Colleges Sports Law

Pitt’s Master Of Studies In Sports And Entertainment Law

Interested in truly learning about sports law, but have absolutely no desire of becoming a lawyer? Does the idea of spending the next three years of your life in a law school library scare you? Want to get a postgraduate degree as fast as possible (so that you may potentially become an NFLPA agent)? If you can stand eating at restaurants that serve “The Roethlisberger”, then you may be in luck.

This fall, the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law will launch a new concentration in sports and entertainment law. The new concentration will allow students to study subjects in intellectual property, media law, copyright law, intellectual property licensing, telecommunications law, trademark law, antitrust, business planning, entrepreneurship and technology.

The Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program is designed for students who want to better understand law in a particular area, but do not want to become lawyers.

A student can receive a Master of Studies in Law degree within one full-time year, or four part-time years. There are 18 concentrations to choose from in the MSL program, including employment and labor law, family law, and disability law.

For more information about the MSL Program and to download an application, go to or call 412-648-7120.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

3 replies on “Pitt’s Master Of Studies In Sports And Entertainment Law”

I will reserve judgment, but this doesn’t sound like a great idea. Law school and the practice of law force you to tackle complex problems in a limited time frame with real pressure upon your shoulders. Taking a “survey” of sports and entertainment law and then transitioning into a career in that field will not equip most graduates with the tools they need to do a great job for their clients.

Sure the “law” part of this industry typically isn’t tricky, but the training you get from handling other areas of law in the face of heavy pressure can only set you up to be successful later on as an agent. You can’t “fake it” in a tough negotiation session if you have never been there before, and aren’t aware of some of the potential results of a mistake or a concession. Plus, your confidence from tackling countless tough situations is going to show through to the client and to your adversary at the table.

I completely agree with you, Mook. I believe that they will be exposed to a great deal of information, but because of the shorter duration of the program, they will most likely not receive enough exposure to each subject-matter to get a sound grasp on it…..and that can be very dangerous. You do not want these grads out there “acting” like attorneys. There are so many aspects to the law touched on during your legal education that contribute to the practice of each of the specializations within the same legal arena, that to cut out significant exposure to all aspects would just not be fair to the student.

Having recently graduated from law school within the past year and obtaining a Sports Law certificate from Florida Coastal’s concentrated program, I would find it very hard to recommend to any student to take this “short cut” or substitute for a complete and proper legal education. And this is coming from a Pittsburgh native and former Steeler employee/avid fan. Although, I may be a lil’ bit biased to anything that comes out of the University of Pittsburgh since I am a West Virginia University grad that will always have that permanent dislike for Pitt…especially after the loss this past football season. LET’S GOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS!!!

I agree with you guys. I would go as far to say that a law degree from the “worst” ABA-accredited school is FAR AND AWAY more valuable in the long run than taking a survey of courses and getting a Masters in Sports Law. The main factor here is the code of ethics and rules of professional responsibility to which each lawyer must abide. Plus, many law schools offer courses in sports and entertainment law that covers many, if not all, of the topics offered in this Masters program.

To be quite honest, this program seems like it would be a very hard sell. This reminds me of schools with telecommunications programs. They seem “sexy” if you will and are likely fun while you are in school, but the reality is that schools put hundreds, if not thousands, of students through these programs and then don’t do much to help them acquire the 10-20 (maybe less/more) TV/radio jobs per city that their degree makes them qualified for. That leaves many students scrambling to find work in other careers. In comparison, this program will make students “qualified” for jobs that people with far better backgrounds (ivy league law degrees, former professional athletes, etc.) covet and will get. This degree will not transfer to other careers with far more jobs, such as finance or law. Seems like a waste of money and time to me. Get a law degree or even an MBA.

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