LAW SCHOOL: Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
STATUS: Rising 3L
UNDERGRADUATE: University of California-Irvine, B.A. Art History; minor, Women’s Studies
HOME CITY/STATE OR COUNTRY: Los Angeles, California
Understanding Brittany Elias means knowing how deeply connected she is to her Argentinean heritage, which she works to fuse with her American upbringing, and how passionate she is about the arts, the result of being raised in a family that encouraged creative thought. (It didn’t hurt that her father was a director for 40 years.) The intertwining of these two strands was manifest in 2009 when Elias, an undergraduate at the University of California-Irvine, established Museum of the Souls (Museo de las Almas) as a business. Five years later, the company still focuses on Hispanic and Latino artists, providing a platform to exhibit and auction their work, and for the up-and-comers, an introduction to the art market.
Elias says the business enabled her to “give back” to her Latino roots and since entering law school it remains her primary connection to the art world. Her duties range from finding and contracting artists for museum affiliation, to seeking sponsors and donors for event space, food and drinks, to curating each event. Museo de las Almas was actually the bridge that led Elias to the world of law as she worked with attorneys while gaining experience in museum marketing and business strategy. “I realized that I could fuse law with my passion for the arts,” she said.
A rising 3L, Elias works for Kramer Holcomb Sheik, LLP (KHS) as a law clerk/summer associate in its entertainment and intellectual property department, and also as the firm’s marketing director.
“Not only am I part of the typical marketing strategy – from website design to issuance of newsletters and marketing materials – but I also join in on the firm’s overall business strategy, taking part in discussions of its short- and long-term goals,” she said. “This part of my work is giving me the business insights to operate a successful entertainment law practice.”
Elias is a partner at The Dotted Line Reporter, a student-run law blog focused exclusively on the entertainment and IP markets, where she is marketing director and business strategist. She also writes about soft IP theory and IP law where it intersects with the film and television markets.
LAWDRAGON CAMPUS: What were key factors you used to choose your law school?
BRITTANY ELIAS: My primary strategy was to pick a school that could cater to my desire to enter the entertainment law market. Loyola Law School offers a diverse entertainment and intellectual property curriculum, with specialty courses in niche fields including but not limited to art law, sports law, and fashion law. I felt that Loyola, in contrast to comparable programs, could give me enough options to test my true area of interest. My overall goal of becoming an entertainment attorney has changed to becoming a purely trademark or copyright attorney. The choice of attending Loyola was incredibly important in making this decision and I have a received a solid education in my area of interest.
LD: What do you wish you’d known about law school before enrolling?
BE: I wish I had received instruction in advance on the value and necessity of social networking. Loyola is a strong advocate of social networking and offers a wide variety of panels and workshops to encourage its students to network. Most notable was my 1L “Orientation II,” which featured various discussions on networking skills and training.
By my 2L year I realized that no matter how strong your academics are, one of the most important skills as an attorney is the ability to network: It opens doors to potential employment, and it serves a vital role in referrals and establishing your name in your particular market. As a 2L, I attended two to three networking events per week, and still commit to this as a weekly obligation. Networking led to job interviews, including with my current firm. It also afforded me opportunities to publish my work on both a local and national level. It has been instrumental to opening doors early in my career.
If I had known this prior to law school, I would have used the entire summer preceding the starting of my 1L year attending networking events in the entertainment market and getting comfortable in the networking environment. It can take a while to adjust to the “game” and practice early on would have been incredibly helpful.
LD: What has been your most memorable law school experience so far?
BE: My acceptance and participation in the Spring 2014 IP Honors Colloquium with Professor Jennifer Rothman. The colloquium gave 12 students the opportunity to engage in intellectual property theory discussion. Five brilliant professors – Rebecca Eisenberg, James Boyle, Jessica Sibley, Mark Rose and Talha Syed – traveled from across the world to Loyola Law School to lecture on a wide range of theory topics. We drafted responses to and critiques of their work-in-progress. The following week, the professors engaged with us in open-ended discussions. The ability to interact with these brilliant minds, paired with my first exposure to IP theory, marked one of the most incredible experiences I have had thus far at the law school.
LD: What do you plan to do with your law degree?
EB: As previously mentioned my focus now is less on entertainment law generally, and more on soft intellectual property law. Specifically, I would like to work in trademark portfolio management. Trademark law has a strong appeal to me, bridging aspects of my artistic background with my business and marketing experience and my general love for IP law.
I would love to work in a position where I interact with brand strategy and maintenance on a daily basis. Although my goal is very specific, for practical purposes, I understand that the start of my career will likely require that I engage in a broader spectrum of work. As such, I expect to perform a large degree of copyright law and business and corporate law – contract drafting, entity formation and so on – as part of working in a firm’s intellectual property or entertainment law department.
Contact Margot Slade at (646) 722-2623 or firstname.lastname@example.org.