EASL JD/LLM Student Wins the BESLA Law School Essay Competition

Miami Law student Dominique Davillier’s winning essay analyzes the use of rap lyrics as evidence.
Dominique Davillie
Joint degree student Dominique Davillier

The Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyer’s Association choose Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law joint degree student Dominique Davillier as the winner of their scholarship essay competition. A native of New Orleans, Danvillie has always been surrounded by Black art and culture, which influenced her essay “Making Revolution Irresistible: Protecting Black Art.” 

“I was really excited when I found out I won,” said Davillier. “It means a lot to me because I’m passionate about the topic. I went to Howard for undergrad and seeing Beyonce’s homecoming film my sophomore year of college is what solidified me wanting to become an entertainment attorney. So, it was a good feeling to get recognized for something that I consider to be the motivating force behind my career aspirations."

Davillier’s essay analyzed the use of rap lyrics as evidence under the First, Fifth, Equal Protection Clause and the Federal Rules of Evidence. Music has been a powerful tool throughout history to highlight the African American experience in the United States. She compared the current use of rap lyrics as evidence to the use of slave codes to censor Black speech. She argued that a complete ban on using rap lyrics is appropriate to protect Black artistry fully. 

A member of the Black Law Students Association and the Entertainment and Sports Law Society at Miami Law, Davillier is currently interning at the Women’s National Basketball Players Association. 

She has also worked as a business affairs legal intern with William Morris Endeavor in Los Angeles, California. 

After graduation, Davillier plans on working bi-coastally between Los Angeles and Miami.

“I want to practice within entertainment law, specifically in Music, representing talent and helping them with business development and strategy,” said Davillier. “I feel really strongly that artists should have legal representation that is committed to understanding their full life experience and sees them as more than just profit/ revenue makers."

For nearly 40 years, BESLA has supported law students financially through mentoring and internship opportunities. BESLA also awards scholarships to deserving law students seeking careers in entertainment, sports, and related industries. The essay competition is an annual competition that encourages original and innovative research and writing on selected related industry topics. 

Read more about Miami Law’s Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Program