Our Office of Career Development sponsored a recent program on what it takes to land a career in Sports Law, and the paths three distinguished lawyers took to get there. The speakers were: Donald Gralnek, Former General Counsel of Sharks Sports and Entertainment, San Jose Sharks (National Hockey League), Katherine Sulentic (RWU Law ’09), Assistant Director of Enforcement, National Collegiate Athletic Association, and Augusto “Cookie” Rojas, General Sales Manager, and PawSox Baseball Club.
While in law school, Augusto Rojas decided to speak with a wrestling coach to learn more about the sports industry and how his J.D. could be an advantage. This one meeting turned into 133 informational interviews over the next few years. At every interview he would ask the person for five additional contacts to build his network, a key to his success.
Don Gralnek told the students that the first step to being a good sports law attorney is to first be a good attorney. He said that this applies to whichever field you end up working in and encouraged students to keep an open mind while they are gaining experience.
Kathy Sulentic told students to be persistent and creative in gaining exposure to the sports industry. She recommended that students be humble and be willing to take on any job to get into the field – usher, ticket taker, athletic tutor, etc. She also advised students to take administrative law, trial advocacy, and contracts while in law school to gain the knowledge and skills you will need in the practice.
Here are some pictures from the day: