Sports enthusiasts may wonder what is required to become a sports lawyer that represents players, unions, or owners. The answer to that question lies in the job description, duties, and role of a sports lawyer. A quick examination of current sport lawyer roles and how members of that niché became sports lawyers tell the tale.
What is a Sports Lawyer?
Most think of the position as a representative or agent of an athlete, preferably a star athlete. While it is factual to say that sports lawyers represent athletes at nearly every level of the sport in one way or another, the fact is that the sports lawyer niché covers much more. The sports lawyer deals with the business end of an athlete or sports organization. An athlete’s lawyer deals with contracts, endorsements, legal matters such as wills, mortgages, sets up press conferences, business meetings, and so much more. However, this activity is a fraction of the sports lawyer role. Most sports lawyers work in large organizations and deal with many aspects of the business of that organization.
Becoming a Lawyer
There is no mystery surrounding the advancement to lawyer status. The journey is long a strewn with potholes. LawInSport points out in a 2013 article by Sean Cottrell that the essential step toward being a sports attorney is to gain lawyer status. To gain that elevated status, a student must first apply themselves early in the education process. Top scores in an undergraduate setting are essential. To apply for admission to a law school, your grades while pursuing a bachelor’s degree are revealed in the transcripts. Considering that only the top applicants are admitted to a limited class, those grades grow in importance. After graduating from law school, the application information includes class positioning. Once again, the top scorers earn the best positions. Once entrenched in a law firm, the applicant can address entering the niché of sports attorney by pursuing connections in the field.
Related Resource: Top 20 Sport Law Programs
Is There a Way to Enter the Sports Field Early as a Lawyer?
Some law schools offer a sports law clinic. A law student wishing to move into the field should attend these events, get a feel for the niché, and approach a few experienced sports lawyers. These events are few and far between, but they are a useful tool to start building a network. Those interested in being a sports representative need to look into summer work with firms that do such work. A student is allowed to ask experienced lawyers for an informal interview to establish their interest in the community of sports lawyers. Connect to, and remain connected with, the Sports Law Association which maintains vigilance over any changes or updates to sports law. Most relevantly, us your limited electives while in school to take courses in spots and organizational law. These extra steps give credence to a claim of interest in the field, a claim every law firm recognizes.
Becoming a lawyer, going through all the classes, contortions, internships, and tests involved with the process is the first step to becoming a sports lawyer. A graduate that has reached out to the sports law community has a foot up on the competition.