Lynn Oberlander

Of Counsel
New York

Lynn Oberlander provides counsel to companies that employ journalists, editors, authors, filmmakers, and other creative professionals in legal challenges to the broadcast, distribution, and publication of their work. Having served media companies in-house for almost 25 years, Lynn has broad experience in all content-related matters, ranging from investigative journalism to celebrity coverage to access. Lynn regularly advises on prepublication and copyright issues and she also has deep experience in the corporate and contractual issues that arise in the media industry—including those concerning intellectual property, talent, podcasting, sponsorship, and distribution.

Lynn provides general counsel services; pre-broadcast and pre-publication review; pre-production services; fair use review and analysis; newsgathering and newsroom policies; counsel on Freedom of Information Act requests and access; copyright and content litigation; and contract and licensing review, drafting, and negotiation of all types. She has particular experience with journalism that involves issues of national security as well as other types of investigative reporting.

Professional Highlights

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. John H. Pratt, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, 1991-1992

Professional Activities

Director, Media Law Resource Center, 2012- 2020;
Chair, January 2015-December 2018

External Advisor, MacArthur Foundation Journalism and Media Program, 2017-2018

Chair, New York State Bar Association Committee on Media Law, June 2012-June 2016

Recognition & Accomplishments

Recipient, 2018 National Press Photographers Association’s Kenneth P. McLaughlin Award of Merit for outstanding service in the interest of visual journalism

Speaking Engagements

Ms. Oberlander is a frequent speaker on media law topics, including national security and espionage, newsgathering and encryption, access, defamation, copyright, ethics, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Highlights include:

Panelist, “Newsgagthering,” Communications Law in the Digital Age, Practising Law Institute, 2014 – 2020

Keynote Speaker, Vermont Law Review Symposium, Media Law and Journalism: Protecting Democracy’s Safeguards, September 15, 2017

Keynote Speaker, “Free Speech in the Age of Terrorism, Again,” IABANY Bloomsday Celebration and John Quinn Memorial Address, June 16, 2015

Board Memberships & Community Service

YDN Foundation (Alumni board of Yale Daily News), Director, 2008-present

Board of Governors, Association of Yale Alumni, 2008-2010

The New Jewish Home, Secretary and Trustee, September 2002-present

Publications

“New York Affirms the Protection of Confidential Sources,” newyorker.com, December 11, 2013

“Snowden and the Journalists: Whose Papers are Safe?” newyorker.com, August 23, 2013

“Why We Had a Right to Watch the Zimmerman Trial,” newyorker.com, July 20, 2013

Credentials 

Education

Columbia University School of Law (J.D. 1991)
Columbia Law Review¸ Notes and Comments Editor

Yale University (B.A., cum laude, with distinction in the major, 1987)

Admissions

New York

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York