Collegiate & Professional Sports Law

Practice Area

Collegiate & Professional Sports Law

Lewis Brisbois’ Collegiate & Professional Sports Law Practice is made up of attorneys with extensive knowledge and practical experience in the collegiate and professional sports area. Our attorneys serve the diverse needs of both professional sports entities and colleges and universities with the handling of the broad spectrum of legal issues that arise in the sports world on a daily basis.

At the collegiate level, Lewis Brisbois’ experienced sports law attorneys conduct investigations into alleged infractions of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules and represent universities and their coaches and athletic personnel before the NCAA Committee on Infractions and the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee. We advise college and university clients on compliance with the growing number of NCAA and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) rules and guide these institutions through increasingly complex and changing rules and regulations governing collegiate sports. We have vast experience advising institutions on Title IX, representing colleges and universities at every stage of the compliance process, including audits, gender equity reviews, and government investigations.

At the professional level, we advise sports franchises during the sales and acquisition process of franchises. In addition, we provide legal guidance during both times of crisis and throughout the life of a franchise, including the defense of alleged National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) violations and federal and state wage and hour audits/investigations, as well as the defense of civil litigations. In addition, our attorneys are respected for their representation of Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises in salary arbitration hearings.

We also counsel agents and sports agencies on the current regulatory and enforcement environment, including the myriad of state licensing and sports union certification requirements. While our priority is avoiding litigation, when that is not an option, our attorneys vigorously defend clients in cases of alleged non-compliance, player association investigations, and in numerous areas of civil litigation.

With the growing number of foreign athletes seeking to enter the United States throughout the collegiate and professional ranks, Lewis Brisbois’ sports law attorneys also provide guidance and assistance to professional franchises, individual athletes, and colleges and universities with the handling of sports-related global immigration issues, including the securing of appropriate visas, potential green card applications, and efforts to secure United States citizenship. Whether advising schools, teams, coaches, managers, or players with their specific immigration needs, our attorneys develop the appropriate legal approach to handle each issue in an expedient and cost-effective way.

The attorneys of our Collegiate & Professional Sports Law Practice also provide guidance and direction in all aspects of name, image, and likeness (NIL) representation. From advising colleges and universities on drafting NIL policies complaint with NCAA rules and state laws to guiding collectives on proper formation and legal compliance with NCAA bylaws, the Lewis Brisbois team also helps companies specializing in NIL with the drafting of agreements with potential corporate partners and student-athletes seeking to secure NIL opportunities.

In addition, our attorneys can advise on:

  • Title III ADA accessibility and accommodation
  • Title IX compliance, civil rights, and diversity
  • Coaches training to educate on NCAA compliance
  • Effective compliance with athlete-agent laws and regulations
  • Salary arbitration
  • Grievance advice and arbitration
  • Contract and compensation
  • Wage and hour
  • Global immigration
  • Drug testing policies and procedures
  • Safety and health
  • Sports franchise acquisition due diligence
  • Crisis management
  • Collective bargaining
  • Labor, employment, and employee benefits litigation
  • Social responsibility and good judgment


Related News, Publications & Events