» Entertainment Law Emphasis Program

Become a specialist in entertainment law at Chapman University Fowler School of Law, one of the nation's best schools to prepare you for a career in entertainment law. Students can earn a certificate in entertainment law in Chapman’s Entertainment Law Emphasis Program while working in our innovative Entertainment Law Clinic or securing exciting internships and externships in such disciplines as film, television, and music law.

One of the only programs of its kind in the United States, the Entertainment Law Emphasis Program faculty have broad entertainment industry experience. Students learn the legal aspects of the entertainment business, including intellectual property rights, entertainment contract negotiations, licensing, and more.  

Our Southern California location and proximity to Hollywood provide excellent opportunities for practical training, networking, and post-graduation employment in the entertainment law industry. Our popular Sports and Entertainment Law Society provides even greater networking opportunities, with frequent guest speakers and special programs.

Entertainment law students also have the ability to take courses in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program at Chapman University's acclaimed Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. The MFA curriculum includes classes taught jointly by law and film professors.

Upon completion of the Entertainment Law Emphasis Program, law students will receive a formal certificate and transcript notation.

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Certificate Requirements

Successful completion of the Entertainment Law Emphasis Program requires the law student to

  • Earn a minimum 2.6 overall cumulative GPA
  • Earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA in the certificate courses
  • Complete the two (2) core courses (Entertainment Law & Intellectual Property)
  • Complete at least eight (8) credit hours of approved electives, of which six (6) credit hours may be experiential training (see approved list of courses)

Core Courses

Entertainment Law (3)

This course explores legal issues connected with the development, production, and exploitation of entertainment product, focusing predominantly on filmed entertainment and news media, to some extent on musical compositions and recordings, and incidentally on other forms of entertainment. Topics include life story and personality rights (defamation, invasion of privacy, etc.); celebrity publicity rights; profit participation; collective bargaining agreements and artistic credits; non-copyright protection of ideas; contract formation and duration; ethics and regulation of talent representatives such as agents, lawyers, and managers; and selected copyright and trademark issues. Copyright is not a prerequisite, and this class should not be considered as a replacement for the copyright course.

Intellectual Property (3)

This course surveys the primary types of intellectual property under federal and state law. It emphasizes trademarks, copyrights, and patents while also addressing unfair competition, rights of publicity, trade secrets, and protection of designs. The course analyzes the rights and remedies associated with each type of intellectual property that it covers, as well as the relationships between different types of intellectual property.

Approved Electives

Specialty Courses

  • Advanced Topic: Art Law
  • Sports Law

Clinical and Drafting Courses

  • Entertainment Law Externship
  • Entertainment Law Clinic
  • Entertainment Industry Contracts

Intellectual Property Courses

  • Copyright Law
  • Patents and Trade Secrets
  • Trademarks and Unfair Competition

Related Courses

  • Art and Cultural Property Law
  • Entertainment Business and Legal Affairs
  • First Amendment Law
  • Information Privacy Law
  • Law, Lawyers, and the Legal System in Film
  • Music Business Law

View course descriptions for required prerequisites and other information.

Learning Outcomes

The law school faculty have identified the following learning outcomes as critical to a law degree and to developing the skills needed to become a proficient attorney.

  1. Students who earn the Entertainment Law Emphasis Certificate will know the basic principles of the substantive law applicable to clients engaged in business transactions in the entertainment industry.
  2. Students who earn the Entertainment Law Emphasis Certificate will be able to understand clients’ objectives and recommend practical strategies to achieve those objectives in the entertainment industry.


Faculty members have extensive professional experience, including work with major motion picture distribution companies, analysis of intellectual property rights, management of studio legal departments, and negotiation of music contracts.

Contact Us

For more information about the entertainment law emphasis please contact,

Kathy Heller
Associate Professor of the Practice of Law & Executive Director, Entertainment Law Program 

Phone: (714) 628-2675

Chapman University Entertainment Law Clinic

Entertainment Law Clinic

Gain practical experience in entertainment law by participating in Chapman's Entertainment Law Clinic. Students in the clinic draft contracts for real filmmakers and earn on-screen credit for their work.