Lawlternate is excited to continue our Trailblazers series, featuring attorneys who have followed their passion and ventured into new careers giving advice to those interested in doing the same.
Where did you go to law school?
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
Did you enter law school with the intention to practice law?
My goal was to practice, or maybe better, to apply what I learned at the intersection of the business of sports and the law. To the extent that I was going to practice I hoped to do so with a transactional focus, doing so on behalf of a team, league, organization, or as an agent. I had no interest in litigating
Did you practice law at any time? If so, where and what kind?
I spent a couple years practicing with a pair of small firms, one with a focus in bankruptcy and corporate law, and the other with a focus on construction and corporate law. The first was in Annapolis, MD, and the second was in Washington, DC. I had my own practice for about six years after that, primarily serving as outsourced in-house counsel for small businesses.
What are your interests outside of law?
Playing pick-up basketball and golf when I’m able to, and reading and writing too.
Have you practiced anything in that interest?
I was very fortunate to be invited a few years ago to join my current boss, Jim Tanner, in the inception and launch of his agency, Tandem Sports + Entertainment. We are a full service athlete representation agency. As it relates to the ‘practice’ of law, I focus on the drafting, review, redlining and negotiating of contracts, including on- and off-court contracts for our NBA clients, endorsement and licensing agreements, employment agreements for our broadcasting clients, and a variety of other agreements.
How do the skills you gained as an attorney help you in your current profession?
Principled negotiating and contract drafting are at the core of the substantive side of my current role, the foundations for both of which were established in my legal education and prior practice experience.
What advice can you give someone looking to go through a similar career trajectory?
I’m not sure mine is the ‘trajectory’ anyone would want to emulate. It took me the better part of ten years to finally break into the sports industry. That said (and maybe the only advice I may be qualified to give is): Treat people well and carry yourself with integrity. If you have a valuable skillset or talent you will get into the right conversations, but how you treat others along the way and the trust and confidence people can put in you will be what ultimately carries the day.
If you’re not currently practicing, would you ever return to practicing law?
The near perfect opportunity would have to present itself.
What do you think is the next generation of “legal” jobs?
To be honest, I’m not well-versed enough on the impact technology, big data and analytics, AI, etc. may have on the ‘legal’ industry, so I’m not sure I can answer that question with any particular insight or value.
If you can give one piece of advice to yourself back in law school – what would it be?
Get better grades.