Tag Archives | Students

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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UNC media law student publishes in Communication Law and Policy

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 12.18.42 PMUNC media law student Brooks Fuller recently had an article published in Communication Law and Policy. The article is “The Angry Pamphleteer: True Threats, Political Speech, and Applying Watts v. United States in the Age of Twitter.”

In light of the rise of “caustic” political speech on new media, the article examines modes of analysis that lower courts use when distinguishing political speech from true threats. The article finds that the primary analysis used by lower courts is a criteria-based analysis. It argues that this type of analysis risks unduly restricting political speech when applied to new media such as Twitter.  The article says, in part, “Identifying protected political speech requires careful balancing of the myriad speech interests raised when an individual chooses to vent political frustrations cathartically on a public medium such as Twitter. Careful contextual balancing avoids restricting the analytical focus to rote criteria.”

This is the citation for the article: P. Brooks Fuller, The Angry Pamphleteer: True Threats, Political Speech, and Applying Watts v. United States in the Age of Twitter, 21 Comm. L. & Pol’y 87 (2016).

Brooks is a third year media law PhD student.

Congratulations, Brooks!

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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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First Amendment Day Events

FirstAmendmentDay

Carolina’s seventh-annual First Amendment Day celebration will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. You can view the full schedule of events here. 

Organized by the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy, this year’s festivities will include a banned-book reading by Chancellor Carol Folt; a First Amendment trivia contest; and a keynote address by Danielle Keats Citron, a legal scholar who has written extensively about hate crimes in cyberspace — especially those targeting women. There also will be a panel discussion at which UNC student journalists will discuss their problems covering UNC athletics. Steve Kirschner, the senior associate athletic director for communications at UNC, will be on the panel to respond. At a second panel discussion, students and others will discuss the symbols of the South that have created a firestorm of opinion about their meaning and their impact on students. The panelists will explore the law regarding these controversial Southern symbols and the activism surrounding symbols of the South.

Generous funding for the day’s events is provided by Time Warner Cable.

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UNC media law graduate publishes in Communication Law and Policy

Pic 2UNC media law graduate Kevin Delaney has had an article published in Communication Law and Policy.  The article is “Balancing in Light of the Purposes of Copyright: Whether Video Music Lessons Constitute Copyright Infringement.”

The article addresses the question of whether it is a violation of copyright law for an individual to create and upload to the Internet a video music lesson in which the creator teaches viewers how to play a copyrighted song. The article argues that the defense of fair use should protect creators of video music lessons from liability in a copyright lawsuit, and specifically that video music lessons further the objective of copyright law – to promote learning.  The article says, in part, “Because video music lessons promote copyright’s aim of creating a more informed populace, our copyright laws should encourage – not detract – from the creation of such works.”

This is the citation for the article: Kevin Delaney, Balancing in Light of the Purposes of Copyright: Whether Video Music Lessons Constitute Copyright Infringement, 20 Comm. L. & Pol’y 261 (2015).

Kevin wrote the article for a course in the UNC School of Law called Copyright and the Music Industry in the Fall of 2014.  In May he graduated from UNC’s dual-degree program, earning a master’s in mass communication and a J.D.  He now works for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Congratulations, Kevin!

 

 

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