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Fashion Law Blog An Interactive Discussion on the Business of Fashion

Fashion Law 101: Coming to Southern California?

Posted in Licensing, The Business of Fashion

Happy August everyone.  Since August equals back to school for all us garmentos, I thought it an appropriate time to get school related advice. 

I am in discussions with a top Southern California Law School to teach a Fashion Law class, and if it goes well, to help design a Fashion Tract as a subset of its Entertainment program.

For the first "proof of concept" class, as my fashpreneur like to call it, I am debating how to structure the class and would love your input.  Should Fashion Law 101 be:

  • A survey class that touches on all things you need to know as a fashion lawyer.  In other words we would cover a wide range of topics, but each topic wouldn’t be in-depth; or
  • A class that follows the typical life-span of a fashion brand, that provides hands-on training on how to perform the day to day duties of a fashion lawyer.

My hunch is the first time I teach, it would have to be a bit of both, but in the future, I see the above as Fashion Law 101 and Fashion Law 102.  What do you think?

Also, in either class, what would you want to learn?  If you are a law student, what topics would you want to cover?  If you are a practicing lawyer looking to transition from your area of practice to Fashion Law, what do you wish you learned in school?  If you are a fashion brand, how should your lawyers be trained to better meet you needs?

Looking forward to all your feedback! 

(And keep your fingers crossed)

  • jprince

    I am not in law school…yet. However I do work for a law firm now and plan on applying for law school next fall. I hope that the school I’ve set my sights on offers a similar course such as this!

    Having spent many years in the fashion industry as a creative director, I have found that the in house counsel lacked a true understanding of the nature of the business. The attorneys we worked with typically came from an entertainment background and they were not familiar with basic brand operations.

    Covering the span of a brand’s evolution would be a great way to give the students some exposure to the expectations they may face as a fashion attorney. Incorporating this content within a survey format is probably what would make the most sense if it is a new course the school is offering.

    First time round, it would definitely have to be a combo.

    Good luck with your preparation!

  • Mirona

    Hi Staci
    I would go with the survey course – especially since most entertainment attorneys will not be solely focusing on fashion. Also – regarding the comment above – do you think it’s absolutely necessary to have studied fashion to practice fashion law?

  • Anna DiPerna

    The best route would be to emphasize how fashion brands operate. In law school, there are so many other courses that will teach you the fundamentals needed for the law side of the equation but how many show the fashion side? Not any I’ve heard of. Thus, this is the hole that needs to be filled.

    As to the above commentary, I don’t believe that it is absolutely necessary to have an in-depth knowledge of fashion but I believe it would be a huge benefit. The more you understand your client’s world, the better you will be at meeting their wants and needs.

    Anna (1L law student)