Updated: Jul 19
Sports law is an ever-evolving and expanding subset of the law, and as the recent NCAA v. Alston ruling, NIL, and Super League controversy have shown, there are far more legal roles in sports than the typical pro agent. From arbitration and player unions to compliance and contracts, a law degree can open the door to a wide range of opportunities at both the collegiate and professional levels of athletics. Many law schools around the country recognize the potential of sports law and offer some opportunities in the field, while some boast full-fledged sports law programs and concentrations. However, unlike business law and health law, U.S. News & World doesn’t offer lists detailing sports law programs; this makes the law school search difficult for a prospective 1L with aspirations for a career in sports.
Enter the Sports Law Program Spotlight! In each article, we highlight a law school that offers strong opportunities in the field of sports law. These opportunities include, but are not limited to
a sports-centric curriculum;
sports law certifications;
unique legal internship opportunities within the sports market;
and sports law journals
The focus of this Sports Law Program Spotlight is…
Texas A&M University School of Law
When you think of Texas A&M, the first things that normally come to mind are its great engineering reputation, the passionate “12th Man” fanbase, or Johnny Manziel. What you probably don’t think of when it comes to Texas A&M is that it has a good law school, even though it hasn’t been in existence for very long. Even though A&M was established all the way back in 1876 in College Station, Texas, the Texas A&M School of Law has only been around for a decade. In 2012, Texas A&M University reached an agreement with Texas Wesleyan University under which it would take over ownership and operational control over the school, which is located in Fort Worth, Texas. Since then, the TAMU law has shot up the ranks, attracting world-class professors and talented students along the way. To learn more about Texas A&M law and what it offers to prospective sports-minded students, I had the pleasure of talking with Chris Missimo, a current Aggie law student and former president of the TAMU Sports and Entertainment Law Society.
Sports Law Curriculum
The Texas A&M School of Law has no shortage of excellent courses that prepare its students for a career in the legal profession. Aggie law grads have a stellar pass rate on the bar exam and there are numerous clinics available for students to take advantage of while enrolled. In addition to the standard law school curriculum, TAMU law offers a few courses for sports-minded students. In the past, the “sports law” course was only offered on a semi-regular basis, but with increased interest, the course was offered in consecutive years for the first time this past year. To top it off, a new class dedicated to NIL is set to begin next spring. This class will be taught by Trayveon Williams, a former Aggie running back who holds the school’s record for rushing yards in a season, and Alex Sinatra, a sports attorney, and business consultant.
TAMU Sports and Entertainment Law Society
While many law schools have good student-run organizations dedicated to sports and entertainment, the goal of Texas A&M’s is straightforward and clear: to make meaningful connections in the industry. Over the course of the year, the society hosts paneled discussions roughly every month with experts from various areas of sports and entertainment law. Students can absorb great advice and knowledge during these events, but also have the opportunity to network and build connections. In addition to the various paneled discussions throughout the year, the spring Sports Law Symposium is the society’s biggest event annually. While several students attend the monthly events, the symposium draws in even bigger crowds of Aggie law students. High-profile executives, athletic directors, general counsels, and other sports lawyers come to Fort Worth either in person or virtually to share insights and advice.
In summary, the Texas A&M University School of Law offers a great experience for prospective law students interested in sports law. Between sports law courses and the TAMU Sports and Entertainment Law Society, there are a lot of opportunities to learn and make great connections with experienced professionals in the field of sports law. In addition, its location in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is a big plus. With six professional sports franchises, multiple Division I college sports teams, and several sports firms and businesses, the opportunities are plentiful for any student attending TAMU law to land internships and externships. Even though the law school is relatively young compared to others across the country, it’s a great time to be an Aggie law student.
Big thanks to Chris Missimo for taking the time to share all of the great information for this sports law spotlight! You can follow him on Twitter @cmissimo