Sports Law Track - Courses & Requirements

Collage of photos of a theatre, art museum and soccer arena

The sports track prepares students to represent professional or amateur athletes, leagues or clubs, sports venues and stadium owners and operators, or businesses or sports organizations.

The sports industry is complex and there is a growing demand for qualified sports law professionals with an array of expertise in law.

Topics and courses that were once thought to relate exclusively to entertainment or art can also affect the sports sphere—sports personalities can have brand sponsorships, parts in films or TV shows, their likeness branded in video games or clothing, and more.

Studying under the the entertainment, arts and sports law umbrella, it is possible to get the broad range of skills necessary for today’s “sports law” practice and provides U.S. and international attorneys and law students superior training and an edge when breaking into this competitive industry.

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  • What is a "Sports Lawyer"?

    Though “sports law” may sound niche, it is actually a broad industry crossing many areas of law.

    Sports lawyers usually require skills like negotiation, drafting, and arbitration plus knowledge of various areas of law including: contracts, labor, antitrust, tax, intellectual property and media law

    Other areas of law, like immigration, can also come into play for foreign athletes and international leagues or clubs.

A strong tradition of sports law at the University of Miami

The Entertainment and Sports Law Society(ESLS) is one of the most active student organizations and it has hosted an annual international symposium since 1997. Read more on sports law at Miami Law.

LLM Guide Top 10 Badge

The sports law track was ranked in the LLM. Guide's Top 10 Sports Law Programs of 2021 and of 2020 and also ranked #1 most popular in the U.S. by llm-guide. LL.M. Guide is the premier website with information on worldwide LL.M. programs with a directory of over 700 law schools. It bases its top-10 rankings on various factors including: concentrations, research capacity, existing rankings, interntational balance, and location.

Courses and Requirements

U.S. Trained Lawyers

The LL.M. is two semesters consisting of required and elective courses, and a practicum. All courses are taught by Law School faculty and prominent practicing attorneys.

The blended nature of the LL.M. enables students to maximize their studies and create a curriculum to match individual professional interests.

Prerequisites (4 of 6 required or equivalent):

  • Administrative Law
  • Antitrust
  • Business Associations
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Labor Law
  • Trusts and Estates

Sports Law

Surveys antitrust, labor (collective bargaining, arbitration), publicity/privacy rights, and anti-discrimination law with a focus on the laws governing professional and collegiate leagues, teams and athletes.

Negotiation and Drafting Sports Venue Agreements

Provides the opportunity to negotiate and draft complex agreements and deal documents (stadium leases, naming rights, sponsorships, media rights, concerts, etc.).

Purchase and Sale of a Minor League Baseball Team

Provides opportunity to conduct negotiation and drafting sessions in the role of the attorney for the Franchise Seller/Purchaser resulting in final agreement and closing.

Intercollegiate Athletics: Law, Policy and Regulatory Landscape

Examines current legal and regulatory issues impacting intercollegiate sports.

Copyright Law

Addresses the legal protection provided under the Copyright Act of 1976 (and subsequent amendments) for artistic, musical and literary works (including computer programs).

Trademark Law

Introduces U.S. law for trademarks, service marks and trade dress; also covers related state and common law doctrines and relevant international agreements.

Practicum

Affords students the opportunity for additional training in the workplace. Placements have included: Roc Nation, NBC Sports, Charlotte Hornets, Minnesota Vikings, Legends, & Sony Music.

  • International Sports Law
  • E-Sports
  • The Business of Sports: The View from the Front Office
  • Representing the Professional Athlete
  • Bidding For & Hosting Major Events
  • Cutting Edge Issues for Sports Law Practitioners in a Collective Bargaining World
  • Investing in Sports: From Athletes & Venture Capital to Private Equity and SPACs
  • Intellectual Property in Digital Media
  • International Sports Arbitration
  • Music Law
  • Fashion Law
  • Cultural Property and Antiquities Trafficking: Importation Laws and Border Enforcement
  • Introduction to TV, Legal and Business Affairs
  • Negotiating and Drafting for the Business of Entertainment
  • Union Organizing and Collective Bargaining in the Entertainment Industry
  • Intellectual Property: Transactions and Litigation
  • Business, Entertainment & Sports Immigration Law
  • Sneaker Law
  • Sports, Ethics, Morality and the Law
  • Media Distribution
  • Media Law
  • Music Festivals, Live Concerts & other Live Productions
  • NFTs: Legal and Business Considerations
  • Playbook for Leadership & the Law
  • Social Media and Online Liability
  • Sports Betting and Regulation
  • Vimeo, Twitter and YouTube: Online Liability and Net Neutrality
  • Women in Professional Sport: A Legal, Social & Business Analysis
  • Taxation of Exempt Organizations

Miami Law Sports Law Conference

Students in the program also attend the Symposium on Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law.

International Students Who Plan to Take the NY Bar

International students have the option to do a special course of study in the LL.M. in Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law to accumulate enough credits to comply with the State Board of Law Examiners’ requirements to qualify to sit for the New York Bar Exam.

These students still complete the LL.M. in the same two-semester period and earn the same degree.

If an international student does not want to take the N.Y. bar (or wants to take additional courses) he or she can use the additional courses for study of EASL electives of their choice.

Prerequisites: None

Required Track Courses

  • Sports Law (2 credits)
  • Copyright Law (3 credits)
  • Trademark Law (2 credits)
  • Practicum (2 credits)

Required Elective Courses

  • Negotiating and Drafting Sports Venue Agreements (2 credit)
  • Purchase & Sale of a Minor League Baseball Team (1 credit)
  • Representing the Professional Athlete (1 credit)
  • Intercollegiate Athletics: Law, Policy & Regulatory Landscape (1 credit)

  • Immersive Introduction to American Law (2 credits)*
  • Legal Communication and Research I (2 credits)*
  • Business Associations (4 credits) ^ *
  • Professional Responsibility (2 credits)*

* This course complies with the State Board of Law Examiners’ requirements to qualify to sit for the New York Bar Exam.

^The requirement to enroll in Business Associations may be waived with the prior approval of the Director of the Program.

See more information for foreign lawyers on taking a U.S. Bar Exam.

Miami – A Great Sports City

Miami International Autodrome and Hard Rock Stadium
Miami International Autodrome (Formula 1 Track) and Hard Rock Stadium

Miami and South Florida are home to all major professional sports franchises in baseball, football, basketball and hockey, and soon soccer. The city also hosts major events and championships each year. Top-rated tennis players come to the prestigious Miami Open, and since 1935 the city has hosted one of the largest college bowl games – The Orange Bowl.

Only 20 miles south of the law school is Homestead-Miami Speedway, one of the leading venues on the NASCAR circuit. There is also the Polo World Cup featuring international teams which is held on Miami Beach. All this enables students to have site visits with general counsels on site and access to opportunities for their practicum requirement.

International Study Option: Global Sports and Entertainment Law Course

ISDE and UM logosOffered in conjunction with the Madrid-based Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía (ISDE), a leader in legal education, Miami Law offers a course for law students and professionals who are interested in broadening their understanding of the global sports and entertainment industries and provides an understanding of the differences and similarities between the U.S. and the international entertainment and sports law landscapes.

Leadership & Faculty

Track Directors

Peter Carfagna is a Co-Director of the Sports Law Track and is Chairman/CEO of Magis, LLC, a privately owned sports marketing, management and investment company, including family ownership of the Lake County Captains, Cleveland Indians Class A Affiliate. He also served as Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel of International Management Group (IMG) - world's premier and most diversified sports, entertainment and media company. Before that he was Senior Partner at Jones Day LLP where he worked as outside counsel to the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers’ ownership groups.

Patricia White, Professor of Law, is a Co-Director of the Sports Law Track, served as tax advisor to the Economic Study Committee of Major League Baseball, and advises for the Sports Law track of the program. She has also served on the NCAA Compliance Committee for the University of Utah

Faculty

Kenneth Anand is the author and co-founder of SNEAKER LAW. He was Head of Business Development & General Counsel of YEEZY Apparel, a fashion and design company owned and operated by Kanye West.

Andrew Brandt is a nationally-recognized accomplished sports executive now bringing his credibility and unique insight and perspective to academia and the media and is is Professor of Practice and Executive Director of the Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law at Villanova Law School.

Charles Baker is Co-Chair of O’Melveny’s Sports Industry Group. Chuck's corporate practice encompasses mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and venture capital transactions, with a core focus in the sports, media and consumer sectors.

Jared Goldstein is author and co-founder of SNEAKER LAW. Goldstein teaches and regularly lectures at universities, law schools, and various organizations about the sneaker business. He is also Legal Counsel at LiveIntent, an ad-tech and marketing company.

Michael Kelly practiced antitrust law in the Washington, D.C. Office of MorganLewis for thirty years, where his antitrust clients included some of the world's leaders in the industries of professional sports, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, and energy. 

Myles Pistorious is Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Miami Dolphins

Irwin Raij is a partner in O'Melveny's Entertainment, Sports & Media Practice Group and Co-Chair of the Sports Industry Group. Raij has extensive experience throughout the sports industry, representing buyers and sellers of professional sports teams, guiding stadium development projects, and negotiating licensing, advertising, and media rights agreements.

Adam J. Schlatner is a Member at Cozen O-Connor and an expert in complex commercial litigation. 

Steven ​Silton is a member at Cozen O’Connor LLP in Minneapolis and represents sports leagues, franchises, club owners and athletes and at Miami Law teaches “Representing a Professional Sports Franchise.”

Marc Trestman is Head Coach, Toronto Argonauts

Daniel Wallach is Founder of Wallach, LLC. a law firm devoted exclusively to the burgeoning field of sports wagering and gaming law in the United States.

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Sports Track Committee

The Sports Track Committee provides advice as it relates to curriculum, guest speakers and practicum opportunities students should be seeking based on industry trends. Members include:

Mason Ashe, Founder and CEO, Ashe Sports & Entertainment Consulting, Inc.

Charles Baker, Chair, O'Melveny's Sports Industry Group

Darren Heitner, Founder of Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C.

Michael Kelly, Retired Managing Partner Morgan Lewis

Kim Miale, NFL Agent and General Counsel at Roc Nation Sports

John Ruzich - Senior Vice President, Legends

Adam J. Schlatner, former Attorney, Cozen O'Connor

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