Sean Dolan | Associate Attorney at Butt Thornton & Baehr | DFM ’10

Sean Dolan is an Associate Attorney living in Albuquerque.

When did you graduate from CMI?

2010

What was your area of emphasis at CMI?

LiveAction Filmmaking – DFM

Where are you and what are you doing now?

Right now I am in Albuquerque working as an Associate Attorney at Butt Thornton & Baehr, a civil defense firm, and am beginning to get into entertainment law.

What do you like most about what you’re doing?

I am constantly reading, writing, and thinking critically.

What are some projects/jobs that you’ve worked on since graduating?

I worked at a since closed production company in Los Angeles for about 3 years, working on a bunch of different tv shows. I then worked on Sports Science on ESPN for about two years before starting law school.

What classes and learning experiences at CMI were the most valuable in building towards your current job?

Every writing class was incredibly valuable, but the common theme in all classes that has helped me the most is collaboration. Cases, like a film set, require each participant to know and understand their role, and be able to fit in into the larger picture. That is a core lesson taught at CMI and is one of most beneficial parts of the program. Without collaboration, nothing can get done. Additionally, the program taught me to think outside the box, which is essential as a lawyer. Creative problem solving is continually an issue with filmmaking, and CMI provides the opportunities the learn and the professors to guide students through that process. I would not be the lawyer I am without those lessons.

Legal writing, like writing for film or tv, follows a formula. Learning to write in a formula at CMI made learning to write briefs, motions, memos, and other legal documents much easier. The lessons learned from writing at CMI are easily transferable to other areas.

What are you doing when you aren’t working?

I am hanging out with my wife and dog, hiking, watching sports, or talking politics.

What’s some advice you would give a CMI student (or maybe potential CMI student) about their time at CMI?

Volunteer on other’s shoots. It can be hard to give up a weekend to assist another student with their shoot, but the lessons learned will be worth it. And, without a doubt, you will need other volunteers to help with your shoot at some time.

What’s next for you?

I am beginning to expand my practice to include entertainment law. The knowledge of filmmaking I received from CMI puts me at a distinct advantage in beginning that practice.


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