Phil Cowan Memorial/BMI Scholarship


Download PDF Flyer

Law students, take note of this publishing and scholarship opportunity: The Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association (EASL), in partnership with BMI, the world’s largest music performing rights organization, has established the Phil Cowan Memorial/BMI Scholarship!  Created in memory of Cowan, an esteemed entertainment lawyer and a former Chair of EASL, the Phil Cowan Memorial/BMI Scholarship fund offers up to two awards of $2,500 each on an annual basis in Phil Cowan’s memory to a law student who is committed to a practice concentrating in one or more areas of entertainment, art or sports law.

The Phil Cowan Memorial/BMI Scholarship has been in effect since 2005.  It is awarded each year at EASL’s Annual Meeting in January in New York City.

The Competition: 

Each Scholarship candidate must write an original paper on any legal issue of current interest in the area of entertainment, art or sports law.

The paper should be twelve to fifteen pages in length (including Bluebook form footnotes), double-spaced and submitted in Microsoft Word format.  PAPERS LONGER THAN 15 PAGES TOTAL WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.  The cover page (not part of the page count) should contain the title of the paper, the student’s name, school, class year, telephone number and email address.  The first page of the actual paper should contain only the title at the top, immediately followed by the body of text.  The name of the author or any other identifying information must not appear anywhere other than on the cover page.  All papers should be submitted to designated faculty members of each respective law school.  Each designated faculty member shall forward all submissions to his/her Scholarship Committee Liaison.  The Liaison, in turn, shall forward all papers received by him/her to the three (3) Committee Co-Chairs for distribution.  The Committee will read the papers submitted and will select the Scholarship recipient(s). 


The Competition is open to all students – both J.D. candidates and L.L.M. candidates -- attending eligible law schools.  “Eligible” law schools mean all accredited law schools within New York State, along with Rutgers University Law School and Seton Hall Law School in New Jersey, and up to ten other accredited law schools throughout the country to be selected, at the Committee’s discretion, on a rotating basis.

Free Membership to EASL: 

All students submitting a paper for consideration, who are NYSBA members, will immediately and automatically be offered a free membership in EASL (with all the benefits of an EASL member) for a one-year period, commencing January 1st of the year following submission of the paper.

Yearly Deadlines:

  • December 12th:  Law School Faculty liaison submits all papers she/he receives to the EASL/BMI Scholarship Committee 
  • January 15th:  EASL/BMI Scholarship Committee will determine the winner(s)

The winner will be announced, and the Scholarship(s) awarded at EASL’s January Annual Meeting.


All papers should be submitted via email to Kristina Maldonado at no later than December 12th, 2018. 

Prerogatives of EASL/BMI’s Scholarship Committee:

The Scholarship Committee is composed of the current Chair of EASL and, on a rotating basis,   former EASL Chairs who are still active in the Section, Section District Representatives, and any other interested member of the EASL Executive Committee.  Each winning paper will be published in the EASL Journal and will be made available to EASL members on the EASL website.  BMI reserves the right to post each winning paper on the BMI website, and to distribute copies of each winning paper in all media.  The Scholarship Committee is willing to waive the right of first publication so that students may simultaneously submit their papers to law journals or other school publications.  In addition, papers previously submitted and published in law journals or other school publications are also eligible for submission to The Scholarship Committee.  The Scholarship Committee reserves the right to submit all papers it receives to the EASL Journal for publication and the EASL Web site.  The Scholarship Committee also reserves the right to award only one Scholarship or no Scholarship if it determines, in any given year that, respectively, only one paper, or no paper is sufficiently meritorious.  All rights of dissemination of the papers by each of EASL and BMI are non-exclusive. 

Payment of Monies:

Payment of Scholarship funds will be made by EASL/BMI directly to the law school of the winner, to be credited against the winner’s account.

About BMI:

BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents approximately 650,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers in all genres of music.  The non-profit making company, founded in 1940 collects license fees on behalf of those American creators it represents, as well as thousands of creators from around the world who chose BMI for representation in the United States.  The license fees BMI collects for the “public performances” of its repertoire of approximately 7.5 million compositions are then distributed as royalties to BMI-member writers, composers and copyright holders.

About the New York State Bar Association / EASL:

The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation.  Founded in 1876, NYSBA programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 125 years.

The more than 1,500 members of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section of the NYSBA represent varied interests, including headline stories, matters debated in Congress, and issues ruled upon by the courts today.  The EASL Section provides substantive case law, forums for discussion, debate and information-sharing, pro bono opportunities, and access to unique resources including its popular quarterly publication, The EASL Journal.