I am frequently asked for tips and advice by law students and lawyers seeking to break into the sports side of the law. If you talk to enough folks in the space, you will find that everyone’s path is different. A couple of great examples of this are Tampa Bay Bucs Assistant General Counsel Bobbi-Sue Doyle-Hazard (@BobbiSue) and US Anti-Doping Agency Legal Affairs Director Onye Ikwuakor. A couple of weeks ago I moderated a webinar, with Bobbi-Sue and Onye serving as panelists, discussing their path and best advice. Here is the full webinar:
Bobbi-Sue was kind enough to answer all of the audience questions that we did not get to offline, including this gem of an answer (and not only because she mentions this website):
Q: Other than focusing on specific curriculum in school, what advice would you give a law student who wishes to enter the sports law field? Also, it’s no secret being counsel for a professional team is highly coveted. What are some things a student can do to best position themselves to get that job?
A: Again, I think we covered this but just in case: Network your butt off. Go to conference, reach out to people in the industry near where you go to school/work, create those relationships and do so in an authentic way. Keep an eye on Teamworkonline.com and TheWhiteBronco.com for internships. Teams, leagues, associations start looking for fall interns in January/February – spring interns in August/September. And remember to think of sports as broadly as possible and look at any business or organization that touches even a small slice of sports. For going in house with a team, as mentioned before get as much experience as you can with contract drafting/redlining/negotiating. Hell, be your own lawyer when looking over your own personal apartment rental agreement or any contract you sign.
I also recently completed a Q & A on The Aspiring Sports Lawyer (a great blog for those reading this article), here is the full interview.