Ex-WB lawyer off to USC

John Schulman will head new law school program

Warner Bros.' longtime top lawyer John Schulman is joining USC Law School to spearhead a new entertainment law program.

Schulman, who retired from his position as Warners' executive vp and general counsel in December after a 25-year run, will start Saturday at USC with an eye toward launching the program in fall 2010.

"There is no more accomplished lawyer in the entertainment industry," USC Law dean Robert Rasmussen said. "I am confident that with John's vision, we will have a program that is second to none."

Despite its location in Los Angeles and a long list of alumni in Hollywood, USC Law currently does not offer a dedicated entertainment specialty like some other law schools, including crosstown rival UCLA.

But under Rasmussen, who joined the school two years ago, USC is attempting to raise its industry profile. At a breakfast with Hollywood alumni in May, the dean said enhancing the school's entertainment curriculum was a priority. The new program will increase the showbiz-focused courses at the law school, as well as allow students to take classes at USC's vaunted film school and its Marshall School of Business.

The school has not indicated whether it will hire additional faculty, but bringing aboard Schulman -- who developed a thick Rolodex during his career atop the largest studio legal department -- should help attract legal talent to the school.

"This is part of my next adventure," Schulman said. "I am very excited about joining USC Law School and creating one of the nation's best entertainment law programs."