Crafting Critical Connections
Kaine Hampton ’15 believes in the power of a strong professional network. After all, he benefitted from a network that stretched from Houston, Texas, to D.C. and eventually to New York. Now the entertainment lawyer’s sights are set on helping others—especially current American University Washington College of Law students—by extending his hand to them.
“I have had some wonderful work opportunities,” said Hampton, counsel for Scripted, Original Series at Netflix. “If someone else has a passion for entertainment law, then it’s my job to make sure that person has a connection to what can seem like a closed industry.”
Hampton started his career in business. After earning his BA in international business and finance at the University of Houston, he worked for nearly three years as a business analyst at Music World Entertainment, the record label that launched Beyoncé’s solo career. When he arrived at AUWCL, he planned on continuing in finance.
But his trajectory took a turn when he attended an event sponsored by the law school’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society, where he met Damien Alexander ’98, then vice president and associate general counsel, business and legal affairs, for BET Networks, a Viacom subsidiary. He told Alexander he was seeking a summer internship, which led to Hampton not only securing an internship, but also working for Viacom part time while he completed his law degree.
Hampton spent a total of seven years at Viacom, mostly in New York, until moving to Netflix in August 2019. He is now located in Los Angeles and works in production and development of scripted series projects that are character driven, as well as thrillers.
“I enjoy problem-solving for a living,” he said of his current role. “I work in an innovative environment, which keeps me excited about my work.” He joined Netflix in part because he saw it as a “forward-thinking company,” both in terms of its thoughtful commitment to diversity and the company’s position on the cutting edge of streaming technology, which is where Hampton could see the entertainment industry was headed.
While in New York Hampton helped launch AUWCL’s New York alumni chapter, and he plans to do the same in Los Angeles.