University of New Mexico and UCLA Alumni to Participate in Year-Long Fellowship with MPA and Member Studios
The Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP), a non-profit educational arts workforce development program, have announced the upcoming class of the MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law & Policy Fellowship program. This program consists of a one-year fellowship that creates opportunities in the entertainment industry for high-performing recent college, university, and law student graduates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
“The MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law & Policy Fellowship underscores our commitment to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion across all aspects of the entertainment industry,” said Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association. “We are delighted to have Samantha and Alberto join our team from prestigious HSIs. They were selected from hundreds of qualified candidates due to their outstanding academic accomplishments and drive to excel in the entertainment law and policy arena.”
This year’s Fellows include Alberto Lugo, who received his J.D. in 2022 from the UCLA School of Law with specializations in Media, Entertainment, & Technology Law and Policy and Critical Race Studies; and Samantha Wauls, a 2022 graduate from the University of New Mexico School of Law. Lugo is a first-generation college graduate and the only person in his family to have gone to law school. While in law school, he was active in the Latinx Law Students’ Association and the Mexican-American Bar Association of Los Angeles County. Wauls is African American and Lakota-Lower Brule Sioux Tribe (descendant). Wauls has worked with Indigenous communities, both as a crime victim advocate focusing on the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives and as a teacher in her tribal community. She is also a first-generation college graduate and the first in her family to earn a law degree.
“We are thrilled to see MPA award highly coveted fellowships to Samantha Wauls and Alberto Lugo, who are graduates from Hispanic serving institutions,” said Stacy Milner, President and CEO of EICOP. “Their achievements illustrate our dedication and commitment to offering accessible programs that create lasting, inclusive, equitable change in all areas of the entertainment business. We look forward to watching as they develop their skills and contribute to the future of a diverse workforce in entertainment.”
The MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law & Policy Fellowship is a one-year program. Fellows spend six months with the MPA, splitting time between the association’s office in Los Angeles and its global headquarters in Washington, DC. The program concludes with six months at one of the MPA’s member studios: Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony Pictures, or Warner Bros. The fellowship is designed to eliminate barriers to entry into the entertainment industry by providing financial support, paid housing and travel, and a living expenses stipend. Throughout the year-long program, fellows gain experience alongside some of the industry’s leading senior-level legal and government affairs executives. In addition to the program’s in-depth, hands-on exposure to various sectors of entertainment law and policy, fellows go on-site to studio lots and visit top entertainment law firms. They also interact with other industry professionals and peers at networking and industry-related functions to round out their experience.
The Selection Committee responsible for assessing and reviewing applicants, represents executives and leaders from the following organizations: Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA), Japanese American Citizens League, National Hispanic Media Coalition, National Urban League, Native American Media Alliance, U.S. House of Representatives | Office on Diversity and Inclusion, White House Initiative on Advancing Education Equity for Hispanics, and White House Initiative on HBCUs.