How do I Become a Copyright Attorney?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2018
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For an individual who wants to become a copyright attorney, the educational path typically includes high school, college, and law school. An individual planning to enter this field normally seeks to not only learn about copyright law, but also about the unique issues faced by creators of different types of works. In preparation for this field, a person also needs to develop analytical, communication, and technical writing skills.

A copyright attorney works to establish and protect the rights of those who produce unique and creative works. He also works to ensure the fair application of copyright laws. Sometimes a party may attempt to use another person's idea or creative work in an illegal manner. A copyright lawyer helps protect creators from this type of theft, whether it is intentional or not. In some cases, a copyright lawyer may also work for the rights of those who use copyrighted material, helping to ensure they stay on the right side of the law.


Though many people think of college as the first step in preparation for a legal career, a person who wants to become a copyright attorney may do well to start in high school. Copyright law careers can involve a significant amount of technical writing and verbal communication. As such, high school writing courses can be helpful in preparing for this job. Classes that help a person develop his verbal communication skills can prove helpful as well. For example, a person may take public speaking courses or participate in drama or debate clubs in preparation for this career.

In college, a person who wants to become a copyright attorney may choose just about any major in preparation for law school. Many in this field choose technical majors, however. For example, an individual who wants to become a copyright lawyer may study engineering or information science. In fact, some employers prefer copyright lawyers who have this type of background. The idea is that a technical degree helps a copyright attorney develop in-depth knowledge of technologies that are frequently involved in copyright lawsuits.

After college, a person who plans to become a copyright attorney attends law school. He usually takes a range of general law courses, but also has the opportunity to study courses specific to his career goals. Among the courses he may take are copyright law and intellectual property licensing. He may also take courses in entertainment and trademark law in preparation for this career.

Upon completion of law school, an aspiring copyright attorney usually goes on to take a lawyer licensing exam. Typically, the exam doesn’t focus on copyrighting law. Instead, it is a general law exam that covers many legal subjects. Upon passing the exam, a person is granted a license to practice law and can apply for jobs with law firms, copyright organizations, manufacturing companies, or businesses that represent artists.



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