Lawyer and Agent at CAA Sports, Class of '00
What do you do for a living and what’s it like?
I work as a lawyer and agent at CAA Sports, a division of the talent agency CAA (Creative Artists Agency). I represent a variety of professional athletes including tennis players, baseball players and Olympians, though the bulk of my clients are pro basketball players and coaches. Each day is different -- that’s what makes it fun -- but one of my primary jobs is to broker and negotiate endorsement partnerships between our athletes and brands such as Nike, Gatorade, State Farm, etc.
Our clients are some of the most talented and driven people in the world, and working to help them set and achieve their goals is not only what we’re paid to do but also extremely rewarding on a personal level. I’m lucky to have worked on behalf of world-class athletes like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Joel Embiid, Andre Agassi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Before joining CAA, I was an attorney at the Manhattan law firm Proskauer Rose. While there I did corporate sports transactional work for clients like the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the New York Jets and others. Prior to attending Michigan Law I worked as a sportswriter for ESPN The Magazine, where I wrote about Major League Baseball, college football and college basketball.
Why did you become an English Major?
Because Michigan had no Journalism program. A “Journalism major” at U-M was someone who worked for The Michigan Daily. I intended to make sportswriting my career after college, so I spent 40+ hours per week at The Daily for all four years of undergrad and served as Sports Editor my senior year. My aim was always to become the strongest writer I could be. So when it came time to choose a major, I decided that English would help me sharpen my writing abilities while also giving me the chance to read remarkable writing from some of history’s best.
How would you describe the value of an English degree in your career/life?
The ability to write and communicate effectively is crucial in virtually every profession, including my current one. My studies as an English major taught me some of my first lessons in how to get my point across and as someone who now negotiates for a living (and used to write for a living), I draw upon those lessons every day.
What are some of your favorite memories from Michigan?
Getting my fake ID taken at Village Corner before my freshman-year classes even started. Really helped me focus on my schoolwork.
Do you have any advice for incoming English majors at Michigan?
This is going to sound like a corny pep talk, but here goes: As an English major, you have an amazing opportunity to read some of the finest works ever written and learn about them from some of the finest educators in the world. Don’t squander that opportunity. Read everything you’re assigned, on time. Show up to all your classes, and show up prepared. Participate. Take good notes. Take pride in your education and don’t coast. I didn’t always do all those things, and I now wish I had.
(Also, save your class notes and textbooks! Resist the temptation to sell your books back hours after your final exam for thirteen cents on the dollar so you can order Pizza House that night. Another thing I wish I did.)