Documentary Film Legal Clinic

The UCLA Documentary Film Legal Clinic provides pro bono services to independent documentary filmmakers needing legal help. The Clinic is staffed by second and third year law students, working under the guidance of two experienced media attorneys, including the Clinic's Director, Dale Cohen. Since the Clinic is part of UCLA Law's Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law, the Clinic's student-practitioners will also have the opportunity to draw upon the expertise of UCLA's deep faculty and outstanding alumni.

Student-practitioners will provide a wide variety of legal services to clients, including:

  • Assisting filmmakers in gathering news and content – e.g., public records requests, location agreements, depiction and materials releases and other newsgathering issues;
  • Providing intellectual property counsel and training, including advice regarding fair use, clearance of music, visuals and archival materials, and rights of publicity;
  • Drafting and negotiating a wide variety of contracts, including agreements to secure content, talent and other personnel; and
  • Advising filmmakers regarding defamation, privacy and other First Amendment and liability issues.


Sundance Stars: Documentary Film Legal Clinic Shines in Park City (UCLA Law News, January 29, 2020)

Reel Life: Documentary Film Legal Clinic Produces (UCLA Law News, November 8, 2019)

Law school opens clinic to provide free documentary film law assistance (Daily Bruin, January 31, 2018)

Documentary Film Legal Clinic Spotlighted in L.A. Times Sponsored Content (Los Angeles Times, May 23, 2019)

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