Alumna Uses Joint Degree to Land NY Dream Job at Universal Music

Photo of Samantha Finkel, J.D./LL.M.'19

Samantha Finkel, J.D./LL.M.'19

Samantha Finkel, a 2019 graduate of the J.D./LL.M. in Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Program, is the business & legal affairs manager for the East Coast labels at Universal Music Group in New York. She began working for UMG shortly after graduating from Miami Law.

At UMG, Finkel helps draft various agreements for artists and events associated with Republic Records, Island Records, and Def Jam Recordings. She also coordinates with film companies and third-party attorneys to draft side artist agreements and producer agreements in connection with the release of original soundtrack albums and summarizes consent requirements, rights restrictions, and royalty provisions of exclusive recording, licensing, and entertainment income agreements.

“This is my dream job — as a young attorney, I am lucky to be surrounded by brilliant lawyers and business affairs executives that have been in the industry for years – they have an inspiring mastery of the work we do,” said Finkel, who received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. “I am also fortunate to have the opportunity to be in this industry at such an early point in my career. Presently, I am continuing to learn from the issues that come across my desk each day and look forward to building my skillset.”

A native of Merrick, New York, Finkel chose to attend Miami Law because of its Entertainment, Art, and Sports Law LL.M. program.

“I always knew I wanted to focus on entertainment law, more specifically music law, and Miami stood out as an innovative contender in the space,” said Finkel. “I was particularly interested in the international perspective that Miami Law provides its students by exposing them to emerging markets and trends across the globe. The program’s emphasis on ensuring that students understand the foundation of the law in addition to gaining practical, industry-specific experience really sealed the deal for me.”

Finkel was very involved with the Entertainment and Sports Law Society during her time at Miami Law. She served as president in her 3L year and director of marketing during her second year.

“Playing a role in planning the organization’s annual conference was easily one of my favorite law school experiences,” said Finkel. “I worked closely with many members of the EASL Advisory Board who helped us organize the panels that we offered to attendees, as well as introduced us to exciting practitioners to invite to campus. Curating the discussion topics with our panelists and moderators allowed me to cultivate some incredible relationships in both the sport and entertainment industries and allowed me to enhance my professional network and that of my peers on the University of Miami campus. I now work with many of the attorneys I met at the conference in a professional capacity through my work at UMG.”

Finkel’s ultimate career goal is to continue to be part of the relationship between recording artists and their record labels.

“I am interested in encouraging the proactive adoption of trends in this fast-paced, technology-driven world,” said Finkel.

Read more about Miami Law’s sports and entertainment law program