Jan Constantine

Jan Constantine

Adjunct Instructor, Center for Publishing

In her distinguished career as assistant U.S. attorney, senior deputy general counsel at News Corporation, deputy general counsel at Macmillan, and now general counsel for the Authors Guild, Jan Constantine has represented publishers, authors, and government agencies in a multitude of noteworthy negotiations. Now, in the role of adjunct instructor in the NYU School of Professional Studies M.S. in Publishing: Digital and Print Media program, she brings her legal experience to the classroom, where a new breed of negotiators are given the opportunity to reap the benefits of her expertise.

Constantine believes that despite the rapidly evolving digital environment, publishing law has not changed; instead, it is the very pace of change itself that is constantly accelerating. "While the new digital universe offers enormous opportunities for the publishing industry’s growth and access," explains Constantine, "it also presents new challenges."

It is with this in mind that she approaches Contract Negotiation, an advanced law seminar that she developed with the program’s administration. As her students are not necessarily lawyers, she ensures that they first have a fundamental understanding of basic contract law and substantive terms before moving into negotiation skills. To do this, she employs a law school case-method approach, where students adopt the role of author, agent, editor, publisher, or businessperson, and negotiate actual matters they might handle professionally in their careers. This gives students a foundation of practical experience upon which they can build their negotiating skills, and the tools necessary to tackle any challenges the publishing world has to offer.

Although she has taught in more traditional academic settings, Constantine prefers the way in which the NYU School of Professional Studies program hybridizes theoretical and practical elements of learning. Unlike standard academic programs, both faculty members and students are practicing professionals who bring experiential knowledge, taken directly from their work, into the classroom. This leads to a dynamic learning environment wherein students gain applied industry insight not only from their professors, but also from their peers.