Southwestern Student Explores Entertainment Law in Canada through Academic Exchange Program
Daniel Spitz wants to practice in the entertainment law field and believes that diversifying his education can give him a unique edge to accomplish this goal. That is why he participated in Southwestern's foreign exchange program. He spent the Fall semester studying at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada, where he took four courses in Media Law, Negotiation and Mediation, Corporate Law and Real Estate Law.
"When I initially researched law schools, I wanted to find a program where I could focus on entertainment law," Spitz said. "Southwestern jumped out at me with its incredible range of entertainment electives as well as the ability to go on a semester exchange to Canada. In that sense, Southwestern allowed me to customize my degree towards my future career goal of working in the international entertainment business."
Although he would like to remain in Los Angeles after he graduates, he would like to practice entertainment law that is connected with his native Canada, either assisting a firm or with his own production company Hackzor Media. In particular, he would like to work in areas related to television and new media content. And since a lot of production companies from the United States film in Canada, he can bring his unique perspective as a Canadian national who has been educated in both countries.
At Southwestern, Spitz was able to take Copyright during his first year and partake in an externship at 3 Arts Entertainment, a production and talent management company in Beverly Hills. There, he analyzed TV contracts and wrote up reports on digital rights and new media issues.
As an academic exchange program student, Spitz had the opportunity to meet and study with students from many other countries, including Singapore, France, India, England, Sweden, New Zealand, and Australia. "Learning with people from other countries gives you a unique perspective on the law and has introduced me to an international group of peers who I'll have lifelong friendships with," he said. Spitz will take these experiences from exchange back to Southwestern, where he is currently co-President of the International Students Association.
More importantly, the experience provided Spitz with the opportunity to share some of the knowledge he acquired at Southwestern. "My experience as a 1L led to an invitation to be a guest lecturer at my former business school (The Richard Ivey School of Business) back in October, where I spoke about emerging trends in Hollywood and the process of making a television series," he said.
Spitz spent three years training with The Second City as an ensemble actor and writer, graduating from the organization's conservatory improvisation program in 2010. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, he worked on several productions in Canada, including Dragon's Den (the Canadian version of Shark Tank), the 25th Annual Gemini Awards, and the sports show Off the Record with Michael Landsberg.
"The only thing I've ever truly been in love with is entertainment. I've been writing since I was a kid. The idea of law came later," Spitz explained. "Both Dean Anne Wilson and Professor Steve Krone were incredibly supportive and influential in making the decision to move 2500 miles. Additionally, the externship program allowed me to diversify my education with practical experience in the Entertainment industry, which will help increase my marketability to prospective employers upon graduation."