Second Annual Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Law Academy

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For the second straight year, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law hosted the Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Law Academy, as a joint venture with the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.   The academy was the brainchild of C|M|LAW Executive-in-Residence Peter Carfagna, who is co-directs the academy along with Craig Nard, director of the Center for Law, Technology and the Arts at CWRU.

Co-director Peter Carfagna works with academy students collaborating on a clinical project.

In this three-week immersion program, students select a concentration of either sports or entertainment law and participate in corresponding courses as well as electives from the other concentration.  Four courses are offered during the 2013 academy: Entertainment Law: Film and Television, Law of the Music Industry: The Artist's Perspective, Representing the Professional Athlete, and Negotiation Strategies in Sports Management.

“It’s just like you are a member of the industry for these three weeks,” explained Carfagna.  “It’s as though you are an associate in a firm that represents artists, athletes or entertainers, or in the legal department for a major entertainment company.”

One of the major advantages students benefit from is the level of expertise each faculty member brings in their given field.  Carfagna is Chairman/CEO of Magis, LLC, a privately owned sports marketing, management and investment company, including family ownership of the Lake County Captains. Mark Avsec is partner and Vice-Chair of the Intellectual Property Practice Group at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, LLP. Avsec is also an active musician who is an American Music Award winner and has been nominated for two Grammy Awards. He was a member of Wild Cherry and the founding member of Donnie Iris and the Cruisers. Co-teaching the  Entertainment Law: Film and Television course are Sandra M. Ortiz, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs for 20th Century Fox Television, Tom Moglovkin, former Senior Vice President of Theatrical Business Affairs for 20th Century Fox, and David Shall, Head of Business Operations & General Counsel at Vuguru LLC.

Jason Hillman, General Counsel for the Cleveland Cavaliers, provides insights about his position to academy students.

Students are also given the opportunity to hear firsthand from several other key figures in the sports and entertainment law world. This year’s guest speaker roster includes Rick Chryst, Senior VP, Dietz Trott Sports & Entertainment Management; Jason Hillman, General Counsel, Cleveland Cavaliers, Jeff Orloff, COO, SPIRE Institute; John Parry, Athletic Director, Cleveland State University; Jeff Pacini, VP, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission; and Jim Tressel, former Ohio State Unviersity Head Football Coach.

The education experience does not stop at the end of the three-week courses for many of the Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Law Academy students as they then have the opportunity to complete a highly coveted externship with high profile organizations including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Browns, Lake County Captains, Greater Cleveland Film Commission and SPIRE Institute.

“One of the reasons we have drawn students from all over the country is these coveted externships placements,” said Carfagna.  “Our deliverable to the students is that they are ready to enter the industry and that is unique.”


The Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Law Academy is a three-week summer intensive hosted on the campus of C|M|LAW. The innovative hands-on academy is a collaboration between C|M|LAW and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and brings professionals into the classroom to teach and guide students in practical application of the law. In addition, students have the opportunity to compete for high profile externships in the sports and entertainment law fields.

For more information on this year's academy, visit: http://www.greatlakeslawacademy.com/
To learn more about the academy and its vision, read this 2012 feature story.

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