Q: What shaped your passion for sports law?
Just before my sophomore year of high school, I moved back from Athens, Greece to Los Angeles. I played basketball in both places. The cultures were very different, but I quickly realized that basketball is the same in every language regardless of geography. Playing helped me assimilate in my new surroundings. The camaraderie I experienced at that time is something that stayed with me through adulthood and drives my professional choices.
Q: What lessons or experiences from your legal studies at USC Gould do you draw on in your work?
USC Gould provided me with the excellent foundation of legal knowledge and methods of critical thinking that it is known for. Also, the law school truly provides the Trojan network experience through, for example, its mentorship program. The greatest gift that the law school gave me was my mentor, the late, great Jim Perzik. Jim was General Counsel and Secretary of the Lakers for decades. He was so well respected that he was known among the NBA lawyers as the Dean of the NBA Bar. Over the course of 20 years, Jim mentored me, became my friend, client, and eventually felt like family. He mentored so many lawyers and remains the example for me and so many others for how to pay it forward, being selfless with sharing time, insights, and connections to other friends.
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching sports law?
The students. Until working in the industry, sports law can seem amorphous. The students want to know what it is all about. Exchanging questions and information with students is enjoyable and informational not only for the students but for me as well. For example, a student in a past class shared that she had never been to a soccer match because in her home country of Saudi Arabia, women were not permitted at the time. Sports frequently mirror society, and we can all continue to learn legal principles as well as cultural lessons through them.