Tag Archives | Students

UNC Law Student Named Finalist in Games Industry Legal Challenge

RileyKathleen Riley, a second-year law student at the UNC School of Law, has been named as one of five finalists in the 2017 Games Industry Law Summit’s Legal Challenge. The international competition, which is based on an actual dispute involving gaming law,  is open to law students and practicing lawyers from all over the world.  Submissions were reviewed by a 6 member jury made up of some of the top gaming lawyers from the United States and European Union. Kathleen was the only finalist from the U.S. and received an invitation to attend the 2017 summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where the winners will be announced on April 27, 2017 (1st place will receive a prize of €1,000 and 2nd place will receive €500).

Last year, the Games Industry Law Summit drew over 100 professionals from gaming companies and law firms representing 25 countries, including: US, Brazil, UK, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Spain, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus, Malta, and Luxembourg.

Congratulations, Kathleen, and good luck tomorrow!

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In addition to preparing for her trip to Lithuania, Kathleen was gracious enough to pass along the following information that might be of interest to other students interested in video game law:

IGDAF Women in Games Ambassador Program

Late Dec/early Jan application deadline, the Game Development Conference (GDC) takes place in late Feb/early Mar.  Successful applicants receive a scholarship including an all access pass to the GDC in San Francisco and a stipend for travel. While GDC is mostly tailored to game developers, there are many great legal talks, and lots of opportunities to network with lawyers in the industry. The IGDAF is looking to expand participation in the Ambassador program to business and legal students/professionals.

IGDA Scholars Program

This program is closely related to the Women in Games Ambassador program, but is not limited to women. 

Video Game Bar Association Scholarship Program

This is another writing competition, but instead of being practice-based, competitors submit a paper on a current legal topic related to the video game industry.  The winner receives a $2,500 stipend as well as round-trip airfare, accommodations, and admission to attend the Video Game Bar Association‘s Annual Video Game Law Summit in Los Angeles. The winning submission is also published in the Summit materials book. 

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UNC Media Law Students to Present Research in Minneapolis

2016-AEJMC-Conference-LogoFour UNC School of Media and Journalism graduate students will present media law research papers at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC) national convention in Minneapolis Aug. 4-7.  One of those students – Lindsie Trego – won a prize for writing the third best student paper in the Law and Policy Division.

Congratulations, everyone!

The papers went through a process of blind review, with students and faculty competing in the same category.  These are the authors’ names, paper titles, and abstracts:

Chanda Marlowe, “Student Data in Danger: What Happens When School Districts Rely on the Cloud” (Chanda is a J.D./M.A. dual degree student in the UNC School of Media and Journalism and the School of Law.)

According to Fordham Law School’s Center on Law and Information Policy’s report “Privacy and Cloud Computing in Public Schools,” 95% of public school districts rely on cloud services for a diverse range of functions. The use of cloud services raises serious privacy concerns. For example, in March of 2014, Google admitted to scanning students’ emails and gathering data that were used to target ads to those students. Under the threat of lawsuits, Google promised to stop; however, in December 2015, Google was accused of collecting and using student data for non-education purposes again, this time in violation of the Student Privacy Pledge that it signed January 2015. Yet, schools continue to contract with private sector corporations to obtain cloud services, leaving parents to wonder what information is collected on their children, how that information is being used, and how, if at all, that information is being protected. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the major privacy problems that school districts face when they rely on cloud services offered by private corporations, to analyze how FERPA and state privacy laws are addressing these problems, and to offer possible solutions that go beyond FERPA and state privacy laws. This topic is important because legislation must strike the right balance between protecting students’ personal information and meeting the technological needs of schools.

Lindsie Trego, “Indirect Censorship of Collegiate Media: Exploring Administrative Removal of Collegiate Media Advisers as First Amendment Retaliation Against Student Journalists” (Lindsie is a J.D./M.A. dual degree student in the UNC School of Media and Journalism and the School of Law.  This is Lindsie’s prize-winning paper.)

Cases of indirect administrative censorship of collegiate media—in which students are indirectly punished for press activity—have recently made news headlines. In many of these cases, college media faculty advisers have been administratively removed from their positions in response to disputes between student editors and administrators. These cases call into question whether student journalists can successfully seek legal redress for indirect acts against their First Amendment rights, including removal of their advisers. Specifically, some have questioned whether removal of college media advisers injures student journalists—a necessary element of proving a First Amendment claim. This paper examines the analyses courts have used in past cases to determine what administrative actions injure students and applies these analyses to determine whether removal of college media advisers constitutes injury to student journalists in the context of First Amendment litigation.

Lindsie Trego & Chris Etheridge, “Power & Print: Content Influences in College Media” (Lindsie is a J.D./M.A. dual degree student in the UNC School of Media and Journalism and the School of Law.  Chris is a Ph.D. student in the School of Media and Journalism.)

Issues of censorship in higher education have lately been common in the news, however it is unclear to what degree college newspapers experience external influences. This study examines censorship in collegiate media through in-depth interviews with student newspaper editors and advisers. Specifically, this study explores what recalled practices by external actors lead editors and advisers to perceive content pressures or lack thereof, as well as how editors and advisers respond to these pressures.  

Ray Whitehouse, “An Examination of Ag-Gag and Data Trespass Statutes” (Ray is a 2016 master’s graduate of the UNC School of Media and Journalism.)

Since 1990, nine states have passed legislation that aims to limit undercover investigations of agricultural operations. These “ag-gag” laws attempt to limit investigations in three ways: by criminalizing recording and reporting on operations, criminalizing deceptive entry into operations, and by mandating that anyone recording abuse report it within a short time period. In 2015, two major events related to ag-gag laws took place. First, a federal judge ruled that Idaho’s ag-gag law was unconstitutional. This case decision, the first examining ag-gag laws, cast doubt on the constitutionality of other state ag-gag laws. Second, Wyoming passed a “data trespass” law that criminalized collecting information on “open land” with the intent to give that information to government agencies. Agricultural activists filed suit, claiming that it was an unconstitutional ag-gag law aimed at stopping citizen activists from reporting Clean Water Act violations by ranchers who lease public land from the state. Lawmakers disagreed, arguing that the bill simply strengthened existing trespass laws. This paper compares Wyoming’s data trespass law with all existing ag-gag laws and Idaho’s recently overturned law to examine its constitutionality. This examination is important because it incorporates recent legal outcomes that before now have not been incorporated into analysis of ag-gag laws. It suggests that because both the Idaho and Wyoming laws are similar in their construction and the legal questions in their respective cases are similar, the Idaho decision is very applicable to Wyoming’s data trespass law and casts serious doubts upon the constitutionality of Wyoming’s data trespass statute.

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Media law student selected to attend “Free Speech on Campus” conference

UChanda MarloweNC media law student Chanda Marlowe has been selected to attend a one-day conference on “Free Speech on Campus” in Washington, D.C., on April 2, 2016. Forty students were selected. The conference, sponsored by the Newseum Institute and the Knight Foundation, will provide an opportunity for students to discuss the challenges to free expression on college campuses related to conversations about race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual identity.

Chanda is in her third-year of UNC’s dual-degree program, working toward degrees in both law and mass communication. Her primary research interest is the free speech and privacy rights of students.

The goal of the conference is to gather a diverse group of students to explore free expression issues in a meeting consistent with the First Amendment’s provision for a “marketplace of ideas” within society. It’s the first step in a joint initiative exploring contemporary free expression issues on college campuses.

Later this year, the Newseum will host a “Free Expression Fair” in Washington, D.C., where students will demonstrate projects that promote free expression on campus. The Newseum and Knight Foundation ultimately plan to support students in developing an interactive guide to free speech on campus. College students who are interested in free expression issues on campus should be on the lookout for more opportunities to participate in the Newseum’s upcoming events this year.

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Public Interest Summer Grants for UNC Law and Graduate Students

summer-job-pictureEach year, the UNC School of Law provides grants to law students taking unpaid or low-paying summer public interest jobs. Funding for these grants comes from several sources, including the Carolina Public Interest Law Organization (CPILO), private funds given by generous donors, law school funds allocated by the Dean, and student organizations that fundraise to support students working in a particular area of interest.  In 2015, the grant program awarded more than $300,000 to 105 students. 

For the fifth year in a row, the Center for Media Law and Policy is contributing funds to assist students (both UNC law and graduate students) who have a summer job in the field of media law or media policy.  Wait, you don’t have a summer job yet?  Head over to our media law and policy Jobs Center, where you will find dozens of summer and post-graduate employment opportunities.  Still not sure what you want to do for the summer?  You can read about the summer experiences of your fellow students on the Center’s blog.

Requirements and Information on How to Apply for a Summer Grant

For UNC law students interested in both a Center grant and law school grant, the deadline for applying is March 13, 2016.  The application process and general requirements for these funds is the same as for the law school’s Summer Public Interest Grant.  Simply check the box on the general application for “Media Law or Policy” under the heading “Substantive Areas Your Summer Employment Will Involve” and you will be automatically considered for Center funds in addition to the law school grant.  If you have already filled out an application, just log back in and check the box for “Media Law or Policy”; you can make changes to your application until the application deadline.

For UNC graduate students and law students who are not eligible for law school funds, the deadline for applying for a summer grant is March 20, 2016.  Please download the application form and send it directly to us at medialaw [at] unc.edu along with the other supporting material described below.  You will be notified of a decision in early April.

You must have a job offer from one of the following types of organizations to be eligible for law school funds: a nonprofit organization (an organization that is described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Code), a legal aid office, a state or federal government agency, a public defender office, or a district attorney office. If are a UNC graduate student or law student who is not eligible for law school funds, your employer does not need to meet the requirements described directly above.

Applications will be evaluated based on (a) your demonstrated commitment to public service and to working in the areas of media law or policy and (b) the quality of your essays (each essay must not be more than 500 words).

Required documents include:

  1. Resume (without grade information)
  2. Offer letter from your employer
  3. Essays (no more than 500 words each) *

* Essay questions:

  • Essay #1: Describe your work responsibilities and how they relate to media law or media policy.
  • Essay #2: Describe your commitment to public service. How have your past interests and work experiences contributed to your proposed summer internship responsibilities?
  • Essay #3: How do you see this summer work experience contributing to your long-term career goals?

Be sure to check out these Tips for Writing a Strong Grant Application.

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Make the Most of Your Winter Break

jobsWhether you are seeking a summer internship or post-graduate employment, the winter break provides a great opportunity for you to further your job search.  If you are interested in media law, the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy’s Job Center is the place to start. 

It’s easy to use. You can browse by job type or category, or use our advanced search feature to search by location, keyword, or practice area.  Also, try browsing by job type or category for a more expansive look at what jobs are available.  Just like that, opportunities for internships, fellowships, and academic teaching positions (in Journalism and Law) are at your fingertips.

It offers a wide variety of job opportunities.  There are job opportunities from almost every field even remotely under the media law and policy umbrella, including IP, Copyright, Photo Journalism, Broadcast, FTC listings, Cyberlaw, Trademark.  Here are just 3 of the 14 internship opportunities available in different bureaus and offices within the FCC that were recently posted on our Job Center:

  • Office of Legislative Affairs Internship: The OLA is the FCC’s liaison to Congress. OLA provides lawmakers with information regarding FCC regulatory decisions, answers to policy questions, and assistance with constituent concerns. The Office also prepares FCC witnesses for Congressional hearings, and helps create FCC responses to legislative proposals and Congressional inquiries. Candidates should have a strong academic record, an interest in communications law, and a desire to explore public service. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
  • Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis Internship: OSP advises the Chairman, Commissioners, Bureaus, and Offices on the agency’s plans and policies. OSP also provides research, advice, and analysis of advanced, novel, and non-traditional communications issues. Applicants should have good written and oral communications skills, some relevant academic training, and a strong interest in communications or media policy. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. (Ideally, applications should be submitted 1-5 months prior to desired start date.)
  • Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Internship:  The Wireless Bureau is responsible for facilitating the rapid and widespread deployment of wireless broadband services, ensuring an effective and interoperable communications environment supporting homeland security and public safety first responders, fostering a forward-looking and cohesive focus concerning spectrum policy and competition, and promoting efficient and transparent access to spectrum including the transition to innovative uses. Most candidates are law students, but WTB may consider other disciplines related to its mission. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. (For maximum consideration, apply for a summer internship position by March 31, 2016.)

(Click here to read about a UNC student’s summer experience at the FCC.) 

Most importantly, we bring our network to you.  The UNC Center for Media Law and Policy has built up a large (and growing) network of media law and policy minded folks over the years, and they are often looking for people just like you. From the multidisciplinary project Privacy Tools For Sharing Research Data at Harvard (for undergraduates, law students, graduate students, postdocs, and visiting scholars) to a tenure-track faculty position in media law at the University of Minnesota our network of contacts are constantly making us aware of openings and opportunities in the field of media law and policy. Our Job Center database brings that network to you.  For free.  Just like that.

Remember our Job Center is available year-round. We encourage you to take advantage of this great resource. Have a happy and productive winter break, from the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy! 

Chanda Marlowe is a 3L at the University of North Carolina School of Law.

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