Entertainment Law Initiative®

The Entertainment Law Initiative was established by the Recording Academy® to bolster discussion and debate around legal affairs in the ever-evolving music industry and how they impact creatives and the greater music community. In partnership with the nation’s top entertainment law practitioners and schools, the initiative offers year-round networking and career development events for professionals and cultivates the next generation through connection and educational opportunities for students.

The Evolution of the Recording Contract: Where it’s been, where it is, where it’s going

An Entertainment Law Initiative Professional Education Event

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 | 5-7:30 p.m. ET

Eisner & Lubin Auditorium, NYU Kimmel Center for University Life | New York, NY

Join us for this panel discussion followed by a reception and learn about the ELI Writing Contest. Attorneys can receive 1.0 credit hour of Continuing Legal Education credit in the Professional Practice (NY)/General (CA/IL) category for their attendance. Those interested in CLE credit can sign up on-site.

Attorneys and students welcome. RSVP HERE.

Space is limited. RSVP by 12 noon ET on Nov. 7th to attend. This event is 18+.


Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks, Esq., Chair, Entertainment, Copyright & Media Practice Group, Proskauer Rose LLP, Moderator

Elliot Groffman, Esq., Partner, Carroll, Guido, Groffman, Cohen, Bar & Karalian, LLP

Michael Kushner, Esq., Executive Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs and General Counsel, Atlantic Records

Sharde Simpson, Esq., Vice President of Operations, Dream Chaser Records, Inc.

Thank You to the NYU Steinhardt Music Business Program for sponsoring this event.

CLE Details: CLE credit administered by Proskauer Rose LLP. Proskauer has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board, the State Bar of California and the Supreme Court of Illinois as an Accredited Provider of Continuing Legal Education in the States of New York, California and Illinois. These transitional, participatory continuing legal education courses have been approved for newly admitted and experienced attorneys in accordance with the requirements of the New York and California CLE Rules and Regulations for 1.0 credit hour in the Professional Practice (NY)/ General (CA/IL) category.

25th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative GRAMMY® Week Event

Friday, February 3, 2023 | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. PT

The Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel | Beverly Hills, CA

Sponsor packages and tickets will go on sale in late 2022. Please check back here for more info.

The annual Entertainment Law Initiative GRAMMY Week Event gathers professionals and creators alike to celebrate, hear from industry leaders and allies, and acknowledge achievements of music business trailblazers through the ELI Service Award, an accolade presented to a legal professional or entity who has demonstrated commitment to advancing and bettering the music community through service. See below for recaps of past events:

How The Entertainment Law Initiative Tackles Today’s Leading Law Issues & Fosters The Next Generation of Legal Innovators

23rd Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Honors Black Entertainment And Sports Lawyers Association, Discusses Future Of Music Industry

2019 Entertainment Law Initiative Event With Dina LaPolt, Tina Tchen, Steven Tyler & More

2023 Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Contest

Submissions are now open. See below for more details.

The ELI Writing Contest challenges law students to identify and research a pressing legal issue facing the music industry today and outline a proposed solution in a 3,000-word essay. A nationwide panel of music law experts judge the papers in a blind process to select one winner and two runners-up. See Official Contest Rules for entry requirements and full prize packages. Help us spread the word to eligible applicants with our Social Media Toolkit.

One Winner

  • $10,000 tuition scholarship

  • Two tickets to the 65th GRAMMY Awards®

  • Two tickets to MusiCares® Person of the Year

  • Two tickets to the 25th Entertainment Law Initiative

  • Los Angeles roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations for winner and guest

  • Paper Publication in the ABA Entertainment & Sports Lawyer Journal

  • Mentorship session with an ELI leadership attorney

Two Runners-Up

  • $2,500 tuition scholarship

  • Mentorship session with an ELI leadership attorney

Paper Submission Deadline

Jan. 3, 2023 | 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET

Winner and Runners-Up Notified

Jan. 16, 2023

25th Entertainment Law Initiative | Beverly Wilshire

Feb. 3, 2023

MusiCares Person of the Year | Los Angeles Convention Center

Feb. 3, 2023

65th GRAMMY Awards | Crypto.com Arena

Feb. 5, 2023

2022 Winner & Runners-Up

2022 Winner: Sona Sulakian, USC Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, CA

“Protecting the Artist: Licensing in an AI-Generated Music Market”

2022 Runner-Up: Chelsea Cohen, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA

“Welcome to the Metaverse: Solving Old-World Licensing in a Whole New Universe”

2022 Runner-Up: Michael Harrigan, Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, FL

“Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: How Blockchain Technology Can Shift the DMCA’s Burden of Notification Away From Copyright Owners”


For all inquiries contact ELI@recordingacademy.com