Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
New Sports Law Program at FCSL & Breaking Into the Sports Law Industry

Nice piece by Mark Hyman in this week's Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal on Florida Coastal School of Law's new sports law certificate program (Hyman, "School aims to make its name in sports," 7/24/05). The article appears on page 19, and it quotes the program's director, Professor Rick Karcher, who has regularly contributed to Sports Law Blog. The article discusses Rick's responsibilities as the director, his colleagues Dean Peter Goplerud and Professor Nancy Hogshead-Makar, and also how he is a former pro athlete: before attending law school, Rick played in the Atlanta Braves' organization and was a teammate of Chipper Jones. The article also discusses how it can be difficult to land a sports law job even with a certificate. Along those lines, Gary Roberts--director of Tulane's Sports Law Program and also a regular contributor to Sports Law Blog--notes that of 30 students earning certificates at Tulane each year, only between five to 10 find sports law jobs. On the other hand, notes Rick, "[a certificate] could give a student a leg up."

This article brings to mind a question that both Greg and I frequently get e-mailed about: What is the best way to break into sports law? Aside from the more obvious methods (sending letters to all the teams/sports agencies; networking at sports lawyers' conferences; and be willing to earn very little while your classmates earn a lot more), one other avenue to consider is writing and publishing legal scholarship (especially on topics that have not already been written about), and obtaining advice from law professors who are interested in your writing and who are willing to be active sources of advice and advocacy on your behalf. From my own experience, publishing can be a great avenue into a sports law career, as my law review article on the law and economics of high school players in the NBA Draft landed me a spot on Maurice Clarett's legal team. Not coincidentally, I had the good fortune of receiving invaluable writing and professional advice from my two sports law professors, Paul Weiler of Harvard Law School and Donald Dell of the University of Virginia. Along those lines, as a soon-to-be law professor at Mississippi College School of Law, I look forward to actively helping my students break into the industry.