The world of sports is a huge business worth around $488.5 billion annually around the world, and that means that there are loads of places where Sports Law specialist skills are needed.
Obviously a passion about sports is a must-have, as are brilliant negotiating and networking skills to excel in Sports Law. So let’s take a look at the reasons why you should choose to study an LLM in Sports Law.
Global sports industry
North America is the biggest consumer of spectator sports and they represent around 30% of the global market, the next largest markets are Western Europe and Asia-Pacific with the Middle East becoming a market for new growth. Most of the companies involved in the sports industry are quite small businesses, but the largest some of the larger ones include Manchester United, the Dallas Cowboys, and Barcelona Football Club.
What does a sports lawyer do?
It depends on the lawyer. Some might defend individual clients if they have been accused of breaking rules, laws or regulations, but most work for firms who negotiate commercial contracts, advertising, merchandising, marketing and sponsorships. Sports lawyers can work for companies such as Nike or sports clubs such as Manchester United as well.
What about a sports agent?
A sports agent has to have a good knowledge of Sports Law but does not necessarily need to be a lawyer. This means that many sports agents are also lawyers but not all are, and sports lawyers may work for firms of sports agents.
What is studied?
LLM programs in Sports Law differ and while Some LLM courses are in Sports Law only, other programs also include related areas of law such as Entertainment Law or Media Law. Modules can include topics such as Sports Regulatory Regime and Sports Rights, Sport, Broadcasting and New Media, The Sports Participant and the Courts, and Sports and Ethics. Other modules include Doping and the Culture of Sports, Public Sports Arbitration, and Arbitrating Sports. Some students focus on International Sports Law or the legal issues surrounding representing both professional and pre-professional athletes. The drafting and selecting of players by large sports clubs in the US have specific courses at some law schools in the US. Also in the US, foreign-trained lawyers can study both US law and Sports Law together in LLM courses designed specifically for them.
Where can you study an LLM in Sports Law?
There is a distance learning course at De Montfort University in the UK and Melbourne University in Australia has Sports Law courses for their LLM students to choose from. However, the majority of LLM programs in Sports Law are taught out of law schools in the United States. Arizona State University, Pepperdine University, Thomas Jefferson Law School, Marquette University, and University of Miami all have programs featuring Sports Law.
Entry requirements for an LLM in Sports Law
The entry requirements to study an LLM in Sports Law tend to be a good first (undergraduate) degree and a relevant field, ideally law, plus some work experience. This table shows some of the requirements from for specific courses.
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