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Top 20 Sport Law Programs 2018-2019

Sports-Management-Degree-Guide-Top ProgramsBy SMD Staff
September 2018

Sports law is a rapidly changing and diverse practice area of law that encompasses the legal representation of sports teams, athletes, universities, stadium managers and corporations that sponsor sporting events. While not a formal area of law, sports law is the most unique and competitive areas of legal practice.

Sport law programs include coursework in licensing, trademarks, copyright, endorsements, real estate, labor negotiations and contracts. Earning a sports law degree can provide students with the knowledge, skills, and training needed to be competitive in this exciting industry.

Methodology

To identify the top 20 best sports law programs, we started with a search of law schools offering these types of programs. Through our research, we determined the best programs featured expert level faculty, diverse internship and externship opportunities, student sport law organizations, and professional development opportunities. Programs chosen for our list met these standards of excellence and we created a ranking methodology for them based on average graduate tuition rates and student to faculty ratios. All programs in our list are exceptional sport law programs and can prepare students for an exciting career working with some of the best athletes and teams in the world.

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 10:1 or less=5 Points
  • 11:1 to 15:1=3 Points
  • Greater than 15:1= 1 Point

Average Graduate Tuition Rate

  • Less than $20,000 per year= 5 Points
  • $20,000 to $30,000 per year= 3 Point
  • More than $30,000 per year= 1 Point

Below are 20 schools that offer the best sport law degree programs.

Ranking the Top 20 Law Degrees in Sports 2018

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#20 – University of Miami – Coral Gables, Florida

J.D./LL.M. Joint Degree in Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $35,280/year
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 4
The J.D./LL.M. joint degree in entertainment, arts and sports law provides students with the unique opportunity to earn both degrees simultaneously, saving both time and money. Students can complete this top sport law program in just seven semesters. The curriculum includes graduate level coursework in entertainment, arts, and sports law beginning in the third year of the program. Students have the option to participate in the Litigation Skills Program, enhance their trial skills in the International Moot Court program, or help underserved clients in one of 10 different clinics in the area.

#19 – Suffolk University – Boston, Massachusetts

Sports and Entertainment Law

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $34,950/year
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
Points: 4
The top Sports and Entertainment Law program at Suffolk University in Boston is an innovative program with coursework in entertainment law, gaming, trademark law, sports law, and intellectual property and licensing. Students can participate in the Sports and Entertainment Law Association which hosts speakers and panelists who share their insider knowledge of the industry. Past students have completed internship experiences with The Boston Red Sox and K Sports and Entertainment LLC.

#18 – Tulane University – New Orleans, Louisiana

JD in Sport Law

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 8:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $50,920/year
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
The top sports law program at Tulane University Law School is the first in the nation to offer a certificate of specialization in sports law for students earning their J.D. degree. Students earn the certificate of specialization by completing industry essential coursework covering both amateur and professional sports. The Sports Law Society at Tulane meets with industry experts to discuss current legal issues and keep students aware and informed. Unique events such as the Mardi Gras National Moot Court Competition and an annual sports negotiation competition give students the opportunity to showcase their skills in a competitive environment.

#17 – Vermont Law School – South Royalton, Vermont

Sport Law, J.D.

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 4:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $40,345/year
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
Points: 6
Vermont Law School, one of the premier environmental law schools in the nation, features a sports law specialization that recognizes the relationship between sports and the environment. Students learn how to make a positive difference in the sport world through the power of law. Vermont Law School is home to the Sports Law Institute which conducts original research, promotes professional development opportunities, and shares employment opportunities in the field for students and alumni of VLS. Coursework covers topics like antitrust, labor, immigration, criminal law, and Title IX.

#16 – Pepperdine University – Malibu, California

Entertainment, Media and Sports Law

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $32,500/year
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
Points: 6
The Certificate in Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law from Pepperdine University is a specialized program students can earn concurrently with their J.D. degree. This top sport law program is a 12 unit program with courses available in media and the law, licensing, dispute resolution, communications, and copyright law. Students can complete their J.D. degree following a three-year approach, an accelerated schedule, or an extended option. Experiential learning is key at Pepperdine, and students benefit from the opportunity to engage in clinical work, externships, mentoring, and study abroad opportunities.

#15 – University of San Francisco – San Francisco, California

Sports and Entertainment Law

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $24,210/year
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
Points: 6
The top J.D. sports law program at the University of San Francisco prepares students to manage the legal issues facing teams and athletes in the U.S. and around the globe. Upper level students benefit from externship opportunities in some of the top firms and agencies in the San Francisco area. Courses cover subjects like contracts, international intellectual property, patent licensing, and sports law. Student organizations such as the Intellectual Property and Cyber Law Association and the Sports and Entertainment Law Association provide students with access to professional development opportunities.

#14 – University of Oregon – Eugene, Oregon

J.D. Sports Law

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $14,526/year in-state and $25,515/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Points: 6
The School of Law at the University of Oregon features an exciting J.D. in sport law program rich with opportunities for success. Courses cover areas like labor law, mediation, employment law, legal writing, and IP licensing. Beginning in their first year, students are engaged in practical skills training such as legal drafting, contract drafting, and externships. Students work toward professional development benchmarks to develop a industry connections, find employment, and complete an internship. Extracurricular opportunities are available through participation in the Sports and Entertainment Law Forum and by organizing the Oregon Sports and Entertainment Conference.

#13 – University of New Hampshire – Durham, New Hampshire

JD in Sports and Entertainment Law

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio:18:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $13,840/year in-state and $27,130/year out-of-state
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
Points: 6
The University of New Hampshire features a top J.D. in sports and entertainment law program featuring unique coursework in pro sports law, amateur sports law, and IP issues in sports and entertainment law. Students have the chance to demonstrate their legal skills through participation in appellate moot court and trial mood court competitions. UNH features five-client clinics in areas like immigration law, intellectual property, and commercial law. Extensive residency and clinical programs provide students with hands on training and skill development.

#12 – The Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio

Sports Law, J.D.

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,560/year in-state and $33,032/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University features a top J.D. sport law program in the heart of the largest NCAA sports program in the nation. Students gain valuable field experience through internship opportunities in the industry. Both the Sports Law Moot Court Team and the Sports and Entertainment Law Association provide students with professional development opportunities. Faculty are eager to share their passion for law in the area of sport, sharing their insight and knowledge with their students.

#11 – George Mason University – Fairfax, Virginia

JD-Sport Law Concentration

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,228/year in-state and $30,932/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
The top J.D. sports law program at George Mason University is a great choice for students who want to understand law as it relates to professional and amateur sports and athletes. The sports law concentration requires a sports law course, an alternative dispute resolution based course, three electives, and an externship experience. The 120 hour externship allows students to work with a professional sport league, team, sports agency, law firm or NCAA athletic department. Students may pursue their law degree on a full or part-time basis depending on their schedule.

#10 – Florida State University – Tallahassee, Florida

Law and Sport Management, J.D./M.S.

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,684/year in-state $24,116/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
The College of Law at Florida State University features a joint sport management and law program that begins in the College of Law. Students complete 24 credit hours in sport management that include marketing sport, sport and the media, issues in sport law, seminar, and strategic management. Students in this top sport law degree program must complete a thesis.

#9 – University of Georgia – Athens, Georgia

Sport Management and Policy Joint MS/J.D. Degree Program

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,704/year in-state and $24,692/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
The University of Georgia features a joint MS/J.D. program in Sport Management that students can complete in just four years of study. Students can decide whether to begin the program with either the MS or the JD, using the final program year to finish up requirements for both degrees. Both a thesis and non-thesis option are available for the MS portion of the degree, giving students additional flexibility.

#8 – Arizona State University – Scottsdale, Arizona

Juris Doctor, Sports Law and Business

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,144/year
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University features a top J.D. sports law and business program taught by world-class faculty. ASU is the only school in the country to offer such a unique combination. Coursework includes sports analytics, sports marketing, amateur sports law, risk management, pro team sports, and NCAA infractions, compliance, and enforcement. Students benefit from have exclusive access to conferences, skills workshops, sporting events and unique volunteer experiences.

#7 – Texas Tech University – Lubbock, Texas

J.D./Master of Science in Sport Management (M.S.)

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,724/year in-state and $13,068/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
Texas Tech features a joint J.D. and Master of Science in Sport Management program that students can earn in just three to four years. This 102 credit hour program includes 78 credits of law courses and 24 credits in sport management. Students study contracts, business ethics, marketing, financial management, leadership, and facilities management. One of the program highlights is an internship experience in sport management. Graduates have found success working as athletic directors, senior administrators, and sports agents.

#6 – Marquette University – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

J.D.- Certificate in Sports Law

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $19,800/year
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 8
Marquette University features a Certificate in Sports Law earned as part of the J.D. degree. This top sports law program offers a comprehensive mix of sport law courses and practical field experience. Students benefit from monthly networking opportunities with industry experts and internship experiences with top sports organizations. Coursework covers areas like torts, labor, contracts, taxation, antitrust, business, and intellectual property. Faculty have extensive knowledge experience in their area of expertise, sharing their passion with their students.

#5 – Seattle University – Seattle, Washington

JD/MS in Sport Business Leadership

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $19,426/year
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Points: 8
The joint J.D./MS in Sport Business Leadership is a three or four year program open to both full and part-time students. By taking a number of crossover credits that apply to both law and sport business leadership, students can earn both degrees in a shorter amount of time than if they completed them independently. Students have the chance to complete internships with premier organizations like the Seahawks, the University of Washington, Special Olympics Washington, and the Mariners.

#4 – Villanova University – Villanova, Pennsylvania

J.D. with a focus area in Sport and Entertainment Law

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $18,373/year
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Points: 8
The Charles Widger School of Law at Villanova University is home to The Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law and features a sports and entertainment law practice program. The Center provides students with relevant coursework, scholarship, and externship opportunities in the field, preparing students to work in both amateur and professional sports. Students have the chance to hear renowned industry professionals through the Center’s speaker series. Students can compete in an Open-Writing Competition for a chance to publish and edit for the Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal.

#3 – University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, North Carolina

J.D./Master of Arts in Sports Administration (M.S.A.)

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,943/year in-state and $27,154/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 8
Who doesn’t appreciate saving both time and money? The top dual degree J.D./MS in sports administration from the University of North Carolina is a four year program that includes 112 credit hours of law and sports administration coursework and an internship experience. Students spend the first two years as full-time law students, the third in sports administration, and the final year completing thesis requirements and law electives.

#2 – The University of Mississippi – University, Mississippi

J.D. with a concentration in Sport and Entertainment Law

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,190/year in-state and $23,454/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 8
The School of Law at the University of Mississippi offers a concentration in sports and entertainment law for law students seeking additional training and expertise in the industry. Graduates receive a certificate of completion and a notation on their transcript noting the sports and entertainment law concentration. Students complete core and elective coursework in sport and entertainment law with offerings such as amateur and professional sports law, entertainment law, and intellectual property survey. Student organizations like the Mississippi Sports Law Society and the Mississippi Sports Law Review provide students with the chance to network and engage in professional development opportunities.

#1 – Thomas Jefferson School of Law – San Diego, California

Sports Law J.D.

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,420/year
Accreditation: American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
Points: 10
Thomas Jefferson School of law features a top sport law program taught by faculty with extensive professional experience in the field. The sports law specialization prepares students to apply their knowledge and training of law to the rapidly changing sports industry. Students gain practical experience through hands-on courtroom activities, community service and pro-bono work, externship opportunities, and the chance to study abroad. Graduates of this top sport law program are well prepared for the bar examination.

Rankings

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