September 20, 2016| By Alexa Brown —The Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS) is traditionally one of the most active student organizations on the Pepperdine Law campus. 3L Kennington Groff is the new SELS president (as well as a member of the Moot Court Board, the Women’s Legal Association, the Christian Legal Society, and a student mentor). With the recent announcements about Pepperdine University’s new Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture and Pepperdine School of Law’s new Certificate in Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law, the Surf Report team checked in with Kennington to find out what her year looks like.
How did you first become interested in entertainment law?
I always knew I wanted to do something in the sports or entertainment fields, but also knew that I wanted to go to law school. When I learned about all the television shows and movies filming in Atlanta, I looked for a way to get into the industry by applying for internships at extras casting companies. I didn’t get an internship, but instead got offers to come and be an extra on the sets. From the second I walked on my first set I was hooked and knew that this was the industry for me. I love being on production sets and am looking for the perfect way to marry my love for the sets and my interest in law.
What is the purpose of SELS?
SELS is a student-run organization whose main purpose is to provide student interaction with the entertainment community (film/TV, music, sports, media technologies, journalism, etc.) and attorneys practicing in these fields to aid in the preparation for a career in entertainment or sports.
As president of the group, can you explain some initiatives and/or aspirations you have for the society this year?
This year one of our main focuses as a student organization is to make sure all the students in the society get to know the other students who are interested in sports and entertainment. I noticed my past two years in law school that too often students just attend the lunch panels, sit with their same group of friends, and leave never having interacted with other students or any of the panelists. To me, getting to know the people you are going to be moving up with in the workplace is just as important as meeting someone who is already an established attorney.
Why did you choose Pepperdine Law and SELS to pursue entertainment law?
Pepperdine’s proximity to Los Angeles is instrumental for students wanting to pursue a career in entertainment law. If I had stayed in Georgia and gone to law school there, I do not believe I would have had the same opportunities in the entertainment industry.
Fellow Pepperdine students, alumni, and faculty have played a tremendous factor in helping me get my foot in the door in the industry. The networking I have done with Pepperdine alumni and friendships I made through SELS are huge assets to myself and to anyone pursuing Entertainment Law.
Entertainment, media, and sports law have been popular at Pepperdine Law for a long time. How do you think the University’s new Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture (iEMC) will build on this?
I believe the new Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture will be the most beneficial program Pepperdine has to offer in the near future. The purpose of this Institute is to collaborate with Pepperdine’s five schools and bring together students and alumni who all share a common interest, entertainment. SELS has been in the process of working with Kathryn Linehan and Craig Detweiler to do our part in making sure the law school becomes a key player in this new program. At the end of the day, business and creative need lawyers, and lawyers need business and creative. Why not look in your own backyard for people you share a common connection with?
Last year I attended iEMC’s launch event on the Disney lot and it is one of my favorite events I have attended at Pepperdine. I am looking forwarding to seeing what other events iEMC hosts over the next few years.
A fun fact about you?
I used to be a zombie on The Walking Dead.