Andrew Richman ’16 divides his week between his classes at Seton Hall Law and his
passion – a legal externship in one of the world’s top sports agencies.
“People want to get into sports law because they are fans,” he explained. “That might
have been my initial intention, but it has turned into something far more than just
being a fan.”
“Richman was introduced to the world of sports management through a magnet program
in his high school in Florida. During a college internship at a law firm, Richman
developed another passion: contracts.
"A large part of what people call ‘sports law’ is actually developing contracts,”
he explained. “I love the negotiation around them, and I like drafting and editing
them. I knew that it could help to hone my contract skills, and my negotiation skills,
if I want to be in sports management. So I figured it couldn't hurt to have a J.D."
Andrew Richman ’16
“With strong family ties in New York – including Richman’s grandmother, a former assistant
district attorney in Brooklyn and his greatest inspiration to attend law school –
he chose Seton Hall Law to take advantage of the Law School’s proximity to New York,
the base of many of the world’s largest sports agencies and entertainment corporations.
“I work with a contract manager in the agency’s General Counsel’s office,” he explained.
“I love this portion of it. I'm mostly focusing on endorsement licensing and appearance
agreements, such as if a basketball player wants to go to an autograph signing.” Richman
also uses his externship to explore other options within the area. “Sports is a multi-billion
dollar industry, and not all of the ‘players’ are on the court or the field,” he said.
“While I’m working on contracts, I also get exposure to the client services division,
where I get to watch the agents on the front lines making sure the clients are happy.
Meanwhile, sales teams work the phones negotiating the deals for endorsements. It's
a great environment.”
“For the past 20 years, Professor Denis McLaughlin has served as the faculty director of the Judicial Externship Program, assisting
and mentoring student externs serving in the federal and state courts. He stresses
that externships are essential to a law student’s career path.
"I always tell students, ‘You didn’t come to law school to become a law student, you
came to become a lawyer,’” he explained. “Externships give students the chance to
experience the real work of practicing law."
Professor Denis Mclaughlin
“Professor McLaughlin recognizes the kind of enthusiasm that Richman feels for his
experience. “The most common comment I read in the students’ reflection papers is,
‘It was the best thing I ever did,’” he said. “That’s because externships are real. It’s fun to be part of a criminal or civil case in real life, with real consequences.
Being onsite in a courtroom or an office, really practicing law, gives students a
chance to put to use everything they learned in the classroom.”
“For Richman, his externship at Excel Sports Management has cemented his desire to
remain in the sports management field, and he works hard to build his professional
network. He has attended sports management conferences, and has become a student ambassador
for the New York City Bar Association’s Sports Law Committee. “The forum is really
intimate, with just one or two other students and then 10 or 20 of the top industry
professionals in the room,” he said. Through the Committee, he has met attorneys at
law firms representing athletes in the best and worst of circumstances, from endorsement
deals to the criminal cases that become the top news stories of the day. “I haven’t
just made good connections, I’ve made real friends within the industry, which has
really helped me,” he noted.
“Richman also meets regularly with Professor Brian Sheppard, who teaches Entertainment Law and has assumed the lead of the Sports and Entertainment Externship Program. “Student
externs often rely on their faculty advisers as a sounding board as they make the
decisions that will shape their future,” said Professor Sheppard. “During our meetings
students may ask about specific areas of the law, or we talk about the day-to-day
challenges in the workplace, and work together to plan creative strategies and solutions.
In doing so we help students get the most out of their externship experience.”
Richman knows his expertise in contracts, developed through his externships, will
serve him well. “Last year, I was at a sports conference in Chicago and during a quick
speed networking round, I sat down with an agent. I said, ‘I'm one of the most passionate
people that I think you'll ever meet.’ He said, ‘You see everyone in this room, everyone
is passionate. Everyone loves sports, everyone loves this industry. You need to bring
something to the table that isn't just passion, you need to bring something else of
“And I realized that I do bring more than just my passion for sports. I think that
my contract drafting and editing is superior to a lot of my colleagues just because
I've experienced it first-hand,” Richman said. “Every contract that I can get my hands
on, and my eyes on, it helps me learn. It's going to bring me to the next level, being
able to negotiate the most favorable contracts for clients. With an in-depth understanding
of the negotiating points that exist and how they can affect clients in real life,
I am better equipped to negotiate the best terms for my future clients.”