Layla Maurer, a third-year law student at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, has been an enthusiastic gamer since playing her first arcade games and Atari and Nintendo consoles. While the demands of law school occupy most of her days, she still finds time to unwind by gaming with her family.
Now, Maurer has found the perfect opportunity to combine her passion for gaming with her interest in the law. Since spring 2021, Maurer has been working for Wizards of the Coast, the makers of the popular games Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. The company is on par to exceed $1 billion in sales for the first time in 2021.
Her responsibilities there include drafting contracts (primarily IP licensing both in- and outbound, event and tournament agreements and e-commerce); working and negotiating with internal clients and business partners; drafting and amending templates; conducting art reviews; reviewing IP litigation issues at the appellate level; learning the nuances of and helping to manage international agreements, particularly Asia-Pacific; and helping to test and develop internal legal technology tools.
Maurer has been working remotely for the company, headquartered near Seattle, on a part-time basis. Beginning in 2022, she will expand her hours and anticipates working for the company full-time after graduation. The opportunity to work for a gaming company while practicing law is a “dream made real,” said Maurer, who holds a Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree from Kent State University. “I went from the MLIS to working in IT and eventually tech and digital media, which was a light bulb moment for me. I realized I could work in those areas within the field of law and, being so passionate about gaming, I could laser-focus on the gaming industry.
“Also, I get to be involved in the future of an amazing company that makes wonderful games and inspires millions of players worldwide. I quite literally came to law school with a goal of working in gaming and technology, and I'm doing precisely that.”
According to Maurer, CWRU Law has prepared her for this opportunity in more ways that she can recount. Among the many notable experiences:
- The course in Copyright and Trademark Law provided an excellent foundation for exploring the creative media space and added extra “oomph” to her resume when interviewing.
- Courses in Technology in Law Practice and Law of the Music Industry helped cement her skills in using office technologies—which have been essential for transactional work, especially remotely. “I learned enough about music licensing and soundtrack ownership to be of help with an internal soundtrack license inquiry within the first month of my employment,” Maurer said.
- A Business Associations course provided Maurer with the foundation to research and understand corporate structure and properly write agreements for different types of entities and signatories.
- A Secured Transactions course reinforced Maurer’s enjoyment of transactions, “not to mention how important I consider legal language and its construction to be,” she said.
- From her LLEAP 1 and 2 courses, Maurer learned to break down her writing barriers and understand how to write more clearly and concisely for law. Maurer also learned how to talk to clients and counsel effectively, as well as how to argue without arguing.
- She credits her LLEAP 3 Transactional course—“among the best courses I've ever taken”—with providing insight and hands-on practice on drafting, due diligence, and negotiations.