IP Intensive: Learning the Value of Experiential Education at SOCAN

IP Intensive: Learning the Value of Experiential Education at SOCAN

When I first learned of Osgoode’s Intellectual Property Law & Technology Intensive Program (“IP Intensive”) I was in the process of applying to law school. At that time, the IP Intensive caught my attention because it was the only program that offered students the opportunity to complete a multi-week internship at a placement organization heavily involved in IP. As a prospective student with only a limited understanding of IP, the program seemed like a great way to learn more about an area of law that interested me while gaining practical hands-on legal experience. Now that I have completed the IP Intensive program, I can say that the IP Intensive greatly exceeded my initial expectations.

Over the past 10-weeks I have had the privilege of working at the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), one of Canada’s largest and oldest copyright collective soceities. Established in 1990 following the merger of the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association of Canada (CAPAC) and the Performing Rights Organization of Canada (PROCAN), SOCAN administers the public performance rights in musical works on the behalf of nearly 150,000 authors, composers and publishers. SOCAN’s immense repertoire includes the musical works of its Canadian members and members from affiliated societies around the world.

Given my background in music and my interest in copyright law, it was not difficult to become immersed in the tasks that I was assigned by my supervising lawyers. From drafting litigation documents to attending examinations for discovery, there never seemed to be a dull moment during my placement. While most my work was related to SOCAN’s efforts to license its members’ musical works, I also had the opportunity to learn more about SOCAN’s advocacy at the Copyright Board of Canada and its on-going efforts to promote the work of Canadian songwriters.

Although I have many memorable experiences from the past few weeks, the personal connections I made while at SOCAN will leave the longest lasting impresion. During my placement, I was incredibly fortunate to work alongside experienced legal counsel, paralegals, and administrative professionals who were always friendly, hospitable, and willing to help.


William Foster  is a JD Candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School and was enrolled in Osgoode’s Intellectual Property Law and Technology Intensive Program. As part of the program requirements, students were asked to write a reflective blog on their internship experience.