Welcome to the UCLA Documentary Film Legal Clinic. Launching in January 2018, the Clinic is a law school program that will provide 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.

The Clinic has limited capacity and will not be able to represent all potential clients who contact us.  We select client projects through an application process.  Prospective clients should submit a Request for Representation form.  Requests will be reviewed promptly and we will contact you as soon as is practicable.

Request for Representation


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

Lights, Camera, Action at UCLA Law for Documentary Film Clinic (The Recorder, November 15, 2017)

UCLA Law Students to Star in New Documentary Film Clinic (UCLA Law News, November 9, 2017)

Course Information: