How a Sports Job Teaches a Lawyer Business Skills
In Chapter 10 of 18, Major League Soccer attorney Jen Duberstein aspires to more business focused roles in business development and legal affairs after setting and attaining a 10 year goal to work in legal counsel for a major sports league. Duberstein's broad exposure to corporate governance, marketing, and promotions across many departments and partners has helped her understand the business of sports, providing necessary experience to embrace the next steps in her career.
Erik Michielsen: So given that you’ve reached a longstanding goal to work for a professional sports league, to what do you now aspire? Jennifer Duberstein: That is my current goal to figure it out. I would like to move up within my organization and I’d like being a legal counsel. I find that without a business background. I’ve been able to learn a lot about the sports business. So I may not be able to read or do a financial plan or do a budget on my own, but I’ve been able to acquire the skills to interpret those and what they mean for the business. So, I would like to transition into legal counsel and business affairs and I think that’s the natural way that most people who are in the legal community end up in business. It’s not usually a an immediate switch. It’s a slow process. I love working and the league I work in, major league soccer, is wonderful. It’s a lot smaller and less developed in a certain manner from other leagues because for example my legal department is four individuals, three of them are lawyers and if you went to the NBA, they have 20 to 30 plus lawyers, the same with NHL, and they have specific duties that they have. So some would be sponsorships, some will be marketing, some will be corporate governance, whereas the four of us pretty much do everything. So I'd be able to have a lot of experience that I wouldn’t necessarily have had in other organizations, which has given me a good view into all the departments in what steps I should take next.