• Brendan Bell

Western New England Law Starting Hockey Arbitration Competition


A few weeks ago here at Conduct Detrimental, we highlighted Fordham Law’s tremendous success at the Tulane Baseball Arbitration Competition. While that particular competition might be regarded as the most regarded and widely known at the moment, it is not the only sports law competition out there. There is a growing number of well-run competitions across the country centered around various different sports.


If you’re a law school student who’s passionate about hockey, the newly formed New England Hockey Arbitration Competition (NEHAC) hosted by Western New England University School of Law is exactly what you’re looking for. To learn more about it, I had the pleasure of talking with Scott DeCaupa, a 2L at Western New England Law School, who provided great information about the inaugural competition that will take place this summer on July 2nd & 3rd.


Seeing the success of the numerous baseball, football, and basketball competitions hosted by various law schools across the country, the Sports and Entertainment Law Society and Western New England felt like there was an opportunity to put on a fun and unique competition in a different sport: hockey. In preparation for the inaugural July competition, WNE Law went above and beyond to ensure the competition will be viewed as one of the premier sports law competitions out there.


Like most law school moot court competitions, the NEHAC's main goal is to provide participants with the opportunity to sharpen their oral and written advocacy skills. The competition is a unique opportunity because it allows law students to sharpen these skills within the specialized context of NHL salary arbitration proceedings in front of professional hockey executives. Some of the executives that will be in attendance will be Scott Howson (AHL President), Daniel Milstein (Player Agent and CEO of Gold Star Sports Management), Aaron Schwartz (Director of Hockey Affairs, Carolina Hurricanes), Brad Andrews (Sr. Director of Hockey and Business Ops, Winnipeg Jets AHL affiliate Manitoba Moose), and others.


While analyzing, formulating, and presenting about a topic of interest is definitely a valuable experience, one of the aspects that make a sports law competition great is the caliber of experienced professionals that help moderate it. With no shortage of esteemed executives listed above, it’s clear that the NEHAC is certainly in good hands. For any law student aspiring to work in hockey one day, the opportunity of hearing feedback from some of the most respected individuals in the game could prove to be an invaluable experience. In the competition, competing JD students don’t need to be affiliated with an internal society or association to participate in this event, but teams do need to be made up of 2-3 students who go to the same law school.


Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, Western New England University School of Law already has a great tie-in with the hockey community. The AHL’s headquarters are located just miles from campus, so the Sports and Entertainment Law Society at Western New England wants to lean into that local connection with the game. This competition should be a great forum for passionate hockey fans to engage in competition.


Sports law competitions highlight the growing popularity of sports law as a whole. Conduct Detrimental’s growth over the past year certainly shows this as well. The Tulane Baseball Competition used to be the only heralded sports law competition nationwide, but now that is not the case. Sports law has extended beyond just one sport, one law school, or one region. The newly founded New England Hockey Arbitration Competition at Western New England University School of Law is just another example of this. It will be fascinating to see the results here in a few months!


You can follow the competition’s official Twiiter page at @nehac_2022.