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New Sports Law Institute at Vermont Law School

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT — Vermont Law School has established a Sports Law Institute (SLI) to prepare students for the growing opportunities at the intersection of sports, law and business.

The SLI is headed by Professor Michael McCann, one of the nation’s foremost experts on sports law. He is a legal analyst for Sports Illustrated and editor-in-chief and publisher of the award-winning Sports Law Blog. The SLI’s deputy director is Associate Professor Brian Porto, who has written about legal issues in sports for more than two decades.

The SLI’s launching further broadens the curriculum and experiential learning opportunities at VLS, whose environmental law, international law, dispute resolution and other public-service oriented programs are nationally recognized for excellence.

The SLI serves as an educational, research and professional vehicle for exploring connections between law and sports. The institute engages in original research, promotes experiential learning and employment opportunities for VLS students and alumni and connects the VLS community with academic and professional sports law activities. The SLI also provides cutting-edge commentary on some of the biggest controversies in sports law.

Sports law has an emerging role in legal education and will continue to gain importance,” McCann said. “It encompasses a wide range of legal topics, including antitrust law, labor law, intellectual property/licensing, contracts, commercial law, business law, immigration law, property, torts and criminal law. That breadth makes sports law an excellent device for studying the law. Sports law is also a valuable learning tool because it presents complex legal issues in fact-patterns that students generally find approachable and understandable. Our focus ranges from the ski and snowboard slopes in Vermont to the parks, courts, rinks and fields found in the big leagues and minor leagues all over the country.”

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