University of New Hampshire

School of Law

Sports and Entertainment Law Institute - Faculty


Michael McCann

Matthew E. Lane

Valerie Lovely

Jason M. Okai, JD/MIP '00

Alexandra J. Roberts

B.J. Schecter


Michael McCann, Director, Sports and Entertainment Law Institute

Michael McCann
Director, Sports and Entertainment Law Institute, Professor of Law

UNH Law Professor Michael McCann teaches pro sports law: the unique relationship between leagues, teams and players, amateur sports law: legal issues in youth, college and recreational sports, sports law and investigative reporting, and Article II sales. He is a leading expert in sports law, a seasoned sports attorney, and an award-winning teacher, scholar and journalist. Prior to joining the faculty of UNH Law, he founded and directed the Sports Law Institute at Vermont Law School. At VLS, McCann created the groundbreaking Blue Chips Program, which provides students with the core skills and hands-on experience needed to succeed in the sports world.

McCann is an accomplished journalist and legal commentator. He is the author of more than 250 Sports Illustrated, SI.com, SI Extra Mustard and Golf.com articles, covering such stories as the Aaron Hernandez murder case; the Boston Marathon bombings; the legality of NFL teams asking college players about their sexual orientation; steroids scandals; NBA, NFL and NHL lockouts; the Penn State scandal; and the O'Bannon class action litigation against the NCAA. Along with co-author David Epstein, McCann broke the story on University of Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino hiring his mistress over more than 150 more qualified applicants for player development coordinator.

McCann was also the first member of the media to interview Lance Armstrong after Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey. McCann's exclusive interview took place at Armstrong's home in Austin, TX and is detailed in "My Dance With Lance" (Sports Illustrated, March 11, 2013 issue, pages 14-15). McCann also serves as an on-air legal analyst for SI Now and NBA TV. McCann is a prolific scholar, having authored more than 20 law review articles, including articles in the Yale Law Journal and Boston College Law Review.

McCann has received national recognition for his sports commentary. In 2013, Boston Magazine named McCann–who tweets @McCannSportsLaw– as one of the “Best Boston Sports Personalities on Twitter.” In 2012, The Huffington Post ranked McCann #23 on "Top 40 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts for NBA Fanatics" & The Sporting Chart named him a "Top 50 NBA Mind." In 2011, the Society for Social Psychology & Personality awarded McCann the Media Prize for excellence in explaining legal topics to a general audience.

In 2004, McCann served as counsel to college football star Maurice Clarett in his lawsuit against the National Football League and its age eligibility rule. McCann was retained by Clarett's legal team after a paper he wrote in law school, "Illegal Defense: The Irrational Economics of Banning High School Players from the NBA Draft,” was published in the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal and read by Clarett's attorneys. Clarett v. NFL is considered one of the most important cases in U.S. sports law history.

McCann has also taught at Mississippi College School of Law, where he received the Professor of the Year Award in 2007 and 2008 and where he now teaches an intensive sports law course as the Distinguished Visiting Hall of Fame Professor of Law. In 2010, McCann also taught a sports law and analytics reading group at Yale Law School— the first such course to be offered at any law school. Along with Jon Hanson, the Alfred Smart Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, McCann is co-founder of the Project on Law and Mind Sciences at Harvard Law School.

McCann holds an LLM degree from Harvard Law School, a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and a BA from Georgetown University.

Matthew E. Lane

Matthew E. Lane
Adjunct Professor
 

UNH Law Professor Matthew E. Lane teaches international and comparative sports law: examining law and sports from a global perspective. He practices as an associate with Preti Flaherty in its Concord, New Hampshire office. Lane joined Preti Flaherty in 2009 and practices with both the firm's Business Law and Sports & Entertainment Groups. His sports law practice focuses on the representation of athletes in a variety of areas, including contract negotiations and commercial rights. Lane is a certified IAAF Athlete Representative and serves as an agent for several athletes in the sport of track and field.

Prior to pursuing law, Lane was a professional runner, sponsored by Nike, and was a member of two U.S. national teams. As a collegiate athlete at William and Mary, he was an 11-time NCAA Division I All-American and the 2001 U.S. Track Coaches Association Athlete of the Year (the track & field “Heisman”).

In 2002, he became the 251st American to run the mile in under four minutes (his official time was 3:57.57). In 2010, he was honored as one of 25 "Silver Stars" of the Colonial Athletic Association conference— the 25 best athletes in the 25-year history of the conference. He was inducted into the William and Mary Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. He also served as the Head Indoor Track & Field coach at Yarmouth High School, and currently serves as Assistant Coach to the school's cross-country team.

During law school, Lane served as the Executive Editor of the Maine Law Review. He is a native of Yarmouth, Maine.

Valerie Lovely

Valerie Lovely
Adjunct Professor
 

UNH Law Professor Valerie Lovely teaches music law. She is the founder of Music Law Firm, a transactional music law practice that caters to the legal and business needs of musicians and music business owners. Lovely’s diverse clientele includes those at the start of their careers to recognized and award winning professionals.

In addition to working with her Music Law Firm clients, Lovely accepts a few invitations each year to speak about the legal aspects of the music industry. Audiences have included: The American Bar Association, Belly DanceGeek Clubhouse, Berklee College of Music, the Blacksun Festival, the Massachusetts Bar Association, Suffolk Law School, University of New Hampshire School of Law, the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in Massachusetts, and the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in Maine.

Lovely is an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music and teaches through BerkleeOnline. She has provided annual training workshops in music law for The Recording Artist Project (RAP) at Harvard Law School and the Arts & Business Counsel’s Musician’s Professional Toolbox for several years. She also created and taught courses in transactional music law at The Intellectual Property Summer Institute (IPSI) at University of New Hampshire School of Law in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Lovely earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music in Boston and has worked in the music industry for many years. As a multi-instrumentalist, she has performed in rock bands, chamber groups, wind ensembles, on studio projects, and has composed music in various styles and for use in a variety of media.

Lovely attended University of Maine School of Law where she participated on the Law Review, Moot Court, the Edward Thaxter Gignoux Inn of Courts, and she was a Legal Writing instructor. Upon graduation she was awarded the Gignoux Award for Appellate Advocacy.

Jason Okai

Jason M. Okai, JD/MIP '00
Adjunct Professor

UNH Law professor Jason M. Okai, JD/MIP '00 teaches copyright law and intellectual property issues in sports and entertainment law. He joined UNH Law in 2013 as an adjunct professor. He began teaching copyright law and intellectual property courses in 2007 at Vermont Law School, where he was also a faculty member of Vermont Law’s Sports Law Institute.

After graduating from UNH Law (previously Franklin Pierce Law Center) in 2000, Okai worked as Copyright Counsel in Los Angeles for the Motion Picture Association of America, a trade association whose members are six of the largest motion picture studios in the United States. There he focused on intellectual property legislation and policy development, appellate advocacy and litigation in the United States and abroad.

In addition, Oai worked closely with several professional sports leagues and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on diverse legal issues related to the business of sports and entertainment.

He returned to New England in 2007 to teach at Vermont Law School and practice privately. Recently, he served with the United States Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. as Counsel for Policy and International Affairs where he worked on copyright legislation and policy development and managed a portfolio of over thirty Asian and Pacific territories.

Okai holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a JD and Masters of Intellectual Property (MIP) from the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Alexandra Roberts

Alexandra J. Roberts
Executive Director, Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, Assistant Professor of Intellectual Property

UNH Law Professor Alexandra J. Roberts teaches entertainment law and trademark law. As director of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, Roberts is responsible for coordinating the IP Center’s internal and external operations, including conferences, events, and the IP Center’s major programs, which include the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute. She works closely with the dean and faculty on the development and execution of new strategic initiatives, including collaborative partnerships with national intellectual property offices, major educational institutions, and international organizations.

Prior to joining the UNH Law faculty, Roberts taught Trademarks & Unfair Competition as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Law. Before that, she worked as an IP litigation associate at Ropes & Gray LLP in New York and Boston. While at Ropes, she represented several high-profile clients in connection with film, television, infomercial, social media, life story rights, book publishing, product endorsement, contract, and right of publicity issues. She also assisted transgender individuals with legal name changes by volunteering as part of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Name Change Project.

Roberts holds an AB from Dartmouth College, an AM from Stanford University, and a JD from the Yale Law School. She is the author of a number of law review articles, including publications in Texas Law Review, Alabama Law Review (forthcoming), and the Yale Journal of Law & Technology. She is an affiliated fellow of the Yale Information Society Project. Roberts is also a published poet. She tweets regularly on trademark and entertainment law news @lexlanham.

B.J. Schecter

B.J. Schecter
Adjunct Professor
 

UNH Law Professor B.J. Schecter teaches sports law and investigative reporting. He is an executive editor for Sports Illustrated and SI.com. Schechter’s responsibilities include running the magazine’s investigative team, overseeing college sports, managing content and columnists for the website, working closely with editors and writers to integrate SI and SI.com, initiating cross-platform projects, and managing SI.com’s internship program.

Schecter has served a variety of roles at Sports Illustrated since coming to the magazine in September 1996. He started as a reporter and rose to writer-reporter, associate editor, senior editor, and assistant managing editor before being promoted to his current position. As a writer, he covered college football and college basketball. As an editor, he edited college football, college basketball, baseball, and several special projects, including Crime in College Football, the 50 Most Influential Minorities in Sports, the Great American Sports Atlas, the nation’s top high school programs, and more.

Prior to Sports Illustrated, Schecter spent five years at The Boston Globe, where he was the lead high school writer and also covered colleges. Before that he spent three years at the Middlesex News (now the MetroWest Daily News).

Schecter graduated with honors from Northeastern University, where he served as manager for the men’s basketball team for three years.

Schecter also teaches at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He tweets regularly @bjschecter.


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