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Vanderbilt Intellectual Property Program

Intellectual property is one of the most vibrant and challenging areas of today's legal profession.

Emerging technologies are transforming the role communications networks and content play in our lives, and information has become globally accessible. Attorneys must be prepared to navigate an expanding array of rapidly evolving legal regimes. Clients need lawyers who are well prepared to help them thrive in this dynamic environment.

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The Vanderbilt Intellectual Property Program prepares Vanderbilt law graduates to meet this challenge. Students learn IP law basics and explore advanced topics with world-class scholars and practitioners, including international intellectual property expert Daniel Gervais, the author of the leading guide to the TRIPS Agreement, which governs international intellectual property rights; copyright expert Joseph Fishman, an innovative scholar whose work has examined the relationship of intellectual property to creativity and the creative process; and Michael Bressman, who teaches the Intellectual Property and the Arts clinic. The program's adjunct faculty includes Judge Kent A. Jordan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; Suzanne Kessler, an entertainment and IP attorney whose clients include record labels, recording artists, music publishers, film and production companies, and digital music and media start-ups; and R. Gregory Parker, an IP litigator who represents technology companies in patent, trademark, trade secrets and copyright disputes.

Bronze statue of piano-playing Owen Bradley

Vanderbilt's hometown of Nashville,Tennessee, is also home to numerous record labels, television networks, instrument manufacturers, and three leading performance rights licensing organizations: BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. Students interested in fellowships and externships have opportunities to work with noted practitioners of intellectual property, entertainment, technology and innovation law.

Related Student Organizations

Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

JETL is a student-edited, scholarly publication focusing on contemporary legal issues facing the entertainment industry. JETL publishes articles and notes on film/television, music, sports and the Internet, and sponsors biannual academic symposia. The 2021 conference focused on "The Law of Global Emergencies." Previous conferences have addressed "The Effect of Emerging Digital Technology on Entertainment Content Development," "Fair Use Doctrine in Copyright Law” and “The Economics of Baseball."

Vanderbilt Intellectual Property Association

VIPA provides a forum for students interested in learning about or working in the dynamic field of intellectual property law. The field includes but is not limited to patent, copyright, and trademark. The organization seeks to create educational events for students, foster debate on current issues, develop employment networks with alumni and local practitioners, and take advantage of practical opportunities available right here in Nashville.

Entertainment and Sports Law Society

ESLS frequently invites outside speakers to discuss issues related to intellectual property and/or entertainment law. Their mission is to educate Vanderbilt law students about the current events and problems facing the sports and entertainment industries today and to facilitate lasting connections between Vanderbilt law students and professionals in those fields.


Vivek Biswas '19

Vivek Biswas '19

  • Chancellor’s Law Scholar
  • Managing Editor, Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law
  • Articles Editor, Environmental Law & Policy Review
  • Treasurer, Vanderbilt Intellectual Property Association and VLS Honor Council
  • 2018 Summer Associate, Robins Kaplan
  • 2017 Intern, Judge K. Nicole Mitchell, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
    Vivek applied to 16 law schools and included Vanderbilt because of its strong Intellectual Property Program. He chose Vanderbilt after attending the Admitted Students Program. “The current students were kind and welcoming,” he said. “I really enjoyed meeting the others attending the program, and I was impressed with the academic and career opportunities Vanderbilt offered. That made Vanderbilt an easy choice for law school.”

Interdisciplinary University Programs


The programs at Owen School of Graduate Management have consistently been ranked in the top 10 percent of accredited business schools by Bloomberg, Businessweek, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times, The Economist and Forbes. Owen is home to eLab, the nation's first academic research center dedicated to the study of the Internet. The New York Times calls eLab “one of the premiere research centers in the world for the study of electronic commerce,” and the Wall Street Journal recognizes the effort as the “electronic commerce pioneer among business schools.”

Curb Center on Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy

The Curb Center is dedicated to exploring how the unintended consequences of decisions by business enterprises and governmental actors affect cultural policy.