Tag Archives | Summer Grants

2021 Summer Grants for UNC Law and Graduate Students Working in Media Law and Policy

summer-job-pictureAre you interested in pursuing a career in media law or policy?  Are you worried that you won’t be able to take that plum summer job in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, or Washington, because it’s just too expensive to live there?  Or perhaps you’ll be working remotely from Chapel Hill (or elsewhere) and the job doesn’t pay very much?

Well, the Center for Media Law and Policy is here to help.  The Center’s summer grants program provides funds to UNC law and graduate students taking unpaid or low-paying jobs in the fields of media law or media policy. In past years, UNC students have received a summer grant to support their work at a wide range of organizations, including the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade CommissionNational Public Radio, Electronic Frontier FoundationFoundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Future of Privacy Forum, Student Press Law Center, Broadway Video GroupScreen Media VenturesAmerican Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, and Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.

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. You can easily find the perfect job for you by using 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 the jobs listed. 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

You must be a UNC law student or graduate student to apply. You will need to download the application form and send it directly to us at medialaw [at] unc.edu along with the other supporting material described below. Please put “Summer Grant Application” in the subject. The deadline for applying for a summer grant is April 23, 2021.

Law students who applied through the law school’s Summer Public Interest Grant Program are also eligible for a Center grant. You do not need to apply to the Center separately. 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.

Applications will be evaluated based on (a) your demonstrated commitment to working in the areas of media law or policy and (b) the quality of your essays (each essay should 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. You will be notified of a decision by the end of April.

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A UNC Student’s Summer Experience at the Future of Privacy Forum

Each summer, the Center for Media Law and Policy provides financial support through its summer grants program to UNC law and graduate students taking unpaid or low-paying jobs in the fields of media law or media policy. The writeup below is from Meredith Richards, a rising third-year law student at the UNC School of Law, who interned at the Future of Privacy Forum last summer and received one of the Center’s grants:

Last summer I had the opportunity to work as an intern for the Future of Privacy Forum in Washington, DC. The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is a think-tank that explores the legal challenges posed by rapid technological innovation and works to develop privacy protections and responsible business practices. FPF conducts research on privacy in a variety of areas, including AI and machine learning, biometrics, facial recognition, connected cars, education, IoT, and location and advertising practices.

As an intern, I worked with the advertising and location-tracking technology policy team to research current business standards and data collection practices, as well as to track and analyze any new emerging legislation concerning data privacy, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act. Because FPF engages with both corporate leaders and legislators, I also helped the policy counsel by developing informational content for these stakeholders on data privacy issues, including a blog post explaining the changes in the National Advertising Institute’s 2020 Code of Conduct and a white paper exploring the multitude of ways in which location data can be tracked and collected.

The policy team at FPF was extremely involved with the summer interns and ensured that we had the opportunity to connect with other privacy professionals in the DC area. My fellow interns and I were often encouraged to attend panels and conferences, including those hosted at the Brookings Institute and the FTC’s PrivacyCon. Because FPF hosts events with industry leaders, I also had the opportunity to meet people from EFF, IAPP, and several prominent privacy law firms in the area. We even had scheduled visits to the Facebook and Google DC offices, as well as joint happy hours with students in privacy programs at other law schools.

Outside of work, living in Washington, DC is exciting and there was an endless list of things to do and see. In my spare time, I visited the Smithsonian, National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, National Mall, and many of the other great sites that our nation’s capital has to offer. The food is also spectacular! Every Thursday at lunch, my fellow interns and I would make the short walk to the best farmer’s market and food truck rodeo located in front of the White House. And I already miss the cupcakes from Baked and Wired and the tapas at Boqueria.

Since the summer, I was invited to continue working with FPF throughout the fall semester. I worked primarily on research regarding federal preemption of state privacy bills, like the CCPA. Overall, this experience not only provided me with in-depth insight into privacy regulation and compliance, but established invaluable connections with privacy professionals, who have inspired me to pursue a career in privacy law. I am so grateful to everyone at FPF for encouraging me and I highly recommend any students who are interested in media law or privacy to apply.

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2020 Summer Grants for UNC Law and Graduate Students Interested in Media Law and Policy

summer-job-pictureAre you interested in pursuing a career in media law or policy?  Are you worried that you won’t be able to take that plum summer job in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, or Washington, because it’s just too expensive to live there.  Well, the Center for Media Law and Policy is here to help.  For the ninth year in a row, the Center will be providing grants to UNC law and graduate students who have a summer job in the field of media law or media policy.

The Center’s summer grants program provides funds to UNC law and graduate students taking unpaid or low-paying jobs in the fields of media law or media policy. In past years, UNC students have received a summer grant to support their work at a wide range of organizations, including the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade CommissionNational Public Radio, Electronic Frontier FoundationFoundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Future of Privacy Forum, Student Press Law Center, Broadway Video GroupScreen Media VenturesAmerican Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, and Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.

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. You can easily find the perfect job for you by using 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 the jobs listed. 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

You must be a UNC law student or graduate student to apply. You will need to download the application form and send it directly to us at medialaw [at] unc.edu along with the other supporting material described below. Please put “Summer Grant Application” in the subject. The deadline for applying for a summer grant is April 24, 2020.

Law students who applied through the law school’s Summer Public Interest Grant Program are also eligible for a Center grant. You do not need to apply to the Center separately. 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.

Applications will be evaluated based on (a) your demonstrated commitment to working in the areas of media law or policy and (b) the quality of your essays (each essay should 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. You will be notified of a decision in April.

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A UNC Student’s Summer Experience at Screen Media Ventures

FCC1Another beneficiary of the Center for Media Law and Policy’s Summer Grants Program last year was Chelsea Pieroni, a second-year law student at the UNC School of Law. Chelsea interned at Screen Media Ventures in New York.  Her reflections on her summer internship are below (you can read the reflections of other summer grant recipients here).

Last summer I had the opportunity to work as a legal intern for Screen Media Ventures. Located in Midtown Manhattan, Screen Media is an independent film distributor, and it had just been acquired by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (remember those books?) right before I joined. Screen Media primarily focuses on distributing independent domestic and international feature films, and is also known for releasing award-winning documentaries and cult-classic horror flicks; in fact, one of its claims to fame is the third blockbuster of the Jeepers Creepers franchise, and in the last month it has acquired the rights to release Terry Gilliam’s highly-anticipated The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (featuring Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce).

During my time at Screen Media, my hands were all over contracts—specifically, I wrote and edited agreements, amendments to contracts, and notices of assignment (alerting screen writers that their film’s distribution rights had shifted to Screen Media). I also participated in meetings with film writers, directors, and their attorneys. A lot of these tasks came down to negotiating and establishing distribution rights and, consequently, Screen Media’s profit. I also helped other Screen Media team members—involved in acquisitions, sales, and marketing—organize their archives by navigating old contracts, determining the expiration date select agreements, and sprucing up their databases.

Working at Screen Media was an amazing opportunity to get a glimpse into the world of in-house practice. Because the office was relatively small, I was able to be involved hands-on on projects, knew what the rest of the team was working on, and pitched in to help other departments whenever I could. As someone who is interested in pursuing the legal side of the arts, it was interesting to witness in-person the nuts and bolts behind the scenes that are needed to release movies to the public. Additionally, my summer at Screen Media gave me valuable transactional experience that would help me guide my future legal job search.

Finally, this was my first time living in New York City, and I absolutely loved it. I fell in love with it all—commuting by subway, grabbing real bagels for lunch, and having the world’s most fascinating entertainment hubs, museums, and landmarks within a few minutes of my office. While what they say about Midtown is true—it’s loud, packed, and rush hour is ‘round the clock—I could not get enough of taking walks to Bryant Park, grabbing dinner on the Lower East Side, and catching art pop-ups in Brooklyn. My 2018 summer was an incredibly formative experience that has made a huge impact on my future career path—in fact, now I am fully committed to sitting for the NY Bar, and will be returning to the city this summer.

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A UNC Student’s Summer Experience at the FCC

FCC1From Morgan Schick, a second-year law student at the UNC School of Law, who interned at the Federal Communications Commission and received one of the Center’s Summer Grants:

Last summer, I interned for the Pricing Policy Division of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C. The FCC regulates communications by telephone, radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. Specifically, the Pricing Policy Division is within the Wireline Competition Bureau, and is responsible for regulating the rates charged by telecommunications carriers to ensure that all Americans have access to robust, affordable broadband and voice services.

This internship provided an excellent opportunity to learn about telecommunications and antitrust policy, while experiencing the administrative process firsthand. I spent much of my time researching and drafting memoranda about the separations of jurisdiction between state and federal pricing regulation. This presented an interesting issue, as regulation at the state level is often impractical due to the interstate nature of these services.

In addition, I reviewed and analyzed industry comments on several Notices of Proposed Rulemaking regarding issues such as Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and Inmate Calling Services, or the telephone rates charged at prisons and jails. This presented a unique antitrust issue, as these facilities face no competition, allowing unchecked carriers to charge exorbitant prices to inmates calling their families.

The FCC has a robust intern program. Last summer, over 60 law students interned throughout the Commission’s various bureaus and the Office of General Counsel. Each week, interns were invited to attend a brown-bag lunch with panel discussions of lawyers from various positions—including Chairman Ajit Pai. The FCC facilitated several networking happy hours throughout the summer, and took us to a Nationals game and a tour of the Capitol. In addition, every intern was assigned a in a mentor to help us navigate the world of communications law.

The individuals I worked with at FCC were incredibly smart, and truly cared about helping interns develop professionally. I made invaluable connections with lawyers throughout the industry last summer, including one which led to my internship this coming summer. In addition, I felt as though the work I did was highly substantive, and prepared me for any sort of career in administrative law. I greatly enjoyed my time at FCC, and highly recommend students interested in media, communications, or antitrust law to apply.

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