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Curriculum on the Cutting-Edge

Tuesday, Sep 8, 2015

 

 

Business Planning: Structuring and Financing the New Enterprise

Led by Alan Levine ’71, former President and Chief Operating Officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment, this course examines the legal and business concepts, financial and operational structures, economic models and distribution platforms encountered in the formation, structuring and financing of a new media enterprise.

Entertainment Law in Practice

Led by Corey Field, Of Counsel at Ballard Spahr, this new course uses oral and written exercises to expose students to the diverse transactions and dispute-resolution scenarios that can arise in real world entertainment practice.

Patent Litigation Workshop

Led by Wayne Barsky, partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and National Co-Chairman of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group, this course uses oral and written assignments, culminating in a moot court exercise, to simulate the experience of a junior associate in the patent litigation group at a major national law firm.

Technology Transactions Workshop

Led by Rich Friedman, of counsel at DLA Piper, this course exposes students to the legal and business skills required to represent clients in licensing, financing and acquisition transactions in technology markets, through a series of exercises and simulated work experiences.

Venture Capital Law and Finance

Led by William D'Angelo '97, General Counsel & Managing Director at Forbes Capital Solutions, Inc., this course uses role play, negotiation and other exercises to provide students with the legal and financial knowledge and skills needed to represent entrepreneurs and venture capital investors.

At USC Gould, we stay ahead of market trends, challenging and preparing our students to enter an everchanging legal landscape being disrupted by new technologies and the business models of a digital economy.

To effectively meet these challenges, the Media, Entertainment and Technology (MET) Law Program offers students unique simulation and exercise-based courses taught by seasoned practitioners — experts in the field who typically have 20-plus years of industry experience.
 
“We don’t just teach out of a casebook; we give students hypothetical clients, and they are expected to produce the same caliber of work they would turn in at a law firm,” said Professor Jonathan Barnett, director of the MET Law program.
 
Another distinctive element of USC Gould’s curriculum in this area is a thorough integration of law and business. “Business clients, in the media and technology sectors and other markets, come to lawyers to respond to what is typically a business problem,” said Barnett. “They want to achieve a certain outcome, which means we have to apply the law to meet their objective. This is the way law is practiced in the real world and is therefore the way we teach it here.” 
 
Students have the opportunity to take these courses “a la carte,” or comprehensively by pursuing Certificates in Entertainment Law and Business Law.
 
To gain even more practical experience, students can join the USC Intellectual Property and Technology (IPTL) Clinic, which provides free IP legal assistance to a range of clients, including documentary filmmakers, game developers and small businesses that have limited resources. This fall, former NBCUniversal executive Valerie Barreiro was tapped to lead the clinic and provide a transactional focus.
 
Overall, Barnett said, the program is about “providing students with the building blocks — skills in law and business — so as the market changes, they will have an adaptive skillset.”

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