What Does a Sports Lawyer Do?

Sports lawyers represent the legal interests of clients involved in sporting activities, providing advice during complex contractual negotiations and defending them against accusations of misconduct. It is a specialized field requiring familiarity with several legal disciplines including contract, criminal, labor laws as well as rules and customs specific to any given sport.

Sports lawyers provide more than just legal services: in addition to contract negotiations and litigation representation, sports lawyers provide assistance with branding development, intellectual property matters, trademark/copyright issues, consulting, strategic advice and related services for athletes and sports figures seeking to leverage their brand into business ventures, investments, commercial tie-ins, influencer opportunities fashion merchandising or other industries.

When choosing a sports lawyer, be sure to find one with experience in your desired sport, who can effectively communicate your goals to them. Also consider client testimonials, awards and news articles of each lawyer before conducting interviews and selecting someone whom makes you feel most at ease and confident in them as your counsel.

Ristaino advises those aspiring to become sports lawyers to seek entry-level employment with clubs as a first step toward becoming sports lawyers. “Bear in mind starting in group ticket sales or advertising sales; anything which allows you to learn the business from its roots.” This way, you can acquire all of the experience needed for progression into executive roles such as general counsel.

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