Careers in New Media and Internet Law


Students and attorneys alike gathered at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (ABCNY) on March 15, 2005, to hear a diverse panel speak about Careers in New Media and Internet Law.

Committee on Law Student Perspectives student member Seth Goldstein, of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, introduced the distinguished panelists: Karen A. Geduldig, an Assistant Attorney General in the Internet Bureau of the Office of the New York State Attorney General; Bruce Jackson, Senior Attorney, Digital Media Division, Microsoft, Inc.; Peter C. Johnson, Legal Consultant, American Foundation for the Blind; Ari Kaplan, Associate, McDermott, Will & Emery; and Susan Butler, Senior Writer, Billboard Magazine and The Entertainment Law Weekly newsletter, who also acted as moderator of the panel.

The “ever-changing meaning of new media” was the overall theme of the discussion, sponsored by the Committee on Law Student Perspectives. The panelists each offered an explanation of what new media and Internet law meant to them. “New media” was defined as “all media” by Kaplan; “the digital distribution of content” by Jackson; and the “accessibility of technical devices to people” by Johnson.

The broad range of definitions offered by the panelists was a true reflection of the varying backgrounds and careers of these talented panelists. Geduldig protects the public from consumer fraud. Jackson handles media transactions and has also been responsible for monitoring congressional activities regarding digital media. Johnson advises on the accessibility of new technology to people with disabilities, and had worked on the seminal case, Tasini v. New York Times, 533 U.S. 483 (2001). Kaplan litigates technology matters. Butler edits the only on-line legal newsletter that provides music, film, television, radio and digital technology news to attorneys and industry professionals.

As the panelists offered interesting and entertaining anecdotes about their career paths, they also offered career advice. “Prepare yourself as an attorney for opportunities that present themselves,” advised Jackson. Similarly, Butler stated, “Find what you love to do, then have an entrepreneurial idea to take you where you want to go.” The panelists also suggested that law students and young lawyers should volunteer, work for a clinic, offer pro bono services which can be parlayed into other opportunities, attend seminars, and join ABCNY committees.

The panelists explained that intellectual property is a huge area of law today, and new media and Internet law are serving to expand opportunities in this field. Today, a new media lawyer would be “riding the crest of Internet law,” explained Geduldig, “creating new contours of the law, advising clients on new issues where there is no precedent, and fashioning remedies to vindicate public concerns while at the same time, not stifling new innovations. These are just a few of the exciting, yet challenging aspects of new media law.”

Perhaps the most invigorating advice came from Kaplan, who stated, “Whatever you end up doing, whatever you want to do, just do it!”

1. Kristen McCallion, Fordham University , 2005, is a student member of the Committee on Law Student Perspectives.

Kristen McCallion 1