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Want to Practice Entertainment Law? These Are the Top Schools

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

Like dreaming about winning the lottery, every starry-eyed law student thinks about being a Hollywood lawyer -- if not for a career, at least for a minute.

The fame, the fortune, the after-parties; it would be fun but it's not going to happen. The reality is, you don't become a celebrity attorney by dumb luck.

You need years in law school and years more in practice, and then some luck. Until then, here are the top law schools for aspiring entertainment attorneys:

Top Law Schools

The Hollywood Reporter ranks the top law schools based on its annual list of "Power Lawyers." It's like the Academy Awards of lawyers, without the red carpet, the celebrities, and the television show.

So without further ado, and absolutely no comedic host, here are the "top five" law schools:

  • UCLA School of Law (1st)
  • Harvard Law School (2nd)
  • USC Gould School of Law (3rd)
  • Columbia Law School (tied for 4th)
  • Georgetown Law (tied for 4th)
  • UC Berkeley School of Law (6th)

Unlike the U.S. News & World Report's rankings, the Hollywood Reporter rankings are not based on the quality of education. Instead, the Reporter looks at the number of alumni from each school. The more graduates, the higher up the rankings.

Then Some Luck

So why is Yale Law School, which is number one by U.S. News, not among the top law schools on the Hollywood A-list? And why are two Southern California law schools -- UCLA and USC -- in the top five and not in the U.S. News top 10?

Proximity alert: it's because Hollywood is in Southern California. Sometimes, it's not what you know but where you are. That and the older adage: it's not what you know but who you know.

That is especially true in Hollywood where everybody is waiting for a break. Top entertainment lawyers know it, and the smart ones learn it early in their careers.

It's not rocket science. Stars are made in many ways, and it helps to understand the process. Plus in Hollywood, it helps to have some luck.

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