“Sports law” is an interesting concept. Many refer to it as if it were a well-defined industry, despite openly acknowledging there is no particular area of the law dealing only with sports. Instead, “sports law” encompasses the myriad situations in which the law interacts with the sports world. While it is true that “sports law” is not anything in particular, it is also true that many sports cases present unique problems for traditional areas of law.
For those interested in this unique interaction, it can be daunting to think about the many different areas of law with which one must be familiar to learn or practice “sports law.” Inspired by this Reddit post on a proposed online continuing education course in basketball, here is my own proposed “Sports Law CLE Program.” Something is always happening in the world of sports law (as evidenced by a busy 2015), and learning about new sports law developments and decisions can be time-consuming. I hope this information will be helpful to everyone looking to learn more about sports law, from potential law students to experienced practitioners.
As a general caveat, this is not meant to be a complete list of sports law information, but a helpful starting point for those interested in the field. Undoubtedly, I have overlooked many corners of the sports law universe, but I hope that what I have compiled will be useful to you.
Law School Programs
One of the best places to learn about sports law is at law school. Sports law programs have grown in number recently, but there are still not that many nationwide. If you’re wondering whether going to a law school with a sports law certificate or program is valuable, I’d encourage you to read this informational post I wrote on it a few years ago. Though you can learn about the many areas of law affecting sports at any law school, there are several law schools that have entire programs dedicated specifically to sports law.
- Tulane: Directed by NFL Network legal analyst and former sports lawyer Gabe Feldman, The Tulane Sports Law Program, our alma mater, was the first in the country to offer a certificate in sports law. You can also follow them on Twitter (@TulaneSportsLaw), where they provide sports law updates.
- Marquette: The National Sports Law Institute at Marquette is one of the largest sports law programs in the country. They also provide sports law updates on Twitter (@musportslaw).
- New Hampshire: Directed by Michael McCann, Sports Illustrated’s prolific sports law writer, who recently taught a course on Deflategate.
- Thomas Jefferson: Their Center for Sports Law and Policy offers a wide array of sports law courses (@TJSLSportsLaw).
- Villanova: Directed by ESPN analyst Andrew Brandt, the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law was founded in 2012.
- Vermont: Vermont Law School allows students to specialize in sports law with its Sports Law Institute.
- St. John’s: St. John’s University School of Law allows students to earn a LLM in international sports law practice.
- Florida Coastal: FCSL offers a sports law concentration within its Business Law Certificate program.
- Arizona State: ASU Law offers a one-year Master of Sports Law and Business degree.
- Florida State: With the College of Education, the law school offers a joint-degree program in Law and Sports Management.
If you are a law student, be sure to check out the sports law competitions available to law students around the country, including
- The National Baseball Arbitration Competition
- The Professional Football Negotiation Competition
- The National Basketball Negotiation Competition
- The National Sports Law Negotiation Competition
- The Tulane Mardi Gras Sports Law Invitational
- National Sports Law Student Writing Competition
- Sports Lawyers Association Law Student Writing Competition
Associations and Conferences
Professional associations are a great way to network in any industry and sports law is no exception. Most associations will host their own conferences as a way for members to meet each other and learn more about the industry. There are many different associations having something to do with sports law around the country. Some are sports law divisions of local or state bar chapters. Others are focused on both sports and entertainment law, such as the ABA’s.
- The Sports Lawyers Association is the flagship sports law association and hosts an annual conference (@sportslawyers). This year’s conference is in Los Angeles from May 12-14, 2016.
- The Sport and Recreation Law Association is a sports law association with an additional focus on alternative sports and legal issues that also hosts an annual conference (@SRLATweet). This year’s conference is in New Orleans from February 24-27, 2016.
- In addition to sports law associations that host their own conferences, law schools all over the country host sports law symposia and conferences throughout the year, including Marquette, Mississippi, Arizona State, Penn State, Berkeley, and more. Find out if there are some in your area and try to attend when you can.
Academic sports law publications are a great way to learn more about sports law issues in much more depth than you can elsewhere. While there are a number of entertainment and sports law journals, there are fewer legal journals specifically dedicated to sports law. Several of them are also moving to make articles available online or the entire journal available on e-readers such as Kindle and Nook.
- The Sports Lawyers Journal (@TLS_SLJ)
- Journal of Legal Aspects in Sport (@JLASjournal)
- The Marquette Sports Law Journal
- Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal (@MooradSportsLJ)
- Mississippi Sports Law Review (@MS_SportsLaw)
- Journal of Sports Law & Contemporary Problems (@DePaulSportsLaw)
- The International Sports Law Journal
Sports law websites are probably the best place to learn about new sports law developments as practitioners, professors, and students are often interested in writing about the latest news. The following websites focus on a variety of sports law issues – some have special niches, others are broadly focused – and are regularly updated. But all of them will help you either keep up with the latest sports law news or learn more about the industry.
- The Sports Esquires: Yours truly, run by a group of young sports lawyers and graduates of Tulane’s sports law program, providing broad analysis and coverage of the sports law world. Follow us on Twitter (@SportsEsqBlog).
- The Sports Law Blog: Run mostly by sports law professors and veteran sports lawyers, this site mixes scholarly posts with short informational sports law updates (@InsideSportsLaw).
- Law in Sport: This sports law site has in-depth sports law pieces with more of an international focus, though it sometimes requires a subscription to view articles (@LawinSport).
- The White Bronco: Run by sports lawyer Dan Werly, the site covers a broad range of sports law issues and has a number of interesting features including a discussion page (@TheWhiteBronc).
- The Legal Blitz: Now affiliated with the Above the Law blog and run by lawyer Steve Silver, this site covers a broad range of sports law stories (@TheLegalBlitz).
- Legal Sports Report: Provides industry coverage of the business and legal issues surrounding daily fantasy sports and sports betting (@LSPReport)
- NFL Concussion Litigation: Run by attorney Paul Anderson, this is the central hub for all NFL concussion litigation updates including court documents and media statements.
- Sports Agent Blog: Founded by attorney Darren Heitner, this site provides comprehensive coverage of agent representation in sports (@SportsAgentBlog).
- Sports Litigation Alert: A bi-weekly newsletter devoted to sports litigation.
- Payout: Lawyer Jason Cruz covers the law and business of MMA.
- Law and Batting Order: A video podcast by New York Law School grad Tony Iliakostas dealing with legal issues in sports (@LawandBO).
- Law360: This site is a news service that provides daily updates on legal news, and you can pay for a subscription for daily sports law updates and articles.
- Sports Law Biz Blog: Run by attorney Peter Ott, the Sports Law Biz Blog mainly hosts informational podcasts on the law and business of sports (@SportsLawBiz).
- Golf Dispute Resolution: Attorney Rob Harris runs this ABA Blawg 100 legal blog, which focuses on legal issues in the world of golf (@golfdisputes).
- Sports Law Blonde: A fellow Tulane Law grad, Jaime Miettinen, posts on sports law and media issues (@SportsLawBlonde).
- Pro Tennis Law: Occasional posts on legal issues in tennis by Scott Dennison (@protennislaw)
- Sports Law Insider: Joseph Hanna discusses a variety of sports and entertainment legal issues.
- Sports Law Scoreboard: A sports law and business blog run by attorneys in Fox Rothschild’s sports law practice.
- World Sports Law Report: A monthly journal focusing on international sports regulatory issues.
- From the Gym to the Jury: This bi-monthly online newsletter provides updates on injury liability and litigation in sports.
The Internet has allowed sports law scholarship and research to become far more accessible than it ever was. Students interested in learning more, professors interested in useful aids, and attorneys interested in improving their sports law practice will be well-served by the following resources:
- Here on The Sports Esquires we have a great Resources section and sports law document database including our unique NFL Player Discipline Library. We also recap the top sports law stories of the week in our weekly Sports Law Links.
- Penn State’s Institute for Sports Law, Policy, and Research is a must for those interested in sports law books, law review articles, teaching resources, and more. Click the links on the left side of the page.
- University of New Hampshire School of Law has an extensive and free sports law document repository.
- Legal Sports Report keeps an updated DFS State Watch and Legislative Tracker to monitor investigations and legislation related to DFS and sports betting.
- Sports Law Chat (#SLChat) is an informative, bi-monthly Twitter chat on a variety of sports law topics hosted by sports lawyer Claire Zovko. It’s a great way to learn about sports law issues and discuss them with other sports lawyers and law students (@SportsLawChat).
- The White Bronco keeps an updated listing of sports law jobs as well as a calendar of upcoming sports events and timelines.
- Georgetown Law has a useful Sports Law Research Guide including a specific guide for Olympic and international sports law research.
- Ohio State has a list of sports law books that may be a helpful general starting point for research.
- NYU has a helpful database of international sports law tools.
- The National Sports Law Institute at Marquette has some sports law research
- The American Bar Association hosts a sports and entertainment law document library for members on its website.
- The Sports Lawyers Association has an extensive collection of sports law documents available to members online.
- @TheSportsResume is a Twitter account that posts job openings in the sports industry.
Increasingly, the best way to learn more about sports law, to meet and interact with sports lawyers, and to keep up with current news is to be on Twitter. I’ve tried to compile a list of sports law professionals to follow on Twitter. While there are many individuals who tweet about sports, I’ve tried to keep this list focused on sports law rather than other areas such as sports media, marketing, or business. If you’re interested in related areas like that, Forbes has a list of must-follow sports business Twitter accounts, for example.
Although I’m obviously biased, I would encourage you to follow our Sports Esquires cast of writers on Twitter. Each of us has his own specialties and areas of focus, though we frequently tweet about a broad range of sports law issues. Our writers are @AndrewSensi, @IanPGunn, @seandots, @JFielkow, @JJarrett86, @JRSigety, @nolawolverine, @SommerOnSports, @FountainDew22, and @BryanEtter87.
There are also a number of sports law societies around the country on Twitter. Check out this list to follow many them. While many are focused on both sports and entertainment law, @TulaneSportsLaw and @musportslaw are two top picks for regular distributors of sports law news.
While almost anyone can tweet about sports law, what I’ve tried to keep in mind when making this list is how informative you will find these accounts to be. Things I considered in making the list:
- Focus: do they mostly or often tweet about sports law (as opposed to entertainment law or sports business)?
- Tweet history: how long have they been tweeting – is it an account with a history of solid sports law information?
- Tweet frequency: how often do they tweet – is it only once a month or will you stay updated on the world of sports law by following them?
- Tweet content: do they contribute to the sports law conversation and your understanding about sports law?
This list is not a ranking; I’ve ordered it alphabetically by the first letter (and so on) of the Twitter handle. If you’re interested in a particular niche of sports law, hopefully this helps you find accounts you’d like to follow.
Last note: don’t forget about all the Twitter handles I’ve linked above! Following sports law websites, journals, or programs on Twitter is often one of the best ways to learn about the industry. To avoid redundancy I’ve avoided listing any handles below that I’ve already listed above, but be sure to check out those accounts as well.
- @ailiakostas – Tony Iliakostas, Host/Founder of the sports law web-show Law and Batting Order
- @AMELIAsportLAW – Amelia Fouques, International sports lawyer based in Montreal, Canada
- @amilst44 – Alan Milstein, Litigating and lecturing at the nexus between Bioethics and Sports
- @ammoorman – Anita Moorman, Sports Law Professor, University of Louisville. Co-Author of Sport Law: A Managerial Approach
- @AndrewBrandt – Andrew Brandt, ESPN legal analyst, Sports Illustrated columnist
- @BergenBrennan – John Brennan, Writer, has covered NJ/NY sports biz/gaming/Meadowlands since 2002
- @brammaravent – Bram Maravent, Former sportscaster/reporter/producer turned attorney
- @ClaireZovko – Claire Zovko, Attorney, professor, and founder of Sports Law Chat.
- @DarrenHeitner – Darren Heitner, Attorney, professor, writer for Forbes, and founder of Sports Agent Blog
- @DavidPurdum – David Purdum, writer for ESPN covering sports gambling and fantasy sports
- @dilletaunt – Jason Cruz, Writer, blogger, attorney, covers MMA sports
- @DrTab3 – Thomas A. Baker III, Associate Professor, Editor-in-chief for the Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, researches sport law and sport brand and media management
- @DustinGouker – Dustin Gouker, DFS writer at Legal Sports Report
- @EdLawDude – Scott Schneider, Attorney covering NCAA legal issues
- @EricOnSportsLaw – Eric Macramalla, TSN Legal Analyst
- @JasonBelzer – Jason Belzer, Sports Attorney and entrepreneur. Represents coaches. Produces college sporting events. Writes for Forbes. Professor at Rutgers
- @jflevine – Jeff Levine, Sports Attorney, Tulane Law grad, PHD candidate
- @Justin_Sievert – Justin Sievert, Attorney, and Professor at University Tennessee College of Law
- @KevSportsLaw – Kevin Carpenter, Principal & Consultant of Captivate LSS. Editorial board Law in Sport. Focuses on sports governance, international focus.
- @lexlanham – Alexandra Roberts, Trademarks, intellectual property, and entertainment law professor at University of New Hampshire
- @MarcEdelman – Marc Edelman, Professor, experienced sports, antitrust, gaming and IP attorney, Forbes writer
- @McCannSportsLaw – Michael McCann, Director of University of New Hampshire Sports and Entertainment Law Institute, legal analyst at Sports Illustrated
- @NathanielGrow – Nathaniel Grow, Professor, legal analyst for Fan Graphs, sports law with a focus on baseball
- @nfllaw – Terry Adams, Sports and entertainment tweets relating to NFL, NCAA compliance, coaching Searches, MLB, music row, songwriters & publishing
- @OPReport – Chris Grove, Gambling industry analyst
- @Patrick_Hruby – Patrick Hruby, Contributing Editor for Vice Sports; former Georgetown professor
- @PaulD_Anderson – Paul D. Anderson, Sports-injury litigator. Founder of ConcussionLitigation.com. Adjunct Professor of at UMKC Law.
- @ – Peter Perkowski, IP, sports & entertainment lawyer. Sports law professor/lecturer
- @ScottAndresen – Scott Andresen, Sports and entertainment attorney, chair of Chicago Bar Association’s sports law committee, Northwestern Professor
- @spcott – Sean Cottrell, Founder of Law in Sport, focuses on international sports law
- @SportsLawGuy – Gabe Feldman, Director of Tulane Sports Law Program; Professor Tulane Law School; consultant; NFL Network legal analyst; mediator/arbitrator; Associate Provost for NCAA Compliance at Tulane University
- @SportsLawProf – Ryan Rodenberg, Author and researcher. Forensic sports law analystics. Focuses on sports betting, fantasy sports, and sports analytics
- @SportslawQUB – Jack Anderson, Lectures at School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast
- @SportsLaw_Asser – Asser International Sports Law Centre, Focuses on International and European Sports Law
- @SportsMediaGS – GS Sports Media, Your all-access pass to the latest legal developments impacting the business of sports and entertainment
- @SportsTaxMan – Robert Raiola, Sports & Entertainment Senior Group Manager at OConnor Davies, LLP. Co-author of AICPA book, Winning Tax Strategies & Planning for Athletes & Entertainers
- @WALLACHLEGAL – Daniel Wallach, At the intersection of sports law, gaming law, and appellate practice. Federal court litigator & Board-Certified appellate attorney
- @WarrenKZola – Warren Zola, Expert in sports law, business of sports, and college athletics. Professor at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management
- @WerlySportsLaw – Dan Werly, Sports lawyer, runs The White Bronco blog, contributor to Bleacher Report
- @WongSportsLaw – Glenn Wong, Sports Lawyer, Consultant, Arbitrator & Author. Professor, Arizona State University
We’ve compiled all the Twitter handles mentioned in this article into one Twitter list. This isn’t a complete list by any stretch. I’m sure that I have left out people I don’t know about or others who are infrequent tweeters or others who deal with sports law issues as something secondary to their sports business or entertainment law focus. But I hope this is a good starting point for you in your quest to learn more about sports law.
As sports continue to be big business, the world of sports law will continue to be as relevant as ever with new legal issues cropping up each week. In the end, the best way to learn more about sports law outside of actually practicing law is to read as much as you can, whether it’s court filings and decisions, league CBAs, NCAA bylaws, or analysis by professors and practitioners. Learning about how the law interacts with sports and keeping up with current sports law events can be difficult and time-consuming, but I hope these resources will help you continue your sports law education.