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Student-Athlete Pro Bono Project

Hosted by the North Carolina Bar Association Sports and Entertainment Law Section

  • On July 1, 2021, the NCAA changed its amateurism rules to allow student-athletes to profit from their Name, Image and Likeness. This sudden change in policy left student-athletes and their institutions scrambling to deal with the multitude of ways that student-athletes can now market, promote, endorse, represent, etc. Companies, agents, and others are presenting student-athletes with contracts, but most student-athletes have no one to provide legal advice or assist them in explaining contract terms or whether it is a good/bad deal. Additionally, most student-athletes do not have the means to pay for legal counsel.
  • This project will help promote the rule of law in NC by preventing student-athletes from being taken advantage of in this new market (there are many cases of fraud and abuse in sports marketing/endorsements). This project will engage attorney and law student volunteers.
  • When an athlete reaches out for legal assistance, the contract will first be reviewed by a law student who is assigned to a volunteer supervisor (from a pro-bono volunteer list) who will review the contract and law student notes. Each client matter will typically involve less than an hour for contract review and a similar amount of time or less for client counseling. All services will be provided remotely (by phone or Zoom). The service is promoted through the athletics department compliance office at all NCAA Division I institutions in North Carolina.

    Student-Athlete Pro Bono Project Training