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Tired of Practicing? Alternative Careers for Entertainment Lawyers

Entertainment law can be a rewarding profession, but what happens if you are a film or television attorney who is tired of the rigors of practicing law and ready to take on new challenges? 

NYWIFT has assembled an esteemed group of former entertainment attorneys who have made the jump to new careers in show business. They will discuss their previous lives as lawyers, reveal how they made the decisions that lead them to change the focus of their work, and share how they implemented that change into successful new careers in everything from marketing to public relations and investing. 

Marc Handelman
 is Director of Marketing for Frankfurt Kurnit. He identifies target audiences, develops tactics for outreach, supports new business proposals and helps attorneys establish and maintain new client relationships. Handelman plans both outside and in-house events for the firm, and has helped develop conferences, seminars, panel discussions, CLE presentations and social events for media, entertainment, advertising, corporate and legal audiences. Handelman also leads the firm’s public relations efforts, and has developed relationships at a wide range of publications. He helps attorneys write and publish articles in both legal and nonlegal publications.  Prior to coming to Frankfurt Kurnit, Handelman was Director of Marketing for Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, one of New Jersey’s largest and best-known law firms. For eight years, he was New Projects Editor in charge of new business development for Brownstone Publishers Inc. Handelman also practiced law for four years at Kaye Scholer Fierman Hays & Handler. 

Nneka Norville
is Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at BET Networks, responsible for the management and oversight of cause marketing and CSR initiatives, as well as related strategic partnerships with charitable organizations, government entities, foundations, non-profit organizations and corporations. Prior to joining BET Networks, Norville managed entertainment media partnerships as a Program Officer for the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation's domestic and international campaigns. While at Kaiser, she was responsible for the launch and creation of LIVE UP, a groundbreaking cross-Caribbean health awareness campaign uniting over 20 countries across the region, and the management of BET Networks Emmy-Award winning Rap It Up campaign. 

Adaora Udoji
 is an entrepreneur, angel investor and strategist.  She is a 2013 alum of the Pipeline Fund Fellowship which focuses on angel investing. Currently, she serves as mentor for Women Innovate Mobile, a startup accelerator, and advises several other startups at the nexus of media and technology. Udoji founded The Boshia Group, a network of content creators, developers and strategists, on the heels of an award-winning journalism career at ABC News, CNN, Court TV and WNYC radio. She worked as a producer, then a correspondent and anchor. She was among those who contributed to CNN, receiving the Peabody Award for coverage of Hurricane Katrina, and a DuPont-Columbia University Award for reporting on the Tsunami Disaster in South Asia. The National Academy of Arts & Sciences recognized her reporting at ABC on the Afghanistan war. Essence Magazine named her one of the 25 most influential African-Americans. She is on the Board of the Montclair Film Festival, served on The Council of Urban Professionals and The New York Women In Communications Foundation.

S. Casper Wong
is a Silicon Valley attorney turned New York-based writer, director and producer of both narrative and documentary films. Her recent feature documentary, The LuLu Sessions, has won 10 international awards and nominations, including the Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary, Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Documentary and Emerging Director Awards.  She is the recipient of two screenwriting grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and production grant from New York State Council on the Arts. Her award-winning short Shirts & Skins was acquired by the Independent Film Channel and distributed by Tribeca Film Institute's Reframe Collection. She has represented Roger Corman in his film co-productions with China since 2011, overseeing all aspects of production. A former corporate counsel for IBM specializing in antitrust and international intellectual property, Wong has a BS in biomedical engineering from Columbia University, a JD from New York Law and an MFA in film from NYU.

Moderator Jim Arnoff
 is a television packaging agent who represents New York production companies, developing and selling original programming to the networks. Arnoff has worked at the William Morris Agency as both an in-house lawyer and packaging agent. A certified life coach for the entertainment industry, he has lead workshops for the Producers Guild of America, National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, HBO, MTV Networks and the Writers Guild of America. He is also a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts and FIT.

Produced by Octavia Taylor.


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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events
are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of
Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York
State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and
the New York State Legislature.