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Becoming sports lawyer: an interview with LawInSport mentee Daniel Kelly

Becoming sports lawyer: an interview with LawInSport mentee Daniel Kelly
Wednesday, 05 February 2020

I am Daniel Kelly, 32 years old and recently graduated from De Montfort University Sports Law & Practice master’s course. I received my initial LLB Law degree in 2008, at which time we were in the midst of a recession. I wasn’t sold on going straight into a legal career, and from a young age I always wanted to move abroad and experience a new way of life. Not long after graduating I moved to Germany and embarked on a completely different career: I was self-employed, running my own business selling Harley-Davidsons to the American Military based overseas. I could not have found a better introduction to the real world, and I thoroughly enjoyed my seven years there. Going back home and attempting to re-embark on my legal career was always the plan, and in 2015 I moved back to the UK. My career change is already underway and with the help of my master’s I am now working in an in-house legal team in Cardiff.

Of course, I am sports mad and try to go to as many sports events as possible. Be it football games, Rugby, boxing or cricket, I try to attend as many as possible throughout the UK.

What attracts you to sports law?

As a teenager I was fortunate to play different sports – at one point playing seven days a week. Sport has and always will be my passion, and growing slightly older and observing the continued commercialisation of sport I started to gain a fascination on the ‘behind the scenes’ and the work that goes into us enjoying sports events as we now know them. These interests attracted me to sports law and originally prompted me to contact Matt Mitten at Marquette University when I was in my final year of my LLB, so it was a natural fit.

What attracted you to the LawInSport Mentor Scheme?

After attending the LawInSport annual conferences over the last few years and seeing the calibre of attendees, my thought process was that if at least a small percentage of those attendees decided to become mentors then I would gain invaluable insight into the industry I would like to work in. I once sat next to Sean at another sports conference. This was my first introduction to the area of law and to Sean, and his enthusiasm and passion was clear. Not only that, but he had a genuine interest in my story. Therefore, when applying, I knew that the scheme had potential not only to develop me and my CV, but to also gain contacts that I would not normally have the chance to meet.

How did you first hear about the mentor scheme?

I am a member of LawInSport and keep a keen eye on their communications. I first heard about the scheme through an email and applied as soon as I was able to do so.

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