Kirk T. Schroder
Kirk T. Schroder is an experienced entertainment and arts law attorney. He has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for the field of entertainment law and is currently rated an “AV Preeminent” lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for lawyers.*
Kirk’s national peers in the entertainment and sports law profession elected him the current chair of the American Bar Association’s Entertainment and Sports Law Section. His law practice draws entertainment and arts-related clients from around the world.
University of Virginia, Ph.D.
University of Richmond, J.D.
University of Richmond, B.A. & B.S.B.A.
District of Columbia
Former Chair of the American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment & Sports Industries
Virginia State Bar
AWARDS AND HONORS
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®.
Ranked an “AV”* attorney by Martindale Hubbell, its highest available rating.
Kirk is the Co-Editor of a new entertainment law book for lawyers, business executives and artists! Click to learn more about this great book and its Intellectual Property companion.
“Having worked with Kirk Schroder on a film project I can say with confidence that the man knows what he is doing. And in this guide, he has brought his expertise and that of other practitioners to bear on a series of entertainment law topics. Anyone with an interest in this specialized field of law would be wise to have this worthy book on their shelf, because it covers pretty much everything with insightful commentary, the applicable laws and a host of helpful advice based on experience. Well done!”
—Nationally recognized author David Baldacci
Law and Faculty Teaching Experience
Faculty Lecturer in Entertainment Law, University of Virginia School of Law (1997–2000, 2007–2009).
Faculty Lecturer, University of Virginia School of Education (2004–2005, 2007) Adjunct Professor in Entertainment Law, University of Richmond School of Law (1991–1998).
Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University (1993–2001).
Program Chair, Harvard Law School/ABA Symposium on Entertainment Law (1995–1997).
Director, Virginia Sports & Entertainment Law Institute (VA CLE Foundation) (2006–2007).
Public and Community Service
President, Virginia State Board of Education (1998–2002)
Member, Southern Regional Education Board (1999–2005)
President, Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Education Fund (2004–2010)
Chairman, Education Policy Committee, Virginia Chamber of Commerce (2007–2010)
Senate of Virginia Appointee & Member, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission(2004–Present)
Board of Directors, World Pediatric Project (2010-2013)
Executive Committee Member & Board Member, David Ortiz Children’s Fund (2011-Present)
Board of Directors, The Baby Girl Project (2009-Present)
Board Member, Paramount Theater (Charlottesville) (2007–2009)
Board Member, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (2002–2004)
Board Member, Virginians for the Arts (1996–1999, 2008–2010)
Vice-Chairman, Virginia Tourism Authority (1996–1998, member, 1998–2001)
Vice-Chairman, Virginia Technology Council (1994–1996)
Chairman, Virginia Film Board (1996–2001)
Key Legal Issues in the Development, Financing, Production & Distribution of Theatrical Motion Pictures.
Counseling Clients in the Entertainment Industry 2017 – Book Publishing; Current Developments in Entertainment and Sports Litigation; Film recorded March, 2017 in New York
Successfully Addressing Union and Guild Issues for Film and Television Productions. University of Miami Entertainment & Sports Law Society Symposium. (2017)
The Evolving Landscape of Content Distribution. University of Virginia’s Symposium for Entertainment and Sports Law. (2015)
Entertainment Law Potpourri. An Assortment of Interesting Entertainment Law Practices and Ethical Concerns. 28th Annual North American Law Summit: Entertainment, Sports, and Intellectual Property. (2016)
Beg, Borrow or Steal: The Legal Perils and Pragmatics in Independent Financing for Film and TV. American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries Webinar. (2014)
Legal Issues in Film. 25th Annual North American Entertainment, Sports, & Intellectual Property Law Conference. (2013)
Current Developments in Publishing. 25th Annual North American Entertainment, Sports, & Intellectual Property Law Conference. (2013)
Crowdfunding 2.0 The JOBS Act Game Changer. American Bar Association Webinar. (2013)
Emerging Issues in Literary Publishing. The Fourth Annual International Legal Symposium on the World of Music, Film, Television and Sports. (2013)
Entertainers, Sports and Labor Law: Where Entertainers, Athletes and the Law Merge or Collide.
The Fourth Annual International Legal Symposium on the World of Music, Film, Television and Sports. (2013)
Advising Your Client on the Legal and Business Aspects of Video Gaming within the Entertainment Industry. The Third Annual International Legal Symposium on the World of Music, Film, Television and Sports. (2012)
Licensing & Branding Music in the Advertising World. Second Annual Nashville Entertainment Law Symposium. (2012)
The Basics of Entertainment Law. National Business Institute. (2012)
Clearing Rights: What “Borat” Wrought. SXSW. (2012)
Outsourcing Legal Work & Professional Responsibility. American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment & Sports Law Annual Meeting. (2012)
Is Your Business Card a Professional Licensure Complaint? American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment & Sports Law Annual Meeting. (2012)
Building An Entertainment Law Practice. Counseling Clients in the Entertainment Industry, Practicing Law Institute: New York. (2010, 2011, 2012)
Kirk serves as counsel for film production companies and film financiers who have distribution agreements with major Hollywood studios. Representing award-winning, independent filmmakers and producers, he has extensive working knowledge of the many legal and business aspects of filmmaking (including production, collective bargaining agreements, financing and distribution arrangements). For more than a decade, he served as a counsel to Universal Pictures. Kirk also represents creative talent such as writers, directors and actors for varying size productions both in union and non-union settings.
Kirk’s television practice includes representing executive producers, show runners, writers, directors, actors and story right holders. A number of his clients have various types of production deals in both episodic and non-scripted television programming with major broadcast and cable networks and with PBS. Kirk has worked on behalf of many on-air personalities, several of whom are nationally syndicated.
Kirk also has strong credentials in the field of literature, representing a broad array of authors, from first-time novelists to well-established writers commanding six-figure advances and more. He has hands-on experience with publishers, ranging from major houses to regional, academic and niche presses. He has negotiated the full spectrum of literary publishing deals, from agent-author relationships to book publishing contracts and ancillary rights. Kirk also has represented magazine publishers and nationally syndicated writers whose work runs in major newspapers and magazines.
Kirk’s legal work is primarily talent-oriented in the music industry. He also represents various regionally known record labels. Representative clients currently include a variety of artists with major or independent record label deals as well as several major live performance promoters and venues.
Kirk has a significant law practice involving public and private art. He is a past chairman of the Virginia State Bar’s Lawyers for the Arts Committee and has been honored for his legal work by the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts. Many of his clients have merchandising and licensing deals for the use of their visual images with major national catalogues. Kirk is a frequent lecturer on visual art law-related topics.
Theater/Live Stage Appearances
Kirk was instrumental in the formation of and provided legal representation for one of the leading public speakers forums in the United States, which involved negotiating public appearances for celebrities such as Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, and many other nationally popular speakers. His work on the stage extends from clients in various regional playhouses to those in off-Broadway and off-off Broadway related theater venues.
Interactive Games & Entertainment
An emerging part of Kirk’s law practice is in the interactive entertainment and gaming space where Kirk works primarily with game developers in financing arrangements and with publisher agreements and related legal issues. He has presented at legal conferences on topics related to game development and is a member of the Video Game Bar Association.
Other Curious Things About Kirk
Kirk’s law practice involves prominent people in various alternative arts who have a presence in national entertainment media. Such clients include professional herbalists, eastern spiritual practitioners, shamans, psychic mediums, feng shui experts, astrologers, and other alternative practitioners who are active in public media. Kirk is also quite passionate about healthy diets and food policy issues. He is especially concerned about the adverse effects of certain government and manufacturing policies on America’s food supply and on the American population. Ellwood Thompson’s and Dawson’s Market, two prominent natural food markets, together have engaged Kirk to serve as their official “Food Advocate”. In this role, Kirk works with their management in developing store standards and on public and legal advocacy related to food policy. As their Food Advocate, he also publishes a weekly blog found at Ellwood Thompson’s.
Education Policy Advocacy
Kirk is very active in and passionate about education and children’s issues. While maintaining his private law practice, Kirk served as president of the Virginia Board of Education from 1998–2002 during a period of major K-12 education reform in Virginia. Upon the expiration of his term, one major Virginia newspaper editorial stated that of all of the gubernatorial appointments made during that period “none excelled that of Richmond attorney Kirk Schroder as president of the Virginia Board of Education.” (See “Schroder scored high marks as education chief”, The Virginian-Pilot, February 8, 2002, page B10). He has also served on boards of other distinguished education institutions such as the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) in Atlanta. He is the first president of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Education Fund and served as the chair of the education policy committee for the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. While he does not promote himself as an education lawyer, Kirk has substantial education policy and legal experience. So much so that Kirk is named in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for the field of education law. A limited portion of his practice involves education policy issues for specific causes of interest and other circumstances (such as K-12 or higher education student disciplinary matters or unique education issues of interest) when he feels his involvement can be of assistance. He holds a Ph.D in Education from the University of Virginia. Kirk has taught courses in education policy and school law at graduate level institutions of higher education.
*CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies.