before attending law school. Christina was an editor for the Chapman Law Review, a member of Chapman's Entertainment & Sports Law Society, and was selected by the Dean of Admissions to be a student ambassador. She was also a member of the Phi Delta Phi honor society.