University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law) third-year student Sade Clarke has been chosen as a finalist for the HBCU in LA internship sponsored by the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP). EICOP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing talent from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with the goal of diversifying the entertainment industry. The organization provides opportunities across the media, entertainment, sports, fashion, music and technology industries.
Clarke will secure an internship with an organization or company within the entertainment landscape and participate in an immersive eight-to-ten-week program with EICOP. In addition to the internship, the program offers networking and professional development opportunities so participants can make highly valued connections in the entertainment world and develop the skills they need to succeed.
Clarke shared that she is excited to “explore Disney and Universal studios, receive close mentorship and hear guest speakers to teach us about diversity in the entertainment industry.”
Program founder Stacy Milner created the EICOP after deciding during her own television career that representation should be a priority for entertainment companies. Furthermore, EICOP’s focus on HBCUs grew out of a visit to a school where she “realized there was a major disconnect between industry and our institutions,” despite her clients often asking her where they could find diverse talent. Milner decided to create the EICOP to help them answer that question.
Unlike other internships, Milner believes what sets EICOP apart is its focus on community, the immersive nature of the program and participants’ exposure to more than one company’s culture. “A lot of times, you’ll have an internship, and it’s one organization’s internship program with no other exposure,” Milner explained. “What we are doing is providing an immersive education with professional development. Our students are rubbing shoulders with some of the top leaders and the industry people you see on TV or on the big screen every day.”
“It’s tough to get in on the legal side of the entertainment industry,” Milner said, but EICOP “puts them inside that inner circle within a studio,” which increases their marketability. Clarke agreed, saying, “Without EICOP, I would not have the opportunity to delve into the entertainment industry through an immersive experience tailored to my skillset so early in my career.” She described it as “a once in a lifetime opportunity” to be advised by major entertainment businesses.
Clarke added that she is excited to see firsthand the relationship between what she’s learned about intellectual property law in school and how it is applied in the entertainment industry. In addition to the internship, Clarke will study for – and pass – the bar, participate in the EICOP program and enroll in a doctoral program in engineering to prepare for the patent bar.