headshot photo of Kathy Heller

Kathy Heller

Associate Professor, Of the Practice of Law
Executive Director, Entertainment Law Program
Dale E. Fowler School of Law
Expertise: Entertainment Law; Movie Industry; Filmmakers and Law; Copyright; Intellectual Property
Office Location: Kennedy Hall 416
Phone: (714) 628-2675
Scholarly Works:
SSRN Author Page
University of Wisconsin - Madison, Bachelor of Science
University of Wisconsin - Madison, Juris Doctor


Kathy Z. Heller earned her undergraduate degree in education and her Juris Doctor degree at the University of Wisconsin. She began her legal career as Assistant Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Criminal Justice where her responsibilities included hearings and legislation on revisions to Title 18 of the U.S. Code (Crimes and Criminal Procedure), the U.S. Sentencing Commission, Pretrial Services and the federal death penalty. She then moved across Capitol Hill to serve as Counsel to the full Senate Judiciary Committee and Counsel to the subcommittees with jurisdiction over immigration, criminal justice, security and terrorism, and intellectual property. She then went to London, England and served as Assistant General Counsel at United International Pictures, the foreign distribution company for MGM, United Artists, Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios, where her work included copyright, corporate, and employment law as well as negotiation and drafting of motion picture acquisition and distribution agreements. Upon her return to the United States, she was Vice President and Special Counsel for Congressional Relations at the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., where she coordinated the formulation of policy and lobbying for the major U.S. motion picture studios. Since 1993 she has been in private practice representing corporations that provide products and services related to the entertainment industry, and corporations and individuals engaged in domestic and international media production and distribution. From January 2006 until joining the law school faculty in August 2007, she was the Director of the Media and Public Interest Institute at Chapman University's Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. She is a member of Women in Film and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts/Los Angeles.

List of Scholarly Publications

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

"Upper Level Courses: Three Exemplars" in Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law, University of Tennessee College of Law 2011
Emory University School of Law, Center for Transactional Law and Practice, June 2010 "Transactional Education, What's Next?"
"Deciding who cashes in on the Deceased Celebrity Business" Chapman Law Review, Spring, 2008