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Pathways to the Profession: Toni Garrett L’18

September 07, 2017

Editor’s Note: Each summer Penn Law students hone their skills through a wide array of private and public sector internships across the country and around the world. Generous financial support and fellowships for international and public interest work enable students to pursue diverse assignments in the United States and abroad. This post from Toni Garrett L’18 is one in a series of firsthand accounts detailing how students’ summer employment opportunities are preparing them for their legal careers.

Garrett is a 2014 graduate of Howard University, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree.

Before I made my choice to attend the University of Pennsylvania Law School, I seriously considered attending UCLA Law just because of my interest in Entertainment Law. After further consideration, I knew that Penn Law was the place for me, but I also knew that I would have to be a lot more creative in getting that entertainment law education that I desired. Since arriving at Penn Law, I have thought long and hard about how each class that I take will help me to obtain knowledge that will help me down the line. From Internet Law to Topics in Defamation to First Amendment Law, I’ve approached each one from the mindset of their effect in Entertainment Law. I also took the initiative to reach out to an associate dean of the Annenberg School of Communications and Amanda Aronoff, Associate Director of Cross-Disciplinary Programs, to form what would eventually become the Annenberg Certificate in Communications and Media Policy. Those courses together with classes from Annenberg and Penn Law’s new Entertainment Law Transactions course were great preparation for the type of work that I have done here at A&E Networks.

Since arriving at A&E Networks, I have been given the opportunity to work with attorneys on everything from patenting employee-created software to drafting development agreements. Attorneys have helped me work through the complicated drafting issues in international syndication agreements and exposed me to the tedious world of pre-broadcast review. I’ve loved every minute of it. Intro to Intellectual property and Trademarks were fantastic preparation for my work with the Intellectual Property Department, and Internet Law provided me with the tools to approach my time with both the Digital Media and International Syndication. Each week has presented me with new challenges, so there just hasn’t been any time to get bored. Many of the more challenging tasks have placed a heavy emphasis on finding unconventional and creative solutions that one just cannot learn in the classroom. I’ve even been given the opportunity to work on some longer-term projects, following and working on them as they move through the process of becoming an A&E Networks show.

The people at A&E Networks have made the experience that much more enjoyable. Their expectations for me are high, and they have given me all the assistance and every opportunity to rise to meet them. Their genuine desire to see me thrive in the field of Entertainment Law can be seen in their mentorship and willingness to expose me to every opportunity for professional growth. Every day at A&E only solidifies my desire to continue in the entertainment, media, and technology law space.


- Toni Garrett


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