15 Best Entertainment Law Schools & Sports Law Schools in 2024

November 12, 2023

best entertainment law schools & sports law schools

Careers in the field of law can be diverse. After completing the LSAT and rigorous coursework, there are many directions to choose from. Depending on their interests, some lawyers may break into a specific niche that capitalizes on their unique skillset. For example, you may be interested in contract negotiation, intellectual property law, or media law. Additionally, you may be interested in working with high-profile clients on a larger scale. If this sounds like you, then you may consider sports law schools and entertainment law schools. In this article, we will highlight 15 of the best entertainment law schools. This information will include the location of the school and a brief description of the program and its opportunities. But first, let’s discuss the basic components of this practice.

What are Entertainment Law Schools and Sports Law Schools?

Entertainment law schools prepare graduates to work in and with the media as part of the entertainment industry. Media can include TV, music, film, and publishing, among other specialties. For entertainment lawyers working in film, this can include finalizing and negotiating the talent’s contracts.

Additionally, most lawyers in this field study intellectual property law. This component details the rights of trademarks and copyrights. Entertainment lawyers work to ensure the rights of their clients are safeguarded.

As well, entertainment lawyers may advise their clients on the matters of talent representation and business management. Because of the overlap, it can be helpful for entertainment lawyers to have the basis of a creative education. In addition, a financial and communications background could also prove beneficial.

At sports law schools, graduates focus more on the sports industry, specifically. Sports lawyers account for all matters involving professional athletes, such as Olympians. Similarly, sports lawyers may negotiate contracts for their clients.

Athletes, team owners, and leagues must be in agreement over matters such as salaries and endorsements. This is where a sports lawyer’s expertise may come in handy.

While most entertainment law schools are thought to be located in California, not all of them are based on the West Coast. There are accredited schools elsewhere that can be considered some of the best entertainment law schools.

If studying at entertainment law schools and sports law schools sounds like the right fit for you, then please continue to view our listing.

Best Entertainment Law Schools

1) UCLA School of Law

  • Los Angeles, California

Students at this school will study at the Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology, and Sports Law. First-year students in this program have the opportunity to attend a variety of special opportunities to further their education. For example, students are invited to talks and alumni events to network and connect with representatives from leading enterprises. Companies such as Disney, Netflix, and Lionsgate have previously been in attendance.

In their second year, students have the opportunity to partake in externships with talent agencies, unions, and technology firms in the surrounding LA area.

2) Harvard Law School

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts

While Harvard is located on the East Coast, the institute proves itself to be one of the best entertainment law schools. Students who attend this university will have the opportunity to partake in a series of clinics to further their entertainment and sports law study.

The Sports Law Clinic allows students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with sports franchises and major league sports teams. Students represent individual players, teams or leagues, completing litigation, research, and arbitration.

3) USC Gould School of Law

  • Los Angeles, California

At this university, students have the opportunity to partake in the Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic. For those who have a particular interest in copyright and trademark protection, this clinic may be a great fit. Especially for students who want to influence national copyright policy, this clinic seeks to influence positive change.

Types of projects completed include fair use analysis, drafting license agreements, and advising clients.

4) Loyola Law School

  • Los Angeles, California

To gain practical experience while in school, students at this institution can partake in the Entertainment Law Practicum. During their time at Loyola, students may take positions in the legal departments of entertainment and media industries.

Examples of places students have worked in the past include Marvel, Warner Bros, and Lionsgate. At the conclusion of the practicum, students submit a paper detailing their experience. This could be one of the best entertainment law schools for those looking to make a career in the LA area following graduation.

5) Boston University

  • Boston, Massachusetts

If you are interested in sports law, this may be one of the best entertainment law schools for you. With recent emphasis on the rights of college athletes to profit from their name and likeness, Boston University is committed to helping protect student rights. Additionally, Boston is the home of several large sports franchises, such as the Red Sox and the Celtics. This could also make this location a valuable place to study.

Courses at this university include subjects such as publicity rights, defamation, and copyright infringement.

6) Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law

  • Malibu, California

Interestingly, Pepperdine University has been the host of the Annual National Entertainment Moot Court Competition for nearly 20 years. These competitions allow students to showcase their skills while gaining practical experience. Presentations are evaluated by legal professionals and experts in the industry.

Additionally, students are encouraged to participate in “advocacy programs at national sports and entertainment dispute resolution competitions.” Some recent course offerings include Internet Law, Sports Law, and Patent Law, among others.

7) Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

  • Villanova, Pennsylvania

For those interested in attending sports law schools, students at this university will study at The Jeffery S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law. Since 2012, this center is one of the few in the nation dedicated solely to sports law practice.

The center aims to prepare students to be thoughtful leaders in a rapidly changing industry. Graduates will be confident to handle topical issues in sports news, business, and media.

8) Southwestern Law School

  • Los Angeles, California

This university sponsors a prominent speaker’s series and also publishes the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law. For students looking to utilize study abroad opportunities, this may be one the best entertainment law schools for you.

The university hosts a four-week program where students will study entertainment and media law at The University of London SOAS. During this program, students will hear from guest lecturers and focus on international entertainment, art, and music.

9) Tulane University School of Law

  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • This year marked the sixth annual Entertainment and Sports Law Conference at Tulane University. Furthermore, Tulane’s sports law program provides students with the necessary academic and extracurricular experience to succeed in their field.

For example, students have the opportunity to write for the Sports Law Journal. This journal is the annual legal journal of the Sports Lawyers Association. Additionally, students can join the Sports Law Society for access to career workshops, mentorship, and more.

10) NYU

  • New York, New York

At this university, students can join the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Society. This is a student organization dedicated to promoting the study of intellectual property within the law school community. Additionally, there are four distinct committees: Fashion Law, Tech Law, Entertainment Law, and Patent Law. This may be one of the best entertainment law schools for an interdisciplinary approach.

With the opportunity to hear from panels and to network extensively, this university provides practical experience for student success.

11) University of California – Berkeley

  • Berkeley, California

To enhance their knowledge of the practice, students can either partake in or read the Berkeley Journal of Entertainment & Sports Law. With vital discussions from industry experts, this is a great resource for students interested in learning more about the practice.

A student-run publication, this opportunity also allows for students to develop their leadership as well as their expertise.

12) Columbia Law

  • New York, New York

At Columbia, students can join the Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Society. With the opportunity for professional development and enrichment, students can attend speakers’ series and panel discussions.

Students also have the opportunity to explore the sporting and arts offerings of New York City. For those interested in sports law schools, proximity to major league sports, such as MLB and NBA teams, proves this is an ideal location.

Courses provide practical experience in intellectual property, entertainment, and nonprofit law.

13) Georgetown Law

  • Washington, D.C.

In this program, students have the opportunity to study more in a specialized area of practice. For example, the curriculum allows students to learn more about obtaining intellectual property rights. This means students will learn how to obtain patents and trademarks for their clients.

Additionally, students can specialize in Intellectual Property Litigation. In this line of work, graduates will primarily work as litigators, helping clients defend infringement lawsuits.

Among other areas of study, Georgetown works to help students find their specialized interests.

14) Stanford Law School

  • Stanford, California

At this institution, students can join the Stanford Entertainment and Sports Law Association (SESLA). This organization offers specialized panels, job search support, and other sponsored events.

Additionally, previous speakers for the organization have included entertainment lawyers from well-known entertainment companies, talent agents, and film producers.

15) Yeshiva University Benjamin Cardozo School of Law

  • New York, New York

Students in this program will work at the FAME Center. This center provides access to companies and professionals in the fashion, arts, and media industries. At the FAME Center, the core curriculum includes a focus on intellectual property, trademark, and copyright laws.

During their course of study, students will have the opportunity to partake in externships and clinics to further their practical legal experience. Examples of previous student externships includes partnership with companies such as: Entertainment Forbes, BBC, and the Brooklyn Nets.

An opportunity for students interested in pursuing entertainment law is the Filmmakers Legal Clinic. Students work with filmmakers and video journalists to diversify stories told through media.

Best Entertainment Law Schools and Sports Law Schools – Additional Resources

We hope you enjoyed our article on the best entertainment law schools and sports law schools in the United States. You may also want to check out other relevant blogs including: