In March, eight Santa Clara Law students spent part of their spring break in Los Angeles for the 5th annual Santa Clara Law Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS) Spring Break Caravan. “The goal of the trip is to help build relationships between students and alumni as well as showcase the many routes that a student can take to end up working in the Entertainment Industry,” said Mide Oladipupo, one of the vice presidents of entertainment for SELS at Santa Clara Law. During the trip, Oladipupo explained, students met with alumni and others working in the field and learned about legal career options in sports and entertainment as well as the job search process. Alumni hosts also shared their law school experience and their post-law school journey.
Nicole Nakagawa JD ’04, deputy general counsel at SAG-AFTRA, was one of the alumni hosts this year. During their visit, Nakagawa explained what SAG-AFTRA is, what their legal department does, and her journey from school to where she is today. “We learned about the many amazing projects the attorneys at SAG-AFTRA get to touch, even though their primary focus is employment law,” said Oladipupo.
The group had the opportunity to meet solo practitioner Jeremy Evans, founder and managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer. Evans, who is not an SCU alumnus, represents a wide range of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to athletes, entertainers, models, television and film producers, studios, entertainment, media, and sports businesses in contractual, intellectual property, formation, distribution, negotiation, and deal-making matters. “He shared a lot of valuable knowledge about breaking into the industry,” said Oladipupo. “He offered up a ton of advice about branding, going to into solo practice, and making the most of networking.”
Students also traveled to RYOT Studios in Playa Del Rey located on the Yahoo! Campus and had a Q&A session with Ben Procter JD ’08 and Everett Hendler at RYOT Studios, Verizon Media’s in-house creative studio. The students also got a behind-the-scenes tour of the studio, met some of the production team, and saw some samples of the content the studio has created.
The highlight of the trip was a peek into agency life at one of the world’s most influential talent agencies, Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Students had the opportunity to meet with three alumni during their CAA visit: David Taghioff JD ’98, a corporate development executive and co-head of the global client strategy department; Spencer Noh JD ’16, an executive in the TV business affairs department; and Charmaine Yuen BA ’18, who works in the mailroom/floater program.
“It was a great conversation during which we got to hear about all of the things David, Spenser, and Charmaine, do—day in and day out—while also getting an overview of each of their journeys to CAA,” said Oladipupo. “Spencer attended this Spring Break Caravan and met David in spring 2016. One of the main takeaways for the students was this: to get into most agencies you have to be willing to start at the bottom and work your way up, regardless of what degree you hold. All three speakers started in the mailroom at one point or another.”