• Amobi Okugo

5 Types of Lawyers

As a professional athlete, you need a lawyer. Simple as that, there is no way around it. A lawyer is there to protect you and support you in all your needs and day-to-day activities. With that being said, athletes only look for lawyers when they are in trouble and/or need an agent. While some agents aren’t lawyers and we can divulge on that later, athletes would be smart to be proactive and get a Rolodex of lawyers that can help them when the time is right.

Here is a list of 5 different types of lawyers athletes should consider

General Counsel

This is your best bet in getting the most bang for your buck. It’s similar to drafting a versatile-utility player on your team. A general lawyer has a wide sense of knowledge like a jack of all trades. No specialties but can help you and put you in touch with any specific inquiries you may need. As an athlete, you need this type of lawyer so you can always feel comfortable with your day-to-day. If you have a quick question that needs answering, your lawyer should be there for you.

Intellectual Property Lawyer

As athletes, an IP lawyer is vital for you if you have any interest in expanding your platform. Say you have a trademark or copyright or just simply want to get involved in building out your personal brand, an IP lawyer will help you maximize your opportunities in that space. There have been countless athletes that have lost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars because they simply didn’t have an IP lawyer to protect them.

Contract Lawyer

As athletes are getting more independent, a mechanism that they are using is to hire a contract lawyer to look over their contract rather than have an agent. This is a new wave that some athletes have got behind because it gives them more leverage in negotiating their own deals while also saving themselves money. Would you rather have an agent take a commission of your whole contract or pay a contract lawyer on a project basis to look over your new deal?

This isn’t a suggestion that you should fire your agent and go with a contract lawyer but it’s a unique perspective and alternative you can consider. There are pros and cons to both methods. Contract Lawyers can also look at other deals for you as an athlete. Whether it’s a brand deal or an opportunity that involves anything contract. A contract lawyer can assist you in your needs

Family Lawyer

This is a touchy subject but it needs to be discussed considering the percentage of professional athletes that unfortunately get into marriage trouble and child custody battles over the course of their career. A Family Lawyer can help you work out any problems hopefully before any situation arises. Athletes should be proactive. Not here to argue about whether you should get a prenuptial agreement or not but what I will say is that it’s better to play the odds. Athletes need a family lawyer to put the odds in their favor in case the worst happens.

Estate or Corporate Lawyer

An Estate or Corporate Lawyer will help you plan and protect your legacy and business. This lawyer is put in charge of your affairs to handle trusts, wills, and any corporation tasks you have. A lawyer in this sector is intentionally meant to build and protect all the hard work you’ve put in for your life long term.

These are the 5 lawyers every athlete needs to consider looking into for their everyday protection. Quick reminder, when working with a lawyer make sure you interview them just like you would a financial advisor. Lastly, never sign of full power of attorney.

 

This article was written and provided as a courtesy of Amobi Okugo, a pro-soccer player and founder of A Frugal Athlete (AFA), an online media and consulting platform that promotes prudent financial practices and smart career decisions amongst professional and student-athletes. AFA offers services like financial coaching, revenue generation, and ideation strategy. Visit their website for further information.


 

Are You ready for Name, Image, and Likeness? Order the book, Athletes Making Moves, so you are educated on how to identify your name, image, and likeness, profit from it, and protect it.

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