Jeff Smith ('13) had about the coolest possible internship last summer: working with the lawyers who represent the Boston Red Sox and affiliated businesses. Here are some of Jeff's reflections:
This past summer, I had the remarkable opportunity to be one of two legal interns with the Boston Red Sox Legal Department. Growing up as a huge Red Sox Fan, this was a dream come true. Never had I entertained the possibility of intimately experiencing the ins and outs of the Red Sox. Not only was I excited for the professional opportunities, but also for the enthusiasm of home games and the atmosphere of the park.
The Legal Department is led by General Counsel, Ed Weiss, and contained, in comparison to other Major League Baseball Clubs, an army of attorneys, each with a diverse background. As such, a large portion of the club’s legal matters were handled in-house, which was great because the other legal intern and I were able to work on a wide assortment of legal issues. With the support of Jennifer Flynn (Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel), Mandy Eysie (Senior Manager of Legal Operations), and Legal Counsel Michelle Kozlov Gewandter, my responsibilities focused on drafting sponsorship agreements between the club and a wide assortment of companies, each of which required its own special attention depending on the sponsorship and promotional rights. Most of these agreements resulted in the prominent signage and displays scattered on the outfield walls, concourses, and throughout the ballpark. This allowed me to work closely with the club’s lawyers and gain a practical understanding of contract writing and the significance of clauses depending on the kind of agreement. After weeks of familiarity with this work, I was given the opportunity to draft agreements independently.
As exciting as it was working with the legal team, that was only half of my duties. On game days, the front office was always buzzing with energy and there was seldom an instance where all hands on deck wasn’t necessary. However, the Legal Department was special, in the sense that we had no game time responsibilities, which was great because it allowed ample opportunity to get involved with all aspects of game day. For example, I routinely gave VIP tours of the park and brought fans onto the field to watch batting practice, assisted with on-field ceremonies before, during, and after games, performed sales and promotions, and often stayed post-game to help in various capacities. When the team was on the road, I was also involved in events at the ballpark such as the Backstreet Boys/New Kids on the Block Concert, the Cape Cod League All Star Game, Picnic in the Park Fundraiser, and Futures at Fenway.
Overall, the professional experience was invaluable, while being terrific fun. Many thanks to General Counsel Weiss, his colleagues, and the entire front office of the Boston Red Sox for helping make this a summer I’ll never forget.
Recently, the SBA and the RWU Sports and Entertainment Law Society organized a trip to Fenway for a Red Sox game. I was able to reach out to the attorneys and organized a meet and greet with fifteen students, who could mingle and ask questions of David Friedman, Senior Vice President and Special Counsel. Unknown to the group until moments after meeting with Dave, I arranged for us to head down to the field and catch the end of the Texas Rangers batting practice. Many thanks to the students who came and asked Dave questions about the Red Sox and his legal career! Although the Sox lost that night (and have been disappointing since), we all had a great time.
From Left to Right: Jamie Cheung, Nina Halvorson, Daniel Neal, Christa Harris, Leah Miraldi