Book Preview: “Careers in IP Law” by Sharra Brockman

“If you get a law degree you can do anything you want.” That is a phrase often heard before, during, and after attending law school. How much valuable information ever follows that sentence? My guess is not much.

Image courtesy of the ABA-IPL.However, Ms. Sharra Brockman aims to bring real answers to that token phrase in her new book, “Careers in IP Law,” published by the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law.

Keeping A Professional Image Online

A recent segment on ‘The Ellen Show’ got me thinking about the importance of your online image. In the clip, you can watch as Ellen DeGeneres surprises members of her audience by showing embarrassing photos they posted on Facebook. Some are mortified, others are strangely proud. Below are a few take away points from Ellen’s mischief.

5 Attorneys on 5 Entertainment Contract Essentials

Image Credit: frank3.0 on FlickrIn the world of entertainment contracts it can be next to impossible to comprehend the legalese without a thorough understanding of the law. Yet, there must be some essential points to an entertainment contract that all creative people should know about, right?

In searching for an answer to the “essential points” question, I decided to poll five prominent entertainment attorneys from across the country and ask them! Here’s what I discovered:


Be on the look out for future updates related to the American Bar Association’s 28th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference because I am now an official Law Student Reporter!  I was informed this week that I was selected to participate in the ABA’s Law Student Action Group’s reporters program. This spring will mark the third anniversary of the program which sends students to Arlington, VA to cover the three-day conference across blogs and social media. The conference kicks off Wednesday, April 3rd and runs through Friday, April 5th.

Legal Blogging for Reputation 101

Have you been thinking about starting a blog, but don’t know how? Or, do you have a blog, but can’t find the time or inspiration to update it?

Image credit: Sue Richards (via Flickr)I highly suggest you check out Ernie Svenson’s new book, Blogging in One Hour for Lawyers. The book was recently released by the American Bar Association (ABA) and offers advice for attorneys looking to blog.  The book provides entire chapters on setting up a blog for attorneys that might not be tech-savvy. At one point, Ernie talks about a blog providing attorneys a way of standing out in a competitive world. The book starts off by encouraging readers to “Google” themselves. Have you done this recently?

Can Fair Use Save Imaginationland in Latest ‘South Park’ Lawsuit?

Another lawsuit against Comedy Central’s hit show South Park could lead to a dead end. The focus of this post is to examine the fair use defense instead of the lack of similarity or likelihood that South Park was specifically referencing Exavier Wardlaw’s The Lollipop Forest.

1: What Exactly Is Going On?

The Lollipop King from South Park.On Tuesday, October 2, 2012, Exavier Wardlaw filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania naming South Park Studios, Trey Parker, and Matt Stone as defendants. Wardlaw alleges copyright infringement by the South Park executives through the use of the “Lollipop King” character in a three-episode story arc entitled Imaginationland. The episodes aired on Comedy Central in October 2007. The complaint lists the airing of the episodes as 2009, which might have been based on re-runs instead of the initial premiere.

Wardlaw created a “dramatic work and music; or choreography” called ‘Navah and Nasim and The Lollipop Forest” in 2005 according to a behind-the-scenes YouTube video and U.S. Copyright Office filing. Wardlaw filmed the work which he then put on YouTube. The copyright in the musical/ play was officially registered on March 7, 2006. You can click here and search “PAu003048246” as the “Registration Number” to see the copyright registration. Imaginationland was registered with the U.S. Copyright office on October 31, 2007, the air date of the final episode in the story arc (See registration PA0001590750).

South Park Studios combined all three episodes to release the feature-length version of ‘Imaginationland’ in 2008 and also won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.

Legal Tech News Sources For Law Students

Finding the time in school to complete the assigned reading and projects is hard enough. That’s why efficiency is critical when it comes to staying informed about the latest developments in your legal field. I’ve put together a list of technology-related legal news sources for the general public as well as attorneys and law students. I’ve attempted to organize the list based upon the weekly commitment it takes to stay updated:

I recommend making a folder on your bookmarks bar for quick access to your favorite news sources.


Essential Law School Apps – Part IV – WestlawNext

This is the fourth part of a series of posts in which I will profile the apps and services I found essential to my first year as a law student. The first semester I restricted use to a laptop. After receiving an iPad 2 for Christmas, the second semester was limited to in-class use of the iPad and free reign while at home.

“Whether you find yourself at a court bench or park bench, WestlawNext can produce results unlike any other legal platform available.”

1: Westlaw Goes ‘Next’

Learning to research effectively. That is one of the many goals all law students will have during their time in school. Effective research techniques will continue to become refined through practice. When new technologies are developed to help the research process, they are certainly welcomed.

WestlawNext is known as the “Google”-like approach to legal research.  This is because the service offers a simple, unified search bar which delivers powerful results, much like Google itself. The searches can be limited to specific jurisdictions, sources, dates, and more. A WestlawNext search is optimized for plain language as well as the classic Boolean operators. Therefore, Westlaw Classic users will feel right at home in the use of Boolean operators, while new students will become familiar with their plain language counterparts. Both are necessary and helpful in researching on WestlawNext.

Belmont College of Law – Training at the New Building

I am excited for the upcoming grand opening of the Randall and Sadie Baskin Center which will be the new home of Belmont University’s College of Law this fall. Last year was spent in a temporary building which we have quickly outgrown. The new building features three stories and a five-story parking garage.

Yesterday, I went to the school for the first time since the dedication of the building to start my training as a library circulation assistant. Below (and after the jump) you can see inside pictures. But, I also tried out a new app called 360 Panorama which will allow you to see a 360° view of the lobby! Click here to see it in full panorama view.

One of the Belmont Law court rooms.


Essential Law School Apps – Part III – Dropbox

Welcome to the third part of a series of posts in which I will profile the apps and services I found essential to my first year as a law student! The first semester I restricted use to a laptop. After receiving an iPad 2 for Christmas, the second semester was limited to in-class use of the iPad and free reign outside of class.

“Backing up your data is one of the most essential steps in using technology today.”

1: What Is Dropbox?

When first telling someone about Dropbox*, I explain that the service is a USB stick or thumb drive that you never have to carry with you. Dropbox and the files you choose to store with the service are easily accessible from any computer or device, provided you have an Internet connection. Dropbox is free at the base level and gives you 2 GB of storage space. I will discuss later how this can be increased.

My Dropbox folder is stored in ‘My Documents.’

I recommend starting with the installation of the Dropbox program on your main computer after creating an account. The installation will automatically create a Dropbox folder wherever you choose. I use a Windows laptop and created my Dropbox folder in “My Documents.”