Sports Law and Policy Fellows Program

Thomas Jefferson School of Law is proud to offer this well-established fellowship program for incoming students who have a strong interest in pursuing a career in the ever expanding professional sports industry or in amateur or international sports. The Sports Law and Policy Fellows Program (SLP) welcomes incoming students whose experience and backgrounds as well as career aspirations are a good fit for the program.

At most law schools, students have limited opportunities to take sports law courses and be involved in sports related externships. Our program provides opportunities for unique professional training and development opportunities. After completing their required first year courses at Thomas Jefferson, SLP Fellows receive preference in registering for all sports law courses, selected from our rich array of classes offered in sports law area. This class selection preference will enable SLP Fellows to take the three required courses in our sports law curriculum – professional sports law, amateur sports law, and international sports law – during the second year of law school. Fellows will also be able to select from more specialized courses in the sports law area, including courses such as collective bargaining in professional sports, infractions and compliance, Title IX in Athletics. This rich array of sports law courses is complemented by TJSL’s other strong programs, such as intellectual property, antitrust, labor and education law.

Fellows will also be able to participate in for-credit externships, where you gain valuable experience working in the sports industry, at the professional, amateur or professional levels. Fellows also work closely with the Director of the Center for Sports Law and Policy and our Career Services Office in developing a strong resume reflecting educational opportunities that prepare you to deal with the kinds of problems that arise in sports law and in the sports industry.

As a fellow, you also would have an opportunity, beginning in the first year, to be involved in the work of the TJSL Center for Sports Law and Policy. The Center regularly sponsors major conferences that bring top scholars and practitioners to the law school to discuss the most significant issues in the sports law context. Last year, for example, the Center held a conference that addressed issues in sports representation and employment in conjunction with the national sports law negotiation competition that is hosted annually at the law school. The Center also hosted two other major conferences which received national and regional attention: one regarding the future of the Bowl Championship Series and the other dealing with issues related to moving and retaining professional sports franchises.

Fellows also have the opportunity to work with faculty associated with the Center for Sports Law and Policy in developing major whitepapers regarding issues of concern in the sports industry. Additionally, fellows are able to work on projects of interest to them for law school credit under the guidance of our sports law faculty. The strength of any program is the faculty and our students learn from the very best. Our faculty is diverse and draws from a broad-base of professional experience. Our professors are not just leaders in the academic community; they have worked in a broad array of sports law fields – representation of professional athletes, sports law related work in large law firms, and involvement in major capacities in the amateur sports area. The SLP Fellows have the opportunity to work as a research assistant to a professor, developing a deeper examination of cutting-edge legal and policy issues under the watchful eye of a professional experienced in the field.

As a SLP Fellow at TJSL, you will receive in-depth exposure to specific areas of Sports Law, which will provide you with a background in subjects designed to prepare you to deal with legal and related problems in the professional and amateur sports contexts. This exposure will enable you to integrate the best of theory with practice in the sports law area.

The strengths of our SLP program include:

  • A rich curriculum of courses and specially designed seminars related to the sports industry.
  • Student Organizations that coordinate additional events and panels dealing with the sports and entertainment industries.
  • A Certificate of Specialization offered through the Center for Sports Law and Policy;
  • Externship opportunities in the sports industry.
  • Directed study and research opportunities with in organizing major conferences, preparing white papers dealing with major issues, and working on articles for publication with sports law faculty.