From Economics to Regulation, Race & Gender to Intellectual Property: A Broad Range of Sports Law Topics

The Oregon Law Summer Sports Institute's comprehensive curriculum introduces aspiring sports lawyers to a broad range of legal topics relevant to the practice of sports law. The Institute features a unique mix of classes, lectures and career panels, each led by experts in their respective fields. During the rigorous five-week program, students immerse themselves in the wide world of sports law theory and practice.

We understand, however, that not every student who is interested in learning about sports law will actually go on to practice sports law. With that in mind, we view sports law as a subset of business law. By using the sports industry as a case study, we believe we train not only the best sports lawyers, but the best business lawyers. 


The exact details of the curriculum, outside events, faculty, and speakers will change each year in response to student feedback and the evolution of the sports industry. The final curriculum for the 2018 Institute will be available in late spring.


The Institute curriculum consists of 6 credit hours of instruction. Students attend two 2-hour class sessions each day (from 9:30-11:20 am and 1:30-3:20 pm), followed by a final exam on the morning of August 6. Afternoons and evenings are filled with panels, guest speakers, movies, and games. Students who are unable to stay until August 6 may make other arrangements to sit for the exam with the approval of the program director.

Week 1

Sports in the Context of Law  (2 sessions)

This course introduces the main topics and themes that characterize sports law. By focusing on tensions that are felt within the dual worlds of amateur and professional sports, it provides a framework for understanding and connecting all the other topics considered over the summer. Taught by Professor Illig of Oregon Law.

Economics of Sports  (4 sessions)

This course introduces and examines the business of sports from a financial viewpoint. Which is bigger, Nike or the Seattle Seahawks? By how much?  How are sports teams valued? And what about the transfer market? These and other topics are used to place the sports industry within the context of the larger economy and to uncover for future lawyers their sports clients’ financial goals and stressors. Taught by Professor Rascher of USF School of Business.

Interscholastic Sports  (2 sessions)

High school and youth sports are generally dominated by state actors, like high schools and public universities. As a result, legal disputes among amateur athletes frequently pose constitutional issues. This course explores the basis for determining whether a youth sports organization qualifies as a state actor, as well as the implications of such status for the athlete’s rights under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Taught by Professor Illig of Oregon Law.

Week 2

Race and Gender in Sports  (4 sessions)

The history and evolution of sports in the United States are closely intertwined with issues of race and gender. This course examines the impact of Title IX as well as the law’s response to racial and gender-based discrimination in sports. Taught by Professor Davis of Wake Forest.

NCAA Regulation  (4 sessions)

University athletics’ compliance with the NCAA’s nearly 500-page rulebook has grown into a significant practice area for sports lawyers. This course will provide an overview of compliance issues, with special focus on federal and state limitations on the NCAA’s authority. Taught by Professor Illig of Oregon Law.

Torts, Crimes & Sports  (2 sessions)

This course explores the role of criminal law and torts in athletics. Special attention will be given to on- and off-field player violence as well as the so-called “baseball rule” of tort liability. Taught by Dean Paris of Oregon Law and Professor Weiner of Oregon Law.

Week 3

Sports & IP  (6 sessions)

This course examines intellectual property issues relevant to professional and amateur sports, including the marketing and branding of athletics and the use (and misuse) of images. It argues that the sports industry is really a subset of the larger entertainment industry. Taught by Professor McCann of New Hampshire and Professor Mitten of Marquette.

International Sports Arbitration  (3 sessions)

This course considers the relationship between the regulation of American athletes by US authorities and the rules and requirements of international competitions like the Olympics, World Cup, and Tour de France. Taught by Professor Weston of Pepperdine.

Week 4

Sports and Antitrust Law  (4 sessions)

This course considers the growth and expansion of professional sports leagues together with the antitrust law challenges presented by rival leagues and errant team owners. Also at issue will be the antitrust implications of the NCAA’s near-monopoly on college sports. Taught by Professor Feldman of Tulane.

Sports and Labor Law  (4 sessions)

This course considers the many labor and employment law issues that complicate a talent-based industry like sports. Taught by Professor Duru of American University.

Week 5

Sports and Antitrust Law, continued  (2 sessions)

Sports and Labor Law, continued  (2 sessions)

Sports and Tax Law  (2 sessions)

This course considers the special tax aspects of players’ and coaches’ contracts, as well as tax issues implicated by the non-profit status of most sports leagues. Presented by Professor Mann of Oregon Law.

The Law of Coaches and Agents  (2 sessions)

This course addresses common legal issues faced by coaches and player agents.  Taught by Professor Illig of Oregon Law.

Negotiation in the Context of Sports Workshop (1 double session)

This workshop will introduce students to the world of sports negotiation through the use of simulations and hands-on exercises. Led by Dean Moffitt of Oregon Law, and Professor Reynolds of Oregon Law.

Apply today!