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 served as an educational, research, and professional vehicle for exploring connections between law and sports. The SLI engaged in original research, promoted experiential learning and employment opportunities for VLS students and alumni, and connected the VLS community with academic and professional sports law activities.
In the spring of 2018, the Sports Law Institute hosted a panel discussion about the persistence of hazing in sports and its adverse consequences for individuals and institutions. The panel featured hazing educator and former University of Vermont athletic director Richard Farnham, education attorney Heather Thomas Lynn, and St. Michael's College psychology professor and faculty athletics representative David Landers. Vermont Law School professor Brian Porto, who directs the Sports Law Institute, moderated.
The Sports Law Institute at VLS regularly sponsors lectures and panel discussions on current topics in sports law. Recent events have included the following participants: