January 31, 2008
Third-year law student Abbott Jones recently received some exciting news. She’s one of five finalists in the Entertainment Law Initiative® (ELI) writing competition established by the GRAMMY Foundation®.
Jones put the rare opportunity in perspective, explaining that awards like this don’t come along very often.
“In addition to the scholarship I get just for being a finalist, the Grammy Foundation will be flying me out to L.A. next Thursday to attend a luncheon with some entertainment law big-wigs, where they'll announce the winner, who will get an additional scholarship,” said the 24-year-old from Birmingham, Alabama. “We'll also be going to the person of the year dinner, where Aretha Franklin will be honored. And of course we'll be going to the GRAMMY’s next Sunday!”
All ELI finalists’ essays are also published in professional law journals.
“This significant GRAMMY Foundation event during GRAMMY Week provides a unique opportunity to bring promising entertainment law students and seasoned professionals together,” said President/CEO of The Recording Academy® and President of the GRAMMY Foundation Neil Portnow.
Co-sponsored by the American Bar Association, the national legal writing contest and scholarship program is one of the premier annual educational activities of the initiative. Law students from across the country are invited to research, analyze and submit 3,000-word essays on important issues facing the entertainment community. Past award-winning topics have featured issues germane and timely to the music industry, including bootlegging, music sampling and litigation against peer-to-peer network users.
Jones submitted a reworked section from a directed research paper she did last semester under Tulane law professor Glynn Lunney’s supervision. Her essay, entitled “Yours, Mine, and Ours: The Joint Authorship Conundrum for Sound Recordings,” focused on the issue of joint authorship in sound recordings, and how that issue may become a problem when artists begin exercising their termination rights in 2013.
As the Senior Managing Editor of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal and a member of the Moot Court Team, it’s hard to believe this lawyer-to-be finds time for anything else. Jones admits, however, that like so many she’ll come into contact with next week, she is an avid musician and writer herself.
Aside from her passion for music, her legal interests lie in intellectual property and admiralty law. Upon graduation, Jones will be clerking with Judge Karon Bowdre of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. After her clerkship, she hopes to practice entertainment law.
But first things first. For now, Jones has her eyes set solely on one thing – the GRAMMY’s.
“I’m very excited,” said Jones. “I feel very blessed, and still a little bit shocked!”
The 10th Annual ELI Luncheon & Scholarship Presentation will be held on Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills with president & CEO of AEG Timothy J. Leiweke as keynote speaker. The ELI Luncheon is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY® Week, a celebration that culminates with the 50th Annual GRAMMY® Awards, which will be held at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10 and scheduled to be broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.
Jones was also featured on the NewWave, news from Tulane University. To read the article, click here.
The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1989 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture — from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the still unimagined musical breakthroughs of future generations of music professionals. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage. For more information, please visit
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. In its 50th year, The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit