Meet the NMR Staff

Art Neill

Founder / Executive Director

Joined NMR in: 

October 2005

Art is the founder of New Media Rights, and practices public interest law in the areas of internet, intellectual property, privacy, and media law. He writes about legal issues for creators and small businesses as a Contributor at Forbes.

Art is also a professor at California Western School of Law teaching the courses Internet & Social Media Law (primarily focused on Internet, Intellectual Property, licensing, and online publishing law) as well as an Internet & Media Law Clinic.

In 2011, 2013, and 2015 Art was appointed as a member of the Federal Communication Commission's Consumer Advisory Committee, where he served as Co-chair of the Broadband Working Group.  In 2014, Art was named to the Fastcase 50, which honors the law's smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, & leaders.

Click here to learn more about Art, including publications, interviews, and presentations.

Erika Lee

Assistant Director

Joined NMR in: 

May 2015


Erika is the Assistant Director at New Media Rights, where she works with creative professionals and small businesses in preventative transactional legal matters. In addition to providing one to one legal assistance in entertainment, intellectual property and privacy law matters, Erika also develops educational resources for New Media Rights and engages in public policy advocacy in regulatory proceedings at the Copyright Office. 

Erika received her J.D. from California Western School of Law, and her B.A. degree in English from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. During law school, Erika worked for New Media Rights as an intern and student fellow before spending a semester in Los Angeles working in the business and legal affairs department of Shout! Factory, a multi-platform media company. While obtaining her undergraduate degree, Erika worked for four years in the marketing department of a large performing arts center in Madison, Wisconsin, where she assisted in programming projects and events that engaged local communities with the arts, and promoted national Broadway and non-Broadway touring productions.

Click here to learn more about Erika, including publications, interviews, and presentations.

Zahra Ahmed

Legal Intern

Joined NMR in: 

January 2023
Zahra is a second-year law student at California Western School of Law. Prior to attending law school, Zahra received her B.A. from the University of California, Davis in Political Science. While obtaining her undergraduate degree at Davis, she was involved with building classrooms and educational programs for Syrian refugee kids in Lebanon. In her first year of law school, Zahra received a Diversity Fellowship through the San Diego Bar Association and received recognition in the San Diego Lawyer Magazine. Currently at law school, she is involved in the Sports and Entertainment Law Society and Diversity Student Committee.

Aljona Begaj

Legal Intern

Joined NMR in: 

January 2023

Aljona is a second-year student at California Western School of Law. Before attending law school, Aljona received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Texas at Austin. While attending U.T., Aljona was involved with fundraising for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Austin. Through CASA, she saw the benefits of advocacy and the importance of having access to justice.

Aljona joined NMR to continue providing legal access through pro bono work while enabling creators to protect their intellectual property.

Aljona currently serves as Treasurer of the Entertainment and Sports Law Society and the Public Interest Law Foundation at California Western.

Emily Kirschenheuter

Student Fellow

Joined NMR in: 

May 2022
Emily is a second-year student at California Western School of Law. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in broadcast journalism. Prior to law school, she worked as the Executive Producer of Digital at a television news station in San Francisco. 
She’s thrilled to merge her passions for digital media and law while working at New Media Rights. She enjoys working with artists and creators to help protect their work and further their creative visions. While in law school, she works as a Teaching Fellow for Contracts and is a member of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society. In her free time, she enjoys trying out new restaurants around San Diego and spending quality time with her cat, Honey.