For Law Students

Join Now

You could be one of the stars of the Grammys

You could be one of the stars of the Grammys

Justin Timberlake (pictured) might not be taking your photo at the Grammy Awards. Or maybe he could if you win this year’s 8th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition, co-sponsored by the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries and the Grammy Foundation with additional support from Westlaw.

The Entertainment Law Initiative promotes discussion and debate about legal issues facing the music industry today and endeavors to support future careers in entertainment law by seeking out the nation’s top law students and giving them invaluable networking and educational opportunities.

To enter the competition, write a 3,000-word paper on a compelling legal topic facing the music industry. Get it in by the Jan. 6, 2016 deadline.

Winners of the contest get a ticket to the Grammys show on Feb. 15 — as well as round-trip airfare and their hotel stay — plus a ticket to the One MusiCares® Person of the Year event. The winning students will present their essays at a luncheon on Feb. 12. First place comes with $5,000, and four second-place winners will receive $1,500.

Winners will be announced Jan. 27.

Previous winning topics have been:

  • One Album Warrants One Award: Harmonizing The Copyright Act’s Statutory Damages Schema with the Unbundled Recorded Music Industry
  • A Copyright Guide to the Remix App Market: A Balancing Act Between Profits and Promotion
  • Introducing the RightsCoin: Using Block Chains to Track Copyright Ownership
  • Section 114(I) of the Copyright Act: What Its Unhappy History Tells us About the Digital Royalty Pie
  • iHeartGeo-Fencing?: The Section 114 Exemption that Could Help Create the Universal Sound Recording Public Performance Right

For additional information or to set up a writing competition workshop at your school, contact…. To have a listing of the competition rules emailed to you, send an email to

More news from the forum

Holy gavels, Batman! The 9th Circuit decided in September that the Batmobile, a concept car with from the Dark Knight’s universe, was a distinctive character subject to copyright, notwithstanding its inconsistent appearance in the various media at different times. The circuit courts of appeals have examined characters and entertainment props as copyrightable with varying results, invoking concerns about design patents and trademark distinctions.

The Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries is hosting a webinar on Dec. 16 called “Holy Copyright Law! The Batmobile Case and Licensing Fictional Characters, Derivatives and Products.” Panelists will weigh in on the future of copyright law and merchandising of fictional figures  — and how wide-ranging the law will be applied in the future.

ABA Law Student Division The Law Student Division empowers law student by providing them with meaningful connections to practicing professionals, job resources, relevant programming, and practical skills competitions. We represent the law student community by advocating for policies that improve legal education, champion diversity, and strengthen public service.