U.S. Master in Sports Law


Program Description

U.S. Master in Sports Law


This U.S. Master in Sports Law is the only offering in the market created with an external industry perspective. As the program was developed, leading sports industry professionals and law firms were consulted in order to ascertain the skills and knowledge that students would need in order to best position themselves for employment upon graduation.

Qualified students will earn a professional degree –ISDE’s innovative U.S. Master in Sports Law – over the course of 10 months of intensive classroom study in New York City, and another three to four months of hands-on internship experience with a leading sports organization in the United States, Europe or elsewhere (longer internships may, in some cases, be possible with the agreement of the student and host organization).

Courses provide foundational instruction on the sports industry combined with specific training in sports and law.

The program’s prestigious faculty represents many of the world’s top sporting organizations, including: NCAA, NFL, NBA, FIFA, CAS, MLS, IOC, WADA Furthermore, guest lecturers include the world sporting community’s most respected lawyers, agents, and managers. Networking events and practical workshops held at leading law firms and sports organizations in New York City, Miami, and Europe will complement the coursework. In addition to the academically rigorous curriculum, the program offers students outstanding networking opportunities with peers at ISDE and colleagues from across the sports industry community. Together, these opportunities will prepare graduates to succeed in the next phases of their careers. The U.S. Master in Sports Law is a Master Degree open to highly motivated professionals offered and issued by a European institution, as ISDE, focused on the practical legal training of the students and on providing them hands-on experience on the industry.

Why choose the U.S. Master in Sports Law?

  • More than 200 offices, firms and sports organizations associated with international
  • Prestige and international recognition
  • More than 20 years of experience in training in sports programs
  • Learn from industry leaders - The program’s prestigious faculty represents many of the world’s top sports organizations.
  • Acquire high-demand skills - Courses provide foundational instruction on the sports industry combined with specific training in sports and law.
  • Expand your knowledge with courses focused on sports law, entertainment and negotiation.
  • Built a strong network in the sports industry studying the program and doing an internship in a sports organization or law firm.
  • Study in New York City, the sports capital of the world, the only program focused on Sports Law and entertainment.
  • You will obtain a professional degree: ISDE’s innovative U.S. Master in Sports Law.
  • You will do a hands-on internship experience with a leading sports organization or law firm in the United States, Europe or elsewhere. This will give you enough network, confidence, and knowledge to succeed in your professional career.
  • Networking events and practical workshops held at leading law firms and sports organizations in New York City will complement the coursework.

Program Structure

Students in the U.S. Master in Sports Law follow an intensive program of classroom lectures, site visits, and global internship experiences. The program begins with a curriculum of sports law, all of which are offered over the space of ten months.

As detailed below, all classroom instruction will take place during the Fall Semester (September-December 2018), the Spring Semester (January-May 2019) and the Summer Session (May-July 2019).

Fall & Spring Semesters

  • The following classes will be taught in New York City on Friday mornings and on one Saturday per month:
    • Arbitration and Dispute Resolution– Professor: Jeff Mishkin (Fall 2018)
    • Hot Topics in Sports Law – Professor: Joel Litvin (Fall 2018 & Spring 2019)
    • Intellectual Property – Professor: Matthew Asbell (Spring 2019)
  • The following classes will be taught in a condensed week-long format:
    • Negotiations (Columbia Law) – Professor: Alexandra Carter (Spring 2019)
    • Entertainment Law. All travel and lodging expenses covered by ISDE.
  • In late Spring 2019, students will go on an extended trip to the following locations, with all travel and lodging expenses covered by ISDE:
    • Lausanne, Switzerland
    • Cambridge, England
    • Madrid and Barcelona, Spain

Summer 2018

Prior to the internship, students will have the opportunity to attend voluntary workshops with sports law practitioners and visit law firms, such as Skadden Arps.

September 2018 – December 2018

Students will start an extended internship at a prestigious law firm, sports clubs or sports institution. For those with a U.S. visa, this internship may be in the USA, but for others, the location will be elsewhere globally.


International and Comparative Sports Law

This law course serves as the overarching course for the Law component of the Companion Degree Program it exposes students to the broad range of cross-border and foreign jurisdictional, regulatory, and practice issues that characterize the global sports law industry.

The focus of this course is to introduce, synthesize and evaluate theory; introduce scholarly research; and discuss issues and themes regarding international sports law. The differences and similarities between American, European and International sports will be compared via lecturers, readings, and in-class discussions. The following topics will be covered throughout the course: The International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Federations, National Federations, National Olympic Committees, the Olympics, FIFA, FIBA, and the globalization of professional sport.

Intellectual Property in Sports

This course will address the laws that protect intellectual property in relation to the sports industry. The course highlights the extent to which such laws, whether local, national, or international, incentivize or sometimes inhibit the development and expansion of sports and sports-related businesses, how they protect or fail to protect the creations and identities of those involved, and how some ultimately support consumer confidence in sports-related goods or services.

The specific aim of the course is to encourage students to consider the role of intellectual property law in the context of the particular industry. We will explore the basic principles of intellectual property law, including trademarks, copyrights, rights of publicity, and utility and design patents in relation to individual athletes, teams, their personnel and fans, the sports they play and technological improvements related thereto, the leagues and unions in which they are members, the venues and media in which their performances are observed, and ancillary businesses that exploit their names and images, identifying features and behaviors, and statistics, among other marketable information.

We will consider the exclusive rights associated with such laws, their exceptions, how they differ in different jurisdictions, and the significance of international treaties related to these laws. Students will learn to recognize different types of intellectual property rights and how they are applied in the sports industry and evaluate the successes and failures of the law in this context.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) refers to any means of settling disputes outside of the courtroom. ADR typically includes early neutral evaluation, negotiation, conciliation, mediation, and arbitration. As burgeoning court queues, rising costs of litigation, and time delays continue to plague litigants, more states have begun experimenting with ADR programs. Some of these programs are voluntary; others are mandatory.

While the two most common forms of ADR are arbitration and mediation, negotiation is almost always attempted first to resolve a dispute. It is the preeminent mode of dispute resolution. Negotiation allows the parties to meet in order to settle a dispute. The main advantage of this form of dispute settlement is that it allows the parties themselves to control the process and the solution.


In sessions taught by our expert faculty, you will broaden your understanding of negotiation concepts, acquire proven negotiating techniques, and have the opportunity to put your learning into practice.

Negotiations teach you how to get the most out of negotiations by creating a winning proposition for both sides. You also explore methods for successful conflict resolution and understand the impact of cultural differences in the negotiation process.

ISDE reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.



ISDE works closely with a large number law firms, institutions, sports clubs, organizations, and companies worldwide.

The destination of the internship is decided after a detailed case-by-case analysis of each student’s academic performance and personal profile, as well as the acceptance of the receiving institution.

Internship opportunities bridge the gap between the educational and professional worlds, making it easier to transition from academic life into a professional career.

Examples of past internship host organizations include:

  • NCAA (Indianapolis, USA)
  • Sportradar (New York, USA)
  • Excel Sports Management (New York, USA)
  • Women’s Tennis Association (Tampa, USA)
  • Sporting Kansas City (Kansas, USA)
  • Bichara & Motta (Brazil)
  • Libra Law (Switzerland)
  • Mills & Reeve (UK)
  • Squire Patton Boggs (UK)
  • Miami Dolphins (Miami, USA)
  • CRA Law Firm (Portugal)
  • Court of Arbitration for Sports (Switzerland)
  • World Anti-Doping Agency (Switzerland)
  • New York Red Bulls FC (New York, USA)
  • Asian Football Confederation (Malaysia)
  • Buckner Sports Law Firm (Miami, USA)



Please, be informed that this program is not an LLM accredited by the American Bar Association nor the New York Bar Association. ISDE is a private European Law & Business School attached to the Complutense University of Madrid, imparting joint training programs with renowned universities in Spain like Carlos III and Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, and Columbia University, New York, the Levin College of Law, University of Florida, in the US.

Please, note that this program is highly recognized by the international law industry since most of the top lawyers in such industry are either professors, guest lecturers or alumni of the program, as it may be consulted on our Web Site: Partner Companies. ISDE has at the moment more than 2,500 alumni working in the International Law industry all around the world. Additionally, ISDE provides our degree holders with networking structures designed to strengthen their connections among peers and to access a competitive legal environment.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 19, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
16 months
Part time
Full time
May 15, 2018
USA - New York, New York
Start date: Sept. 2018
Application deadline May 15, 2018
End date Request Info
Sept. 2018
USA - New York, New York
Application deadline May 15, 2018
End date Request Info