We at SAGindie are always on the lookout for resources that help low-budget filmmakers, and this is one we couldn’t wait to share.

Professional-level filmmaking requires a lot of legal paperwork and contracts, and it’s always a good idea to have an entertainment attorney help you out. But lawyers are expensive. So the Chapman University Fowler School of Law in Orange, CA is accepting new clients in need of free legal services for their production! You can read more information on what they offer below.

Keep in mind, choosing a lawyer is like choosing a spouse. Do your research, use your best judgment, and make sure the partnership is right for you before making anything official.


The Entertainment Law Clinic at Chapman Law School provides production legal services for ultra-low budget filmmakers and is currently accepting new clients.

The Entertainment Law Clinic legal services are all FREE.

Clinic production legal services typically include: Forming a production entity (LLC); assigning the script and other underlying rights to the LLC; employment agreements for actors, writers, producers, and crew; location agreements; IP releases; music agreements; and similar legal matters.

Clinic legal services are provided by a team of upper level law students under the supervision of two faculty members with many years of experience in entertainment law. The Clinic has helped filmmakers for over 10 years, and filmmakers have used its services in the production of more than 60 feature films.

Interested filmmakers should contact:

Kathy Z. Heller, Esq.
Kennedy Professor of Law
Executive Director, Entertainment Law Program
Chapman University Fowler School of Law


You may also want to check out the video of Kathy Heller’s SAG-AFTRA Foundation session, where she discusses the legal processes for independent filmmakers.

Also, be sure to check out Professor Heller’s advice from our panel on the Nuts & Bolts of Indie Filmmaking to learn about insurance, chain-of-title, payroll, permits, and more.


Updated from an August 2016 post.

If you’re an independent filmmaker or know of an independent film-related topic we should write about, email blogadmin@sagindie.org for consideration.

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