Intellectual Property, Sports & Entertainment Law Fellowship Program
The Intellectual Property, Sports & Entertainment Law Fellowship Program provides students interested in these fields a unique set of experiences and opportunities that will enhance each student’s ability to pursue a career in the sports, entertainment, or broader IP field. The fellowship enhances your law school experience without extending your time in law school.
The Program focuses on two critically important, but commonly underappreciated areas – (1) the skills a practicing criminal lawyer needs; and (2) the opportunity to develop the contacts a successful lawyer needs.
First, student IP, Sports & Entertainment Law Fellows develop the essential skills they will need to jump into practice quickly and confidently, having mastered skills that many recent law graduates will not have experienced.. Many law students will study some aspect of intellectual property law. But very few will have access to the skills and insider information about real world practice that this program delivers.
Second, IP, Sports & Entertainment Law Fellows get a head start networking with attorneys already practicing in these areas, meeting future colleagues, mentors, advisors, recommenders, and employers well before they finish law school.
What Is Intellectual Property Law?
While the entertainment and sports fields are well known, it may not be immediately clear why they are grouped in a Fellowship Program with Intellectual Property Law. The reason is that entertainment and sports industries are based largely on intellectual property. From copyright protection for movies, television shows, and books to the trademarked team names that underlie multi-million dollar merchandising businesses—intellectual property law is at the heart of all of it. Of course, the role of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets extends beyond these industries to virtually every aspect of both the corporate world and the entrepreneurial spirit underlying today’s small businesses. As a result, intellectual property can be a new lawyer’s ticket into the most exciting areas of legal practice. And we are listed among the top 50 best law schools in the U.S. for Intellectual Property Law, according to the Spring 2023 issue of PreLaw Magazine.
Our Professors Have Real-World Experience
Thomas Jefferson School of Law professors have a broad range of professional experience across the intellectual property spectrum and related areas of the sports and entertainment industries. To highlight just a few, they have represented famous entertainers and Hall of Fame athletes, litigated trademark cases involving Barbie dolls, and investigated collusion among compact disc technologies owners at the United States Department of Justice. This real-world experience gives our faculty the ability to translate the complex legal theory into understandable, practical knowledge.
Experiential Learning Programs
Students can take advantage of the many opportunities provided by the Intellectual Property, Entertainment & Sports Law Fellowship Program to gain practical experience while in law school. Many have built on that experience and the relationships made in law school to obtain interesting jobs in the entertainment and sports industries as well as more traditional intellectual property law fields. Today’s students benefit from real world practical classes like Introduction to IP Practice and individual classes on patent, copyright, and trademark as well professional, amateur, and international sports. The TJSL faculty created these courses to ensure that our students can learn the practical skills not often taught in law school.
TJSL also operates United States Patent & Trademark Office certified clinics as part of the school’s Small Business Law Center. Students receive their own limited practice number and represent small businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs before the Patent & Trademark Office under the supervision of licensed attorneys dedicated to helping their students learn all the tricks of the trade. Students may also earn law school credit while working at externships in the private and public sectors in San Diego and throughout California.
Professional Networking Opportunities
The law school also runs the annual National Sports Law Negotiation Competition, a fantastic networking opportunity at which schools from all over the country compete in negotiation of topical problems reflecting current issues in the sports and entertainment industries. The school’s Center for Intellectual Property, Entertainment & Sports Law offers a certificate program for students specializing in these areas of law and coordinates events throughout the year that help bring students in contact with local professionals.
Graduates have gone from TJSL to in-house positions at Fortune 500 companies, the United States Patent & Trademark Office, intellectual property associate positions in law firms, NCAA university sports program compliance programs, athlete representation agencies, and advanced degree programs nationwide.
Intellectual Property, Entertainment & Sports Law Faculty
Our intellectual property, entertainment & sports law faculty members have an open-door policy and are willing to provide guidance to any student who wants to pursue a career in intellectual property, sports or entertainment law.