Sports Law

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JGreat
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Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:10 pm

Sports Law

Postby JGreat » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:15 pm

Hey everyone, I have been curious about Sports Law for awhile. I want to be a sports agent and have been trying to do some research on what is the best law school for me. Many people say go to Marquette or Tulane because they have a great sports law program. Others say going to a top law school is the better choice. Any advice?

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Homelandsagreatshow
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Re: Sports Law

Postby Homelandsagreatshow » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:18 pm

HYS, and maybe CCN, if you have to PMV, worst comes to worst, BDNCG

bchirco
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Re: Sports Law

Postby bchirco » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:24 pm

I just did a quick search of firms who handle sports law. The degrees were all over the place. It seems like the best way to get into it would be the traditional T14>Best Regional.

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kalvano
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Re: Sports Law

Postby kalvano » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:20 pm

Go to Yale and work at Proskauer.
Last edited by kalvano on Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Sports Law

Postby dextermorgan » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:11 pm

Tulane has a great sports law program... headed by a Duke JD that worked at Williams and Connolly.

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deadpanic
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Re: Sports Law

Postby deadpanic » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:38 pm

Sports Law is not really a thing. Kind of like Entertainment Law.

californiauser
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Re: Sports Law

Postby californiauser » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:01 pm

HYS -> Biglaw (a firm that handles sporting leagues, Proskauer for example)

seems to be the "common" route espoused on here for sports law...

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phillywc
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Re: Sports Law

Postby phillywc » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:00 pm

Seems like the best way to be a sports agent is to know a player.

sf_39
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Re: Sports Law

Postby sf_39 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:52 pm

Not what you asked, but I will give you my take on the sports agent path. Like most things in sports & entertainment fields, you're walking into a high demand, limited supply field.

Being a sports agent is a really risky and low paying path to go into unless you have connections. The degree you have isn't as relevant to knowing people in the business, being able to identify talent at 14-16 years of age, and maintaining good personal relationships, prioritized in order. Also you need luck to hang onto a client before a big fish takes them away.

The law degree helps (although pro sports contracts are so easy a HS grad could write one up usually), and some sports law classes would be a nice addition but you need to go to law school knowing you have a decent chance as a agent once your graduate as there's no easy way to break into the field.

I'm not trying to discourage you from being an agent, but my suggestion would be if that's what you want to do I'd make sure I'm established in the sports business first before becoming an agent.

My opinions on this are from talking to many sports agent, pro athletes and people in the sports business.

Cheers

timbs4339
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Re: Sports Law

Postby timbs4339 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:33 pm

Went to a sports law panel at my law school and the two paths were

1) A guy who was a mid-tier college ballplayer, went to a regional TTT, and leveraged his inside knowledge and his connections with pro athletes into a sports lawyer job at a small firm, which he then parlayed into a job as a sports agent.

2) Traditional T6, top 1/3, corporate work at Proskauer, moved over to a league after about 5-6 years, now GC for a smaller league.

Notice how "champ of the fantasy football league three years running" or "started three games for my varsity basketball team at a white high school and rocked college intramurals" isn't on this list.

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Devlin
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Re: Sports Law

Postby Devlin » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:02 pm

deadpanic wrote:Sports Law is not really a thing. Kind of like Entertainment Law.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Sports Law

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:04 pm

Devlin wrote:
deadpanic wrote:Sports Law is not really a thing. Kind of like Entertainment Law.

this is pretty sweet though:
http://athletesbrief.com/

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star fox
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Re: Sports Law

Postby star fox » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:29 pm

The best way to become a pro sports agent is to be a pro sports player first. Aside from that I'm guessing you gotta know the right people (as in pro athletes), get really lucky, and be ruthless.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Sports Law

Postby dextermorgan » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:52 pm

john7234797 wrote:The best way to become a pro sports agent is to be a pro sports player first. Aside from that I'm guessing you gotta know the right people (as in pro athletes), get really lucky, and be ruthless.

Even on TV sports agents only get jobs because they know the right kid.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Street

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Sports Law

Postby TaipeiMort » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:27 pm

Devlin wrote:
deadpanic wrote:Sports Law is not really a thing. Kind of like Entertainment Law.


4 types of sports law positions come to mind:

League/Team representation: Go to the best school you can and get into a biglaw firm like Proskauer Rose that specializes in representing these entities.

Player Agent: Kind of indefinite path. I have a friend who is an NFL and NBA agent. He went to a great regional school, ended up in the top 10%, got to a reputable regional law firm and made non-equity partner. Thereafter he just kind of spent 4 hours a day hanging around college football practices. He had an in because he is Polynesian. Eventually he made a bunch of connections and started getting a few kids into the NFL, then more kids into the NFL. He now works about 60/40 football/agent work.

Union/League Arbitration. Kind of rare. I know a guy who does this. He specializes in union/management/employee disputes. He first worked at a big firm, and then started his own shop focusing only on these types of disputes across all areas. He also works as an adjunct law professor. Basically he is successful because he is one of the FEW known for this type of work.

Team in-house: There was a poster on another thread who found an entry-level position doing this. I don't know how you get here, but I would assume more traditionally you want biglaw corporate, then lateral after 5 years.

If you go to a third-tier school, you have roughly a 0-percent chance of getting any of these.

JGreat
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Re: Sports Law

Postby JGreat » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:23 am

Thank you everyone for responding to my question. Seems like the odds are against me going into this field. It's my passion and I will continue to keep pursuing my dream. If anyone else has any other advice that is much appreciated. But once again, big thanks to all who responded the information provided was extremely helpful.

che3055
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Re: Sports Law

Postby che3055 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:19 pm

I'm interested in a similar field, but the first thing to understand is that it is an incredibly niche market. As others have said, a lot of people want the jobs but there are very few jobs to be had. From what I can gather in talking with a variety of sports lawyers and professors, the path to sports law will probably go from graduating law school, to a firm that has sports organizations/teams as clients, to (hopefully) some sort of job directly with a sports organization. In other words, you aren't going to graduate and head right to work for Octagon or the 49ers or NBC Sports.

With that in mind, the idea of going to a specialty program for sports law is a bad one, mostly because the quality of school behind it. I have been told by numerous people in the field that it is far better to go to the best school you possibly can as opposed to going to Marquette or Tulane (which are the main two schools offering a certification in sports law). That said, going to Marquette or Tulane on a full scholarship has the same pros and cons as going to any regional school does, and if you're able to get that scholarship offer, it could work out for you. (Also worth noting that UCLA has an entertainment and media law specialization. Still encompasses sports law in many ways, is a much higher ranked school than Marquette or Tulane in a much better region, and still provides good chances at grabbing a significant scholarship).

Think of it this way - if your first job out of law school will be working with a firm that has sports clients, you want to maximize your chances of landing a job with said firms. Said firms are typically BigLaw (I can post a list of some of these firms later if anyone is interested). Therefore, you want to go to a school that will maximize your chances at hitting BigLaw. Your on-the-job experience at a firm, dealing with sports cases, will outweigh any benefit you may have had from a few extra classes at Tulane or Marquette.

Another way to think about sports law is that in some regards doesn't really even exist. You're basically just doing any other sort of business law, only the clients are sports organizations. Again, this shows why maximizing your chances at BigLaw is ideal.

Also, if you want to look at things like Sports & Entertainment Law Journals, writing for them while in law school and getting published could also give a leg up. I think there are about 15 or so across the country, most notably at UVA, Texas, and UCLA, though I may be missing some big ones.

The last thing I'll say is about agents...this in particular is a very, very difficult field. Many players are picking people who are within their circle - think friends, family members, former teammates, or managers. So you'll be competing with people with no legal background for clients. You'll also be competing against people with MBAs or backgrounds in business, as some player agents never even went to law school. Consider how few professional athletes there are, and how the odds are perpetually stacked against players in terms of making it professionally. Then consider that many of these players have agents who are friends, or who have backgrounds in business. Then consider how many of these players are clients of agents or agencies that have multiple clients. The remainder of professional athletes is minute. In some ways, statistically speaking, it could be more difficult to be a player agent than to be a player. (The argument against this is that there is far more competition for people wanting to become players than agents. Still, the competition to land players as clients will be intense).

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laxbrah420
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Re: Sports Law

Postby laxbrah420 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:04 pm

Pace Law won the tulane baseball arbitration contest this year FYI. They beat the Green Wave in the finals.




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