THOMAS A. CROWELL, ESQ.                                AUTHOR


Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law – New York, New York                                          Nov. 2010 – present

Director: Indie Film Clinic; Adjunct Professor of Law

·        Clinical Director: Co-developer of Cardozo’s Indie Film Clinic, which provides pro bono legal services to economically disadvantaged film and television producers. Responsible for the legal work product of law students and the training of clinical staff and law students in client management skills and techniques. Help create clinic policy and procedures and outreach programs. Presented lectures introducing the clinic to film schools and arts organizations. Clinical work product includes business entity formation, copyright research, registrations, and assignments; labor union compliance; drafting and negotiating production agreements, employment agreements, and intellectual property licenses; location agreements and permits; depiction releases, distribution and other common new media agreements.

·        Adjunct Professor of Law: Teach a 14 week “Indie Film Law” course for the clinic’s law students. The class follows the production cycle of typical independent film and television properties and uses interactive exercises, mock negotiations, and contract drafting assignments to prepare students for the variety of contracts, intellectual property, business formation, financing, and professional ethical issues involved in representing new media and performing arts startups as clients.

  • Milestones: With the help of the clinic, several filmmaker clients have secured grants with the Sundance Institute and the Tribeca Film Institute. Clinical clients have screened in Berlin, South By Southwest, and other prestigious film festivals. 


Seton Hall Law School – Newark, New Jersey                                                                           Aug. 2011 – Dec. 2011

Adjunct Professor of Law

·        Adjunct Professor of Law: Taught a 14-week course on new media, film, television, and cyber-law. The course emphasized the intellectual property and transactional requirements of protecting an audio-visual property from inception of concept through distribution, exhibition, and exploitation. Class topics included: copyrights, trademarks, and IP licensing, protecting ideas, joint author agreements and options contracts, cast and crew agreements, music licensing, distribution agreements, and other key areas affecting new media producers and startups.


School of Visual Arts – New York, New York                                                                           Sept. 2005 – May 2011

Adjunct Professor

·        Adjunct Professor: Taught a ten-week course for business professionals focusing on the creation and protection of visual art, film, and new media properties. Topics covered included negotiation strategies, labor union agreements, tax credit financing, option/purchase agreements, IP chain of title, Internet compliance issues, and contract drafting.

The New Jersey Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Inc. – Newark, New Jersey                     Jan. 2005 – Jan. 2006

Founding Executive Director

  • Legal Services and Education: Provided legal services to low-income artists and non-profit arts organizations. Operated “legal hot line” call-in phone service. Created and gave lectures on intellectual property, business startup, contract drafting, and entertainment law to arts councils and arts organizations throughout New Jersey.
  • Management: Developed and managed New Jersey’s first legal services organization dedicated to serving the needs of low-income artists and arts organizations. Created and implemented client intake and attorney referral procedures and guidelines; coordinated legal services and legal education for state and local arts councils. Supervised over 50 attorney volunteers in the provision of pro bono legal services.


To talk to me about a lecture, course, or book project, please use my personal 
contact form.

For legal services inquiries, please contact me through my law firm website, 

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