Sports Law Blog
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Law Schools with Sports Law Profs, 2006-2007

Last spring, I posted a list of law schools with self-identified "Sports Law Professors." Subject to the disclaimers made in that post, here is an updated list (schools new to the list, or with additional faculty members, are indicated in bold):
Akron; Alabama; Arkansas (2 profs); Baltimore; Baylor; Berkeley; Boston College; Boston University; BYU; California Western; UCLA; Capital; Chapman; Cincinnati; Cooley; Connecticut; University of Detroit (2 profs); Duke (2 profs); Florida (2 profs); Florida A & M; Florida Coastal (3 profs); Florida State; Georgia; Georgia State; George Washington; Gonzaga; Harvard; Houston; Idaho; Indiana; Indiana-Indianapolis; Lewis & Clark (2 profs); Loyola – LA; Marquette (3 profs); Miami (2 profs); Michigan; Michigan State (2 profs); Minnesota; Mississippi College; Missouri (2 profs); Missouri-Kansas City; New England; New Mexico; New York University; North Dakota; Nova Southastern; Nebraska; Northeastern; Northern Kentucky (2 profs); Notre Dame; Ohio Northern; Ohio State; Oklahoma; Pepperdine; Penn State-Dickinson; Puerto Rico; Richmond; St. John’s; Saint Louis; Seton Hall; Southern; Southern Illinois; Southwestern; Stanford; Stetson; Suffolk; Syracuse; Temple; Texas; Texas Southern; Texas Tech; Toledo (2 profs); Tulane (2 profs); Tulsa; Valparaiso; Vanderbilt (2 profs); Villanova; Virginia; Wake Forest; Washburn (2 profs); Western New England; West Virginia; Whittier; Widener (2 profs); William & Mary; Willamette (2 profs); Yale
While it's nice to see some new additions to this list, a number of schools appear to have lost their sports law faculty members: Barry, DePaul, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, and St. Thomas (MN).


I really appreciate this compilation. I'm applying to law school now, and I definitely have sports law in mind.

If you had the time, I think another great list would be which schools actually offer sports law courses. I've gotten lost in websites looking for their course guides (many aren't available to prospective students) and if you had access to different information, which would be really helpful to anyone out there looking into the field.

Blogger Andrew -- 12/05/2006 5:29 PM  

I, also, have had the same problem. It is extremely frustrating when a law school does not list, or make it remotely easy to find, the different classes they offer.

I also try to look for schools that offer something more than just a single sports law class; I look for international sports law or a separate entertainment law class or an amatuer sports law class. These are even hard to find at schools besides FCLS, Marquette, and Tulane.

Blogger WMUpsci_student -- 12/05/2006 8:36 PM  

William Mitchell (MN) added a Sports Law course this year. The school hired Clark Griffith: former owner, Executive Vice-President and Treasurer of the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club. He was Chairman of Major League Baseball Properties and a member of the Player Relations Committee among several Major League Baseball assignments.

Blogger Andrew L. Smith -- 12/06/2006 9:19 AM  

Andrew and WMU student,

UVa has two sports law classes and a journal dedicated to sports and entertainment. We're also getting an entertainment law professor back soon (I believe).

Anonymous Anonymous -- 12/06/2006 9:21 AM  

Unfortunately, it's very difficult to say which schools offer courses in particular years, and which don't. Most law school offerings change from year to year, and particularly at a small school, sports law (and other upper level "elective" courses") are only offered every other year. That means you may be assured of the chance to take it in either your second or third year, but might not get to choose.

Many schools have sports law taught by an "adjunct professor" -- someone who has a full time job outside of the school but comes in, typically in the evening, to teach the class. Many sports law adjuncts are great -- and have even more industry experience (and contacts) than tenured or tenure-track professors. Others are not so good. Although it's difficult to generalize, one might suspect that classes taught by adjuncts will likely focus more on practical, nuts-and-bolts considerations associated with sports law (e.g., how to negotiate a contract), and less on "academic" or intellectual questions (e.g., should sports leagues be exempt from the antitrust laws).

Having an in-the-building, full-time, tenure-track person has its advantages for students, particularly when it comes to getting counseling and advice on papers.

I would add that taking sports law may not be key to getting a sports law job -- there are other courses, like estate planning, tax, labor law and antitrust that can be equally, if not more useful. I had a post that included some discussion of useful classes here,

It might also be true that one's job prospects in sports law are enhanced by attending the "best" law school one can (and getting the best grades).

What's a prospective student to do? I think the list above (which schools have tenure track professors who self-identify as "sports law" professors) is at least a partial indication of a school's attitude towards sports law (i.e., whether they consider it a legitimate or serious field of study), and the likelihood that sports law classes will be availalble. There are also schools like Marquette, Tulane, and Florida Coastal that have strong certificate programs in the field; and schools like UVA and Duke that have long traditions of turning out sports lawyers and agents.

Blogger Geoffrey Rapp -- 12/06/2006 11:12 AM  

Thomas M. Cooley offers a Sports Law class each fall taught by tenured faculty, but I agree with Mr. Rapp that "taking sports law may not be key to getting a sports law job."

Graduating from a Tier 1 law school certainly might increase the job applicant's marketability, but landing a sports law job is not any different than landing a job in any other field: build your resume while in law school and make as many sports law contacts as possible during law school. If the candidate doesn't end up with a job in sports law, take another job, but don't give up on sports law.

Blogger Tammy Thomas -- 12/06/2006 3:13 PM  

This list needs some caveats. I go to Miami and although we may have two sports law professors, during my two years (after 1L year -- the years in which I am allowed to choose classes), the school has offered exactly one two-credit sports law class. And the professor has zero experience in the realm of sports law. I have no idea how he is qualified to teach sports law other than that he likes sports and they need someone to teach the class. Actually, the class is "Sport and the Law" not sports law per se. This professor's scholarly writing relates to evidence and criminal law, not sports law.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 12/07/2006 6:03 PM  

Thanks for the list. However, I wonder how many business schools have sports law professors? I am curious since I teach the subject to MBA and undergraduate business students.


Anonymous Anonymous -- 12/07/2006 7:18 PM  

North Carolina did lose a sports law professor to William and Mary (Prof George, whose husband became dean of students there), but I believe there is a faculty member (and lawyer) from another department who plans to teach sports law in Prof George's stead.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 12/10/2006 2:52 AM  

Barry has not lost its Sports Law faculty. This summer, 2007, Barry will be offering a Sports Law course, and that course will be offered on a regular basis thereafter. -Marc J. Randazza

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/20/2007 12:30 PM  

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