Irina Barneda/Contributing Writer
The Sports, Entertainment, Fashion, and Art Law Society (SEFA) held their first meeting on Oct. 24 to discuss a day in the life of a sports or entertainment attorney.
The panel of featured attorneys were Richard Wolfe, Mason Wolfe and and Jonathan M. Stahler.
During the panel, students had the opportunity to ask questions and network to expand their career options and interests in the sports and entertainment legal field.
“SEFA’s main goal is to put on events that illustrate opportunities for students and help them be successful,” said the president of SEFA, Zane Katz.
The panelists encouraged students interested in sports or entertainment law careers to take classes such as litigation skills and family law. They also mentioned that UCC classes are important.
“You can’t be an entertainment litigator unless you are a litigator,” said Richard Wolfe.
The panelists also spoke of state and federal courts, their most memorable cases and general disputes between artists and talent agents.
“A lot of times, athletes are too trusting because they focus on their jobs and put the trust elsewhere,” said Mason Wolfe.
Richard Wolfe agreed that oftentimes artists are taken advantage of by the talent agents, especially athletes.
“Athletes tend to make deals without consulting,” said Richard Wolfe. “Let me sign today, let me get the money, and I will worry about it later.”
Court vs arbitration was another subject tackled.
“The public has a thirst for the sports conflicts, so arbitration is typical in the sports and entertainment world because players and teams want privacy,” said Richard Wolfe
Arbitration is faster and more private than court.
“Court takes a long time at Miami-Dade,” said Stahler. “So, as attorneys, we do everything we can to avoid going.”
The panelists left some tips for aspiring lawyers.
“The general rule is that you should never make a deal without consulting an attorney,” said Mason Wolfe.
Richard Wolfe left a tip for lawyers who wish to “make it rain.”
“I think there are two kinds of lawyers. There are worker bees and then people who make it rain. I certainly am not going to expect a young lawyer to be a rain-maker, but I will expect a young lawyer to have a clear focus on who they want to be. It is important to have a specialty. If you want to make it big in the field, be the best you can be in that field.”
The panel ended with a Q&A between the panelists and attendees, with networking opportunities afterward.
Those interested in attending future SEFA meetings can check for upcoming events on calendar.fiu.edu.
“We are always looking for new members from FIU Law and the FIU community in general,” said Katz. “All of our events are open to the public and we would love to have involvement from all walks.”