Canadian Lawyer 4Students

Spring 2009

Life skills and career tips for Canada's lawyers in training

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BY MARK CARDWELL He shoots, he scores! sioner David Stern. "Being at the career of- fi ce at that moment was very fortuitous. It gave me a head start." To impress his new employers, Ages says he "worked my butt off" on the small assignments he was given on corporate accounts like the NHL. Those efforts ap- parently impressed his clients, because the NHL offered Ages a job as an in-house law- yer in 2000. "For a Canadian kid who grew up in Ottawa as a big fan of the [Montreal Canadiens], it seemed like a great opportu- nity," says the 37-year-old, now in his eighth season with the league. "I have absolutely no regrets. This is an interesting and unique job. As a lawyer, I can't imagine myself do- ing anything else." He's not alone. From the handful of law- Lawyers are landing jobs in hockey like never before. A decade ago, Lady Luck smiled on Daniel Ages. It happened in the career offi ce of the law faculty of McGill University when Ages, a student in his fi nal year who dreamed of fi nding work in the entertain- ment business, dropped by to see if any new options for New York were up. Just then, a Big Apple fi rm — Proskauer Rose LLP — called to say it was accepting resumés. "I'd never heard of them before," recalls Ages, who applied for — and landed — a job as a summer associate at the international fi rm. Proskauer Rose boasts a stellar lineup of alumni in almost every major professional sports league, including National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman and National Basketball Association commis- yers just a generation ago who had careers in professional hockey, there are now doz- ens of legal professionals who earn their livings as members or representatives of hockey organizations and players. The 20 or so practising lawyers like Ages who work in the NHL's legal department handle the day-to-day operations of the $2.7-billion league and entertainment business that owns, among other things, a media group. It is involved in everything from merchan- dizing to sponsorship agreements. In addi- tion, there are team lawyers, lawyers who act as agents for many of the approximately 800 players from more than 20 countries under contract with teams, and lawyers for the players' union. That doesn't include the many trained lawyers who now hold senior executive functions that deal directly with the on-ice product. While there are no offi cial num- bers, an informal head count by one of the most infl uential lawyers in the history of professional hockey suggests, as of early 4STUDENTS SPRING 2009 7

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