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Brian Porto

Brian Porto

Professor of Law Emeritus
Legal Writing

JD, Indiana University, 1987

PhD, Miami University, 1979

BA, University of Rhode Island, 1974


Curriculum Vitae

Brian Porto


Brian Porto joined the Vermont Law School faculty as assistant professor of law in fall 2007. He currently teaches Appellate Advocacy, Legal Writing, Amateur Sports Law, Professional Sports and the Law, and Election Law at VLS and serves as Director of the Sports Law Institute. He is a practicing attorney and served as judicial clerk to Associate Justice Denise R. Johnson of the Vermont Supreme Court, Judge William I. Garrard of the Indiana Court of Appeals, and Associate Justice William Johnson of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
Professor Porto has taught political science at Yankton College in South Dakota, at Macalester College in Minnesota, and at Norwich University in Vermont, and numerous courses as an adjunct professor at community colleges throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. His commentaries about legal and social issues in sports on Vermont Public Radio, and he has published extensively. His most recent book, The Supreme Court and the NCAA: The Case for Less Commercialism and More Due Process in College Sports, was published in 2012.



"Judge in Landmark O'Bannon Case Put the NCAA's Amateur Myth to Rest," Legal Issues in College Athletics, v. 19, no. 6 (April 2018): 4-5 (with coauthor Allen Sack).

"Neither Employees Nor Indentured Servants: A New Amateurism for a New Millennium in College Sports," Marquette Sports Law Review, v. 26, no. 2 (2016): 301-330.

Can the NCAA Enforcement Process Protect Children From Abuse in the Wake of the Sandusky Scandal?, 22 Widener Law Journal 555 (2013).

You'll Never Work (or Play) Here Again: A Lingering Question in Titles IX Retaliation Claims by Coaches and Athletes After Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education 22 Marquette Sports Law Review - (Spring 2012).

​Improving Your Appellate Brief: The Best Advice from Bench, Bar and Academy, 34 No. 2 Vermont Bar Journal (Winter 2011) 36-42.
Halfway Home: An Update on Title IX and College Sports, 34 Vermont Bar Journal 28 (Summer 2008), 28.
Where Do We Go From Here? Vermont Campaign Finance After Randall v. Sorrell, 32 Vermont Bar Journal No. 4 (Winter 2007), 30-37.
Changing the Game Plan: A Participation Model of College Sports, 85 Phi Kappa Phi Forum, (Fall 2005), 28-31.
Less Is More and Small Is Beautiful: How Vermont's Campaign-finance Law Can Rejuvenate Democracy, 30 Vermont Law Review No. 1 (Fall 2005), 1-41.​
​The Art of Appellate Brief Writing, 29 Vermont Bar Journal (Summer 2003), 30-36. Reprinted in Meador, Baker, and Steinman, APPELLATE COURTS: STRUCTURES, FUNCTIONS, PROCESSES, AND PERSONNEL, 2D ED.​ (LexisNexis 2006), 640-45.
The Legal Challenges to “Big Time” College Sports: Are They Threats or Opportunities for Reform? 27 Vermont Bar Journal (June 2001), 41-43.
Completing the Revolution: Title IX as Catalyst for an Alternative Model of College Sports, 8 Seton Hall Journal of Sport Law, (1998), 351-418.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Title IX and the Battle for Gender Equity in College Sports, 41 Res Gestae (the magazine of the Indiana State Bar Association) (November 1997), 26-38. Winner of Second Prize, Harrison Legal Writing Competition, 1997.​
Democracy Revisited: The Writings of Lani Guinier, 20 Vermont Bar Journal (December 1994), 9-10.
The Constitution and Political Patronage: Supreme Court Jurisprudence and the Balancing of First Amendment Freedoms, 13 Pace University Law Review (Winter 1993), 87-139.
The Supreme Court and the Political Process, 19 Vermont Bar Journal (October 1993), 34-35.
The Constitution and the Ballot Box: Supreme Court Jurisprudence and Ballot Access for Independent Candidates, 7 BYU Journal of Public Law (1993), 281-318.
The Supreme Court Confirmation Process: Prescriptions for Reform, 18 Vermont Bar Journal (April 1992), 16-17.
The Constitution and Political Parties: Supreme Court Jurisprudence and its Implications for Partybuilding, 8 Constitutional Commentary (Summer 1991), 201-218.​

New Hampshire’s New Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Assault: Is it Constitutional and Is it Good Public Policy? 26 New England Law Review (Fall 1991), 141-172.

Balancing Due Process and Academic Integrity in Intercollegiate Athletics: The Scholarship Athlete’s Limited Property Interest in Eligibility, 62 Indiana Law Journal, (1987), 1151-1180.
Athletic Scholarships as Contracts of Employment: The Rensing Decisions and the Future of College Sports, 8 Journal of Sport and Social Issues (1985), 20-37.
College Athletics on Trial: The Mark Hall Decision and its Implications for the Future, 8 Journal of Sport and Social Issues (Winter/Spring 1984), 22-34.
The Tinker Decision and Native Americans: The Case for Expanding a Precedent, 11 Journal of Law and Education, No. 1 (January 1982), 65-77.​

​​Porto, Brian L. (2015) "The NCAA's Restitution Rule: Bulwark Against Cheating or Barrier to Appropriate Legal Remedies?," Roger Williams University Law Review: Vol. 20: Iss. 2, Article 6.

​​What Recruiters Don't Tell Athletes and Athletes Don't Think to Ask: A Critique of the NCAA's Nonacademic Eligibility Rules, 13 Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal 240 (2014).

​​New Rules for an Old Game: Recent Changes to the NCAA Enforcement Process and Some Suggestions for the Future, 92 Oregon Law Review 1051 (2014)

​Town Meetings, Tight Budgets, and Frugal Yankees: Explaining the Campaign-Finance Jurisprudence of Justice David Souter, 37 Vermont Law Review 309 (2012).

​​A New Season: Using Title IX to Reform College Sports (Praeger 2003)


The Supreme Court and the NCAA: The Case for Less Commercialism and More Due Process in College Sports, The University of Michigan Press, 2012

May It Please the Court: Judicial Processes and Politics in America, 2d ed., Taylor and Francis Group, 2008).​

A New Season: Envisioning an Alternative Model of College Sports (Praeger, 2003).​

The Craft of Legal Reasoning (Harcourt Brace, 1998).

​Editor, Practice Series Manual: Domestic Relations, Vermont Bar Association, Montpelier, VT, 1995.​


The Art of Appellate Brief Writing, ​in Meador, Baker, and Steinman, APPELLATE COURTS: STRUCTURES, FUNCTIONS, PROCESSES AND PERSONNEL, 2d ed., LexisNexis 2006, 640.​​
"Law, Politics, and the Political Process," in Law and Politics: Unanswered Questions (David Schultz, ed., NY: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. 1994).​
"Legal Reasoning and Review," in Law and Politics: Unanswered Questions (David Schultz, ed., NY: Peter Lang Publishing, In​c. 1994).
​"Legal and Constitutional Challenges to the NCAA," in Government and Sport: Public Policy Issues (James Frey and Arthur Johnson ed. Rowman and Allenheld, 1985), 20-36.
"Athletic Scholarships as Contractual Bases for a Property Interest in Athletic Eligibility," in Sports and Law: Some Contemporary Issues (Herb Appenzeller, ed. Michie, 1985), 117-39.


​Testimony before Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics Regarding a Limited Antitrust Exemption for College Sports, Washington, DC, May 19, 2015.

​Moderator of Panel Discussion on "Legal Issues in School Sports", South Royalton, VT, March 2013

​Moderator of Panel Discussion on "The Future of College Sports", South Royalton, VT, March 2015

​Masters of Pervasion: Rhetorical Techniques of the Supreme Court's Best Writers, New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers, South Royalton, VT September 12, 2014

​Moderator of Panel Discussion on "Climate Change and Winter Sports", South Royalton, VT, March 2014

​Moderator of panel discussion on "The Law of Skiing, Snowboarding, and Resort Management", South Royalton, VT March 2012.​

​Presenter, "Still Useful After All of These Years: The role of Client Advice Letters in Producing Practice Ready Lawyers", New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers Annual Conference, Concord, NH, December 2011

​Moderator of panel discussion on "Program Models in Legal Writing and Research: Burdens, Benefits, Limitations," New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers Regional Conference, South Royalto​n, VT, December 2007.

Panelist, "Title IX and its Implications," Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, April 2004.​

​Guest speaker, "Reform or Revolution? Assessing Proposals and Prospects for Change in College Sports," The Summit on Sports Reform, Lake George, NY, November 2003.

​"What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been: Title IX and the Legal Battle for Gender Equity in College Sports," Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, MA, September 3-6, 1998.

​Guest speaker, "Continuing the Revolution: Title IX and the Reform of College Sports," ​University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, November 1994.

Awards & Accomplishments

Other Accomplishments or Activities

​Coordinator of Appellate Advocacy, Vermont Law School, 2008 - current.​
​Board Member, National Institute for Sports Reform, Selkirk, NY, 2003.​

​Member, Indiana Bar Association.

​Coach of National Moot Court Team, Vermont Law School, 2008 - current.​​

​Chair, Publications Committee, Vermont Bar Association, Montpelier, VT, 1997-1999.

​Deputy Director, Sports Law Institute, Vermont Law School, 2011 - current.

​Author of newspaper op-ed commentaries about state and national politics. ​


​Member, American Bar Association.

​Member, The Drake Group (formally National Alliance for College Athletics Reform). Elected to Executive Committee, July 2012.

​Member, American Political Science Association.

​Member, Legal Writing Institute.

​Member, Vermont Bar Association.