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What does a Sports Lawyer do?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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The job description for a sports lawyer includes many types of tasks. A sports lawyer assists those in sports professions, and often other entertainment careers, with a wide variety of legal situations. Among the things a sports lawyer typically handles for his clients are contract negotiations and the defense of criminal charges and lawsuits. A sports lawyer may also provide media representation for his clients, help them set up charitable foundations, provide legal advice and assist when they are considering other business ventures.

One of the jobs a sports lawyer has is providing representation when his clients end up in court. The reasons for court cases may vary. For example, a client may be faced with criminal charges or may be sued for breaching a contract, harassment, or any manner of things. Sometimes a client may be the one to file a lawsuit against another party. No matter what the reason, his lawyer is supposed to offer sound legal advice and representation.

Contract law can be a major part of a sports lawyer’s job. His clients typically turn to him when they need help determining whether a contract is fair and in their best interests. This attorney can also help them understand complicated legal jargon and have questionable clauses removed. Likewise, a sports attorney may also negotiate for his clients, helping them secure better deals. This help can be important not only for negotiating payment for a profession, but also when a client is asked to act as a spokesman for a company or product.

Another part of a sports lawyer's job is providing media representation. When an athlete or entertainer has legal troubles, whether related to criminal proceedings or lawsuits, he may need an experienced person to speak to the media for him. A lawyer can do that, helping his client save face and answer questions in a manner that doesn’t hurt his client’s case. A sports attorney can provide this type of help even if there are no charges or lawsuits filed. Sometimes these attorneys simply provide representation while their clients weather some type of controversy.

Sometimes sports lawyers also assist their clients with creating charitable foundations. A charitable foundation is a non-profit organization that has a charitable purpose. In such a case, a lawyer may offer legal advice regarding different types of charities. He may also handle the legal aspects of getting the charitable foundation started. A lawyer's help can be particularly important for ensuring the foundation is set up in a manner that won’t cause the client any trouble with tax authorities.

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Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison , Writer
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a Practical Adult Insights writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By nextcorrea — On May 19, 2012

How do I break into the sports law field? I am just beginning a pre-law program but I would like to prepare myself as much as possible to get a job in the industry.

Are there dedicated programs for sports law and what are the best? If I do not end up in dedicated program, what kinds of classes should I take to best prepare myself?

By chivebasil — On May 18, 2012

Most professional athletes will employ a lawyer to represent them in the professional and business dealings. Often the lawyer is recommended by the player's agent whose responsibility it is to look out for the players interests above all others.

A sports lawyer does not need to have any background in sports, at least as an athlete. They spend a lot more time thinking about contracts and fine print than plays and techniques. In some cases, they do not even particularly like sports, it is just the area of the law they ended up in because it has the potential to be so lucrative.

By whiteplane — On May 18, 2012

Sports is big business these days, very big business. The biggest major league teams cost billions of dollars to buy and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. As result, the number sports lawyers involved in the whole process has skyrocketed. There are whole armies of lawyers employed by every professional sports team who monitor the business dealings and protect the interests of the team.

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison


Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a Practical Adult Insights writer, where she focuses on topics...
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