Sports law encompasses a wide range of legal topics, including antitrust, labor, 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.

The Sports Law Institute (SLI) at Vermont Law School serves as an educational, research, and professional vehicle for exploring connections between law and sports. The SLI 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.​

SLI Director

The Sports Law Institute at Vermont Law School is led by Professor Brian Porto​, who has been writing about legal issues in sports for more than two decades. His scholarship focuses on the effects of Title IX on college sports and on the relationship between those sports and higher education. His most recent article, "New Rules for An Old Game: Recent Changes To The NCAA Enforcement Process And Some Suggestions for The Future," was published in the Oregon Law Review (92 Oregon Law Review 101, Spring 2014).

​Climate Change: How It's Hurting Winter Sports

On the eve of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the Sports Law Institute at Vermont Law School hosted a panel discussio​n about how climate change continues to jeopardize the winter sports industry both globally and in New England. The symposium on “Brown Slopes, Bare Trails” included a climate scientist as well as ski operators and snowmakers from New England: scientist Elizabeth Burakowski, PhD; Parker Riehle, president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association; Ian Jarrett, vice president of HKD Snowmakers, a Massachusetts company that manufactures and supplies energy-efficient snowmaking technology; and Michael Hussey, director of Rikert Nordic Center at Middlebury College. Vermont Law School Professor Brian Porto, director of the SLI, moderated.​​​​