What You Should Know Before Delving Into Sports Law


If you’ve ever wondered what Sports Law is OR whether it’s for you, you’re welcome.

And if you’re kinda to not so fresh outta Law School and wondering what your options are, this interview could give you some insight. 

That’s because we caught up with Riley Christian, a former baseball player turned attorney, to ask him about Sports Law. 

So, by the time you get to the end of this blog post, you’ll have a better idea of whether the practice of Sports Law is something YOU should be considering…

What is Sports Law & how did you get into it? 

Sports law is a broad area that pertains to any legal matter concerning an athlete. It could be anything from contract negotiation to complex civil or criminal litigation. 

Please give a brief rundown of your education, professional affiliations and career highlights (including your most notable win)

I received my Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law (L’16). 

Prior to Law School, I was an athlete, who focused mainly on baseball. After my senior year of high school, I was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies, but went on to college. After my collegiate career was over, I went to law school, then came to New York City. 

While in New York, I’ve represented minor league baseball players and I’ve been an advisor to high school and collegiate baseball players who had aspirations of playing professionally.  

In March of 2022, I founded Christian Law, P.C. It’s an Entertainment and Sports law firm that now has offices in New York City and Los Angeles. Most of my clients are people and businesses in the music industry.

Riley Christian runs Christian Law, P.C which was founded in March, 2022

What do you look for in a client? 

I typically represent baseball players, so I look for the “five tools” in a player. Those five tools are hitting for power, hitting for average, defense, arm strength and speed. 

I would go after clients who had at least two of the aforementioned five tools. 


“A simple retweet can land a client in trouble.”

What’s the most common red flag you see in potential clients or their legal situation that makes you think, “This one is going to be serious trouble”? 

A problem that I’ve run into with clients is posting on social media. It’s not necessarily a legal situation, but sometimes clients can forget that what they post on social media, may be seen as a reflection of who they are. 

So, a simple retweet or post about something that the client thought was funny could land them in some trouble. I try to advise them to be mindful of what they post and maybe do a little research on a topic before retweeting something. 

Have you ever had a client that shocked you because they did something you specifically told them not to do or you expected them to know better than to do it, but they did it anyway and that complicated matters unnecessarily? How did you handle the issue? 

This again goes back to social media. Sometimes posts are made against my advice and they have to explain themselves to the public. 

When this happens, I just reiterate to them the importance of thinking things through before you make posts on social media because even though the client may not mean any harm, it may not be received the way it was intended. 

Riley Christian is a former baseball player, who is now an attorney and has represented minor league baseball players

“I don’t necessarily think that being athletic helps per se, but I think being a former baseball player gives me a leg up.”

You’re quite athletic, yourself. Do you find that it helps you represent your Sports Law clients better? If yes, how and why?

Well first, thank you. 

I don’t necessarily think that being athletic helps per se, but I do think that being a former baseball player gives me a leg up. 

I can relate to players more than some agents or attorneys in the business because I have personally been through the Major League Baseball draft process. 

What’s an example of something you’ve seen in the news that made you angry for an athlete because you realised they weren’t getting or taking the right Sports Law advice for them?

I wouldn’t say that something has made me angry, but I have seen situations where I believe athletes should be getting more compensation for their work, especially amateur athletes. 

The NCAA is slowly making some progress (like allowing players to receive payment for the use of their name, image and likeness), but I believe that they still have a long way to go. 

Riley Christian

How does something like a pandemic-induced lockdown affect Sports Law practice & service delivery? Do you go completely virtual? Do clients respect that? 

It made things more difficult, for sure. But I went completely virtual for meetings during the pandemic and clients had no problem with it. 

Since Sports Law is a combination of laws affecting sports, how do you handle any clashes between different areas/types of law to ensure a good outcome for your client?

I review and analyze all laws that affect my client’s interest and do what is necessary to ensure the best outcome for them. 

Riley Christian

If you were starting over in Sports Law, you had no money or clients, how would you go about it?

The same way I started it before, get up and go out to the baseball field, looking for players with the “five tools.” 

This interview was conducted for The FSHE Ltd by C.E3. C.E3 helps women in Law and Media develop strong voices, solid careers and stable personal lives.

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