THE LOYOLA SPORTS LAWS INSTITUTE

Mission Statement

During the 2004-2005 academic year the Loyola Sports Law Institute began operations. The business of sports has a particularly strong connection with Los Angeles and Loyola Law School is in a unique position to offer its students, alumni and the legal community an opportunity to learn about the various aspects of sports and the law. We have a rich blend of amateur and professional athletics in Southern California and many members of the legal community have a connection to legal issues in sports.

There are three basic components to the institute and two possible additional elements. The three fundamental parts consist of: (1) curriculum enrichment; (2) live symposia; and (3) the dedication of one issue per year of the Entertainment Law Review to sports law issues. The two additional and optional components would be increased library acquisitions of books and other materials related to sports law and interdisciplinary studies in areas such as sports medicine and sports economics. A somewhat more detailed summary of the institute and some elaboration on the various components follow:

The Academic Program

I.   Curriculum Enrichment

Currently, Loyola Law School offers only one basic two-unit course in Sports Law. We will expand the basic course into separate courses on professional and amateur sports. In addition, we will endeavor to offer courses in areas touching on international and comparative sports law. We will also create a negotiations course to simulate the activities of sports agents and team/league lawyers in contract formation. Collective bargaining exercises would also be attempted. These courses or seminars would be coordinated with our skills teachers who are well qualified to assist. Adjunct professors will be hired as needed. Other offerings could also be created and we could even consider having a certificate program in the sports law area.

II.   Live Symposia

We are already conducting live symposia or conferences one or more times per year on timely sports law topics of interest to our students, alumni and the bench and bar. Speakers include prominent experts from all over the country who have a close connection to the subject matter of the symposium. This brings recognition to the law school and the institute and also provides for useful exchanges of information and ideas.

On October 22, 2004 , the institute held its inaugural symposium on Drugs, Drug Testing and Sports. This all day event featured renowned commentators from the legal, medical and athletic communities. The symposium was well received and received some media attention. We expect to hold our second annual symposium during 2005-2006 academic year. The Institute will also periodically host more informal luncheon speaking engagements on a variety of important legal issues in sports.

III.   Entertainment Law Review Issue

It will be essential to dedicate one issue each year of the Entertainment Law Review solely to sports-related topics. This would supplement the live symposia and associate the school with serious scholarship dealing with sports. Speakers at the symposia will be the primary contributors to the annual issue.

IV.   Library Acquisitions

Although not essential, it would be beneficial to have the library dedicate additional resources to the accumulation of sport law books, films and other materials so that Loyola becomes a primary research source for those working in the field. Fund raising specifically focusing on this goal would be useful.

V.   Interdisciplinary Studies

As the institute becomes more developed and established, it might also be useful to expand beyond a more traditional legal curriculum in the area. More specifically, we should delve into sports economics, sports medicine and psychology, as well as other areas that would create intellectual interaction between the law school and other parts of the university and other academic institutions.

Institute Structure and Governance

The creation of a sports law institute will not be without some economic cost or the addition of some bureaucracy. The institute currently has a director (Professor Daniel E. Lazaroff) who is a full-time member of the Loyola Law School faculty. The director oversees the institute's operations and reports directly to the Dean. Ultimately, it is our goal to have an endowed chair in sports law for the institute director.

In addition to a faculty director, the institute utilizes a board of advisors. Current board members include important leaders in the business of sports. The advisory body provides useful counseling to the director about the best topics for a law review issue or a live symposium and also assists in securing qualified speakers.

 

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