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Los Angeles-Students who graduated last week from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law were among the first at the school to earn law degrees with an area of concentration in entertainment law. UCLA’s law school launched the entertainment program last fall. “The new dean, Dean Michael Schill, felt that with Los Angeles being the center of the entertainment practice, it was desirable that the law school have a form of specialty in that area,” said Kenneth Ziffren, an entertainment lawyer and partner at Los Angeles-based Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie, Stiffelman & Cook. “We sat down over a six-month period and came up with a program we think is unique. We checked out other law schools and found nothing of this nature.” UCLA’s entertainment program comes as more top law schools offer certificates and areas of concentration to enhance their degree programs and attract incoming students, said Carl Monk, executive director of the Association of American Law Schools. “Concentrations and certificates have increased at law schools in recent years,” Monk said. “The law has become more specialized.” UCLA is the highest-ranked law school in Los Angeles, listed at No. 15 among the nation’s top law schools in America’s Best Graduate Schools 2007, published by U.S. News & World Report. About 25 students signed up for the entertainment program in its first year, said David Ginsburg, executive director of the program. Late last fall, UCLA’s law school offered a similar track for its master’s degree in law, or LL.M., program. “The existence of the program, now that it’s formalized, is driving substantial interest in applications,” Ginsburg said. So far, he said, two J.D. students graduated on May 12 with a concentration in entertainment, as will one LL.M. student. The program requires students to take a total of seven courses and write a research paper. The required courses involve a basic background in entertainment law, plus classes taken from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television and Anderson School of Management. Doing deals Jeremy Moehlmann, a 23-year-old law student in his second year at UCLA, said that he entered the law school’s entertainment program because he wants to represent musical artists, independent film-makers or actors in transactional deals. He said that having an area of concentration in entertainment on his r�sum� might emphasize to employers the amount of coursework and internships he has completed in that field. “It tells employers you’re serious about doing entertainment work,” he said. Moehlmann, who has an internship this summer at Donaldson & Hart, an entertainment boutique in West Hollywood, Calif., said that he would like to work full time for one of the local entertainment boutique firms, though he acknowledged that most do not hire students straight out of law school. Ziffren, whose boutique firm represents talent clients in transactional deals, said UCLA’s new program would help large law firms find candidates with an entertainment vocabulary. It also differentiates UCLA from neighboring University of Southern California (USC) Law School, which has a 30-year-old Institute on Entertainment Law and Business, an annual event co-hosted by the Beverly Hills Bar Association. Scott Altman, associate dean of academic affairs at USC’s law school, which was ranked No. 17 in America’s Best Graduate Schools 2007, said that most of the nation’s top law schools have shied away from offering areas of concentration, despite their popularity. “We thought about having certificates and concentrations in the past, and we’ve just decided that what’s important is to have a broad and diverse curriculum and good academic advisement,” Altman said, noting that the law school offers about a dozen courses in entertainment. “Giving them a certificate or concentration doesn’t add much to good course offerings.”

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