Editor’s Note: Each summer Penn Law students hone their skills through a wide array of private and public sector internships across the country and around the world. Generous financial support and fellowships for international and public interest work enable students to pursue diverse assignments in the U.S. and abroad. This dispatch from Brett Schwab L’16 is one in a series of firsthand accounts by Law School students about how their summer employment opportunities are preparing them for their legal careers. Schwab, born in Philadelphia, is spending his summer with the Philadelphia 76ers, where he hopes to aid his hometown basketball team with any legal or business-related needs.
Unlike many of my law school peers, I can honestly admit that I get more excitement out of discussing the next #1 draft pick than a recent Supreme Court decision. This long-time passion for sports has given me a strong grasp on the sports industry, which facilitated an opportunity to intern with the Philadelphia 76ers this summer. While legal in job title, my first three weeks on the job have allowed me to wear many different hats, such as corporate sponsorships, business development, and marketing. Within the assigned tasks I have tackled, the first year of my legal education has proven to be quite valuable.
The cross-disciplinary nature of Penn Law has been ringing in my ears since the first day of law school, being in this kind of environment has now fully opened my eyes to the value of this type of education. In particular, I have noticed that my analytical, organizational, writing, and professional skills that I developed over the past year have served me well thus far.
Because I have interned with a bank and another sports organization in the past, I was well versed in both high-level contract review and the intricacies of professional sports prior to coming to law school. However, my time spent on the Executive Board of Penn Law’s Entertainment and Sports Law Society has proven to be equally valuable so far. By being constantly in communication with other sports-minded law students and listening to the various speakers that attended Penn Law ESLS events (often prominent legal professionals within the industry), I have been able to bring a legal perspective to group discussions with other members of the Sixers’ organization.
The professional sports industry is one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world. Every decision made within a professional sports organization is put under a microscope and broadcasted to millions. This was demonstrated on my second week with the 76ers, when we had a meeting about the team moving their practice to a facility to Camden, NJ and the next day, the story was breaking news on ESPN.
I’m excited for the next few weeks with the Sixers’ organization, especially since with two of the top 10 picks in the upcoming NBA draft, it is likely the organization will be going through dynamic changes from a basketball roster perspective. With such major changes to the roster occurring, there will be plenty of opportunities to capitalize on this added publicity, and it should be a great learning experience to be a part of that process.