Sports Law- How feasible is it?

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Sports Law- How feasible is it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:02 am

I've been mulling at the idea of possible practicing sports law, specifically in the client representation arena (i.e-agent). As an incoming 1L to a t14, how feasible is the expectation of doing some sort of client representation in the sports world through Biglaw? Do most v100 firms have a sports and entertainment practice groups? Or is it almost standard procedure to setup your own shop and search for your own clients? And more importantly if I wanted to do sports law, which way should I strategically go about in trying to land this opportunity.

FWIW, I also recently stumbled upon this article, which made it seem to me that breaking into this field may not be as hard as I thought it was:

http://www.americanlawyer.com/PubArticl ... 1130065424

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06102016
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Re: Sports Law- How feasible is it?

Postby 06102016 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:13 am

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chicubs88
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Re: Sports Law- How feasible is it?

Postby chicubs88 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:44 am

Go to Wikipedia and search "Sports Agent." Then go through the list of sports agents and look at each of their profiles (I'm assuming you're mainly interest in major American sports leagues). You will quickly notice a trend. The vast majority of agents are either former athletes who washed out and used the connections they made during their playing days, or had other unique situations such as being related to/close friends with an athlete or influential athletic booster. If you want to be a sports agent, by all means go for it. However, keep in mind it is essentially impossible without the connections. Also, these connections aren't the type you make through the generic "networking" that career services always rags on about. Tom Condon, the most powerful agent in the NFL who represents the Manning brothers, played with their dad Archie. Those are the kind of connections we're talking about.

Again, not trying to be a wet blanket, but rather making sure you are aware of the harsh reality. Being a sports agent might be your dream(I'd love to be one), but you can't put all your eggs in that basket. I wish you luck and encourage you to keep your options open.

P.S. ESPN's 30 for 30 did an episode on agents who are trying to break into the business. It did a pretty good job of showing the uphill battle.

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06102016
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Re: Sports Law- How feasible is it?

Postby 06102016 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:31 am

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Nova
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Re: Sports Law- How feasible is it?

Postby Nova » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:17 am

chicubs88 wrote:P.S. ESPN's 30 for 30 did an episode on agents who are trying to break into the business. It did a pretty good job of showing the uphill battle.

Good post. And thanks for this tip. Sounds like a good episode. Ima look it up.

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IAFG
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Re: Sports Law- How feasible is it?

Postby IAFG » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:27 am

Everyone is right of course, it isn't very likely at all, but go ahead and try to do something related your 1L summer. If nothing else you'll satisfy your curiosity.

Also if the T14 is NU, PM me.

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Re: Sports Law- How feasible is it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:51 pm

i worked in sports for several years, not as an agent but for a team, and worked with a lot of agents... many of them didn't have law degrees, some did. i think personality, enthusiasm, and connections are all more important than your degree field. i'm sure having a law degree helps, but the other factors are really significant. if you don't have significant connections to a sport, i would suggest interning at one of the big agencies, like IMG or Octagon, and trying to get a job there rather than at a firm. people say it helps to work in big law for a few years first, but most of the most successful agents i know just have undergrad liberal arts or business degrees, and started at an agency or working in the team/league/organization, etc. some of the work real agents do is legal, but that's just one component, and the social component is major.

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Re: Sports Law- How feasible is it?

Postby bdubs » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:24 pm

The firms I can think of that do a substantial amount of this work are all very difficult to get jobs at. Off the top of my head I know that Covington (mentioned in your article), Williams and Connolly, and Skadden all have close relationships with professional sports in one or more of their practice groups.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/ ... rtainment/

I don't have much first hand experience, but i would highly doubt that the representation practices are ones that make heavy use of associate time.
Last edited by bdubs on Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thesealocust
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Re: Sports Law- How feasible is it?

Postby thesealocust » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:26 pm

bdubs wrote:The firms I can think of that do a substantial amount of this work are all very difficult to get jobs at. Off the top of my head I know that Covington (mentioned in your article), Williams and Connolly, and Skadden all have close relationships with professional sports in one or more of their practice groups.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/ ... rtainment/


I have this vague memory that Proskauer is big on sports law. I also bet there are rankings of this stuff somewhere, probably on chambers & partners.

Sports have lots of legal issues, and getting to a firm that handles those issues can set you up for later opportunities. It won't be easy or certain, but it's a fairly reasonable - if highly specific - goal coming out of a T14.

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Re: Sports Law- How feasible is it?

Postby bdubs » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:42 pm

thesealocust wrote:
bdubs wrote:The firms I can think of that do a substantial amount of this work are all very difficult to get jobs at. Off the top of my head I know that Covington (mentioned in your article), Williams and Connolly, and Skadden all have close relationships with professional sports in one or more of their practice groups.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/ ... rtainment/


I have this vague memory that Proskauer is big on sports law. I also bet there are rankings of this stuff somewhere, probably on chambers & partners.

Sports have lots of legal issues, and getting to a firm that handles those issues can set you up for later opportunities. It won't be easy or certain, but it's a fairly reasonable - if highly specific - goal coming out of a T14.


Sealocust is right about Proskauer. If you take a look at the profiles of the chambers rated partners, you'll notice that none of them spend all of their time in this area of practice. As an associate I would guess that means it's even less likely you'll be able to specialize in this with much of a substantial time commitment. You'll probably need to pick litigation, labor, or corporate and hope to pick up assignments as they come up.

http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA/Editorial/71052

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manofjustice
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Re: Sports Law- How feasible is it?

Postby manofjustice » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:35 pm

So a couple of things...a) you need to spend more time researching what legal employment is like. The chances are exactly 0 that you will be practicing "sports law at a big firm" out of law school.

b) sports law is as feasible as making partner at a big firm--clearly something you should strive for, if you want it, but getting it probably shouldn't be your only reason for going to law school. "Sports law" is a popular 0L thing to talk about. It's not a popular 3L thing to talk about. Don't go into law school for the wrong reasons.




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