Friday, March 1, 2013

Everything's Coming Up

(or "J.J.")

I have an announcement to make: I have a job this summer!

I'll be working in the compliance office of the University of Iowa Athletics Department. It's going to be awesome. I think it's going to be really cool, and different from a typical legal job. I like that I'll be working with college sports again, and kind of returning to my Daily Universe sportswriting days a little bit. Of course I won't be writing articles, but I'll be working more behind-the-scenes of running a college athletics program under the NCAA.

Erin is of course especially excited, because I'll be staying here in Iowa City this summer. Part of me (maybe most of me) really wanted to do a big adventure and spend the summer in D.C. or New York or something. I think having an internship in New York City a couple of summers ago really spoiled me - it kinda set the standard, and now almost everything else pales in comparison, haha. There wasn't really a whole lot in Iowa City that sounded interesting to me. But then I thought of working at the compliance office, and it was my favorite out of all the people who responded to my job applications. And Erin is happy that she'll have her husband around this summer to help her with our three kiddos.

One thing that will be great about this job is what it might set me up for. After working with NCAA compliance, I'll be on a track for lots of different jobs with the NCAA or any college or university. I think it would be awesome to stay connected with college sports and make a living out of it. I'm still interested in other areas of the law, but we'll see where this takes me.

The way I found the job is kind of interesting too. For my Summer 2013 Job Hunt, I basically applied for any job that came up in Symplicity (the online service that Iowa uses for posting jobs for law students) that looked interesting, including pretty much any judicial externship that came up. But I did think of some places to apply to on my own, including a Utah Supreme Court justice I met last year and a federal district judge in Houston who Erin's family knows. I asked my friends with connections in the baseball world, Dylan Higgins and Lakia Holmes, for any resources or ideas they had for finding a baseball legal job. I also applied for a couple of internships I discovered through the J. Reuben Clark Law Society.

But this one was totally my own initiative. There was a panel at the law school last semester with Dan Matheson and Monica Mims about the NCAA, college sports, and law. It was really interesting and got me more excited about working in sports law. (Of course, every time I come into contact with one of the areas of law I'm interested in, I think, "Yeah, that's what I want to do!" and that option rises above the others. So I change my mind a lot.) Dan Matheson used to work in NCAA enforcement, and used to work for the New York Yankees. Now he teaches sports business for undergraduates at Iowa. Monica Mims ran track for Iowa, then she got her juris doctorate here, worked in the USC compliance office, and now works at the compliance office here.

I emailed Monica, telling her I really enjoyed that NCAA panel and that I was interested in any internship opportunities at the compliance office this summer. I didn't even know if they regularly had interns or if that was even a thing. But she told me to come in for an interview, and at the interview she sounded like she was really interested in having me work there. Then a couple of weeks later I got an email from her, basically asking, "When can you start?"

I'll start at the end of May. Go Hawkeyes!


Oh, and I should mention something else in the world of employment.

A lot of law students here start during their second year working as research assistants, or R.A.s. There are a lot of perks to being an R.A.: since you have a job in Iowa, you qualify for in-state tuition, and since you work for the university, you qualify for their health insurance. More importantly, you get to work one-on-one with a professor and help him or her with whatever research projects they are working on, or scholarly articles they are writing, or that sort of thing.

My professor for Foundations of International Law, Professor Burns Weston, invited me to apply for an R.A. position with him this coming school year. And then he offered me the job! So I'll be making some money during the rest of law school. It's only 10 hours a week, but it will be a great experience to be on the more academic side of law. And working with Professor Weston will be amazing. I really enjoy his class, and he is a leading expert in the field of international law, especially environmental law.

I'm lucky and very grateful to have these opportunities, and I'm looking forward to what I'll learn and do the rest of the year and beyond.

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