Sports Lawyer

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Sports Lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in representing clients in the Sports industry. They handle a range of legal issues related to sports, including contracts, intellectual property, antitrust, and even criminal matters. This type of lawyer works closely with athletes, coaches, teams, and other stakeholders in the industry.

A Sports Lawyer job description typically involves negotiating and drafting contracts, litigating disputes, and advising clients on legal matters. They may also provide legal counsel on matters such as labor law, sponsorship, and advertising. Additionally, they may work with sporting organizations at the local, national, or international level.

To be a successful Sports Lawyer, you should have a strong understanding of sports law, as well as strong analytical and communication skills. You should also have a passion for sports and a dedication to advocating for your clients. If you're interested in pursuing a career in Sports Law, you may need to obtain a law degree and pass the bar exam in your state. With the right skills and qualifications, a Sports Lawyer job description can be an exciting and rewarding career.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Represent athletes, teams, and sports organizations in legal matters
  • Negotiate contracts and endorsements on behalf of their clients
  • Provide legal advice on any legal issues or potential risks associated with specific deals or actions within the sports industry
  • Work with agents and advisors to ensure their clients' legal and financial interests are protected
  • Handle disputes and litigation involving athletes, teams, and sports organizations 
  • Advise on potential legal consequences of rules and regulations set forth by governing bodies such as the NCAA, IOC, and NFL
  • Ensure compliance with both national and international laws, regulations and policies
  • Participate in drafting and reviewing contracts for television rights, sponsorships, and more
  • Manage intellectual property such as trademarks, copyrights, and patents
  • Act as a liaison between clients and other parties, including team owners, league officials, and the media.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a sports lawyer, you will need both education and experience. First, you'll need to go to law school and earn a Juris Doctor (JD) degree. During law school, taking sports law courses and participating in internships or externships with sports organizations will also help you gain experience in the field. After law school, gaining practical experience is key. Many sports lawyers begin their careers working for law firms that specialize in sports law, while others may start working for sports organizations, such as professional teams, leagues, or athletic departments at universities. To be successful as a sports lawyer, you'll need strong legal skills, a deep understanding of the sports industry, and the ability to negotiate effectively on behalf of clients.

Salary Range

Sports Lawyer salary range varies depending on various factors such as experience, location, and type of employer. According to Payscale, the average salary for a sports lawyer in the United States is $98,000 per year, with the range falling between $52,000 to $188,000. However, the U.S. Department of Labor data suggests that the median annual wage for lawyers, including sports lawyers, was $122,960 as of May 2019. In other countries, sports lawyers may earn different salaries. For instance, a UK sports lawyer can earn an average of £69,000 per year (source: Totaljobs). Overall, sports lawyers can expect to earn a competitive salary, which will reflect their level of experience and the size and status of their employer.


  • Payscale: 
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: 
  • Totaljobs:

Career Outlook

Sports lawyers work in a dynamic and exciting field, and the career outlook for the next five years looks promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of lawyers is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. However, with the continued growth in the sports industry, it's likely that the demand for sports lawyers will grow as well.

As more athletes, teams, and leagues face complex legal issues, such as contract negotiations, intellectual property disputes, and even criminal charges, sports lawyers will be needed to offer guidance and representation. Moreover, the growing popularity of esports and the expanding world of sports media and entertainment will create new opportunities for sports lawyers.

In conclusion, the future looks bright for sports lawyers in the sports industry. As they help shape the future of sports, their expertise and skills will be in high demand.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a sports lawyer?

A: A sports lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in legal matters related to the sports industry, such as contract negotiations, disciplinary actions, and disputes between parties.

Q: What kind of education and training do you need to become a sports lawyer?

A: To become a sports lawyer, you'll typically need to complete a Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school and pass the bar exam. You may also need to gain practical experience through internships or clerkships.

Q: What types of clients do sports lawyers typically work with?

A: Sports lawyers may work with a wide range of clients, including professional athletes, sports teams, leagues, agents, and sports organizations.

Q: What are some typical legal issues that sports lawyers might handle?

A: Sports lawyers may handle a variety of legal issues, such as contract negotiations, intellectual property disputes, employment law matters, player grievances, and disciplinary actions.

Q: Do sports lawyers only work on legal matters within the United States?

A: No, sports lawyers may work on legal matters in various countries around the world, particularly if they have expertise or knowledge about a particular sport or geographic area.

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