UC law student learns what it's like to work for National Public Radio

Summer work experience in copyright law brought Kaytlynn Hobbs to Washington

Some of the most memorable experiences University of Cincinnati College of Law students have take place far from the classroom. Students often take advantage of work opportunities in the summer to explore the legal field and meet amazing people.

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Kaytlynn Hobbs at NPR headquarters

This past summer, Kaytlynn Hobbs (3L) lunched with National Public Radio's award-winning legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg and attended sessions for "All things Considered" and "Tiny Desk Concerts" while working at NPR as a copyright intern.  

“Walking through the newsroom at NPR, you get a sense of being someplace special. That’s why I love copyright law: working with creative professionals brings a different energy to the environment,” said Hobbs.

Hobbs worked to ensure that NPR’s content complied with the principles of “fair use”. These principles establish to what extent copyrighted material can be used in a news story without permission from the original creator.

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, the principles of fair use include:

  • Purpose and character of the use (if it is commercial or noncommercial)
  • Nature of the copyrighted work
  • Amount and substantiality of the portion of the work used
  • Effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

A copyright lawyer will review content, such as an excerpt from a movie or television program, to determine if it meets these principles and can be used as part of a news story. Hobbs also created educational materials to help NPR staff understand topics such as right of publicity.

“I got so much great experience, and my boss — who literally wrote the book on media law — has been very helpful in connecting me to people in the copyright field,” said Hobbs, referring to Ashley Messenger, author of "A Practical Guide to Media Law".

“I really want to practice in copyright, and working with NPR has really helped to solidify that,” said Hobbs. “I loved helping reporters learn what they can use to make their stories fun and engaging for the public.” 

After graduation, Hobbs plans to take the bar exam in California and hopes to find work in the media industry there. Hobbs has found UC alumni to be helpful everywhere she has gone. “I think people should realize that attending UC gives you access to a network that can help you wherever you want to go next, even if it’s beyond Ohio,” said Hobbs.

Learn more about the UC College of Law

Founded in 1833, the University of Cincinnati College of Law has the distinction of being the first law school west of the Alleghenies. From humble beginnings 175 years ago in a room above Timothy Walker’s law offices to its home today, Cincinnati Law has been on the leading edge of legal education. Thousands of lawyers have graduated from the law school, and about one-third practice in the Greater Cincinnati community, working in all areas of the law. For more information about the College of Law, visit www.law.uc.edu.


Featured image: Matt Botsford/Unsplash.com

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