A law certificate for the modern age of content.
A law certificate for the modern age of content.

Sports, Entertainment, and Arts Law Certificate Program

Pitt Law’s Online Sports, Entertainment, and Arts Law (SEAL) Certificate Program is built for business, legal, and creative professionals working or planning to work in sports, entertainment, or arts sectors who wish to expand their legal skills, knowledge and understanding of these multifaceted industries.

While most graduate certificates concentrate solely on sports, entertainment, or art law, the Pitt Law SEAL program was created to encompass all three to effectively expose students to the multidisciplinary legal issues and employment opportunities that they could encounter in their field. As the sports, entertainment, and arts industries intersect and grow to produce more content that travels between digital platforms, social media, streaming sites, and other technologies, non-lawyer professionals in these arenas have an evolving need to understand their legal assets and potential liabilities.

This complementary concentration would offer educational support for legal, business and/or creative professionals, including

  • University athletic employees facing issues of NCAA compliance, television broadcast rights, and protecting team logos
  • Leaders of non-profit arts organizations collaborating with for-profit sports or entertainment organizations
  • Independent filmmakers incorporating sports footage or artistic works in their audio-visual projects
  • E-sports athletes monetizing streaming content from their in-game performances and advertisements
  • DJs creating, remixing and sampling the work of other musicians

From labor and employment, to intellectual property, business organizations, and transactional law, Pitt Law’s SEAL Certificate has it covered.

Program Benefits

  • Learn on your schedule with asynchronous classes
  • Complete the program in as few as 10 months
  • Learn from experienced, working legal experts who teach and work in the sports, entertainment, and art industries
  • Gain access to a valued and diverse network of colleagues and mentors within the Pitt Law and broader Pitt communities
  • For non-lawyers, build concentrated expertise to work more knowledgeably with lawyers
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Program Brochure

Are you considering a master’s degree in law or a graduate certificate to take your career to the next level? Pitt Law’s Master of Studies in Law online program is designed for professionals seeking to enhance their careers with a versatile alternative to the traditional three-year JD degree. The certificate programs are ideal for those who are not currently looking to pursue a master’s degree.

Complete the form to get a program brochure for Pitt Law’s Online MSL plus your chosen specialization, or your chosen certificate program, delivered to your inbox.

Pitt Law’s SEAL Certificate Program Students

The SEAL Certificate is ideal for:

  • Sports agents
  • Talent managers
  • Producers
  • Marketing professionals in sports and entertainment
  • Entertainment union members
  • Non-profit arts organizations
  • Amateur sports league administrators
  • Athletic directors
  • Museum executive leadership

The SEAL Certificate could help:

  • College sports departments navigating broadcast rights, sponsorship, promotion, and marketing of mascots and athletic agreements
  • Marketing professionals creating digital content across platforms
  • Agents working with athletes, artists, entertainers, and influencers, negotiating contracts and sponsorship agreements
  • Union organizers and members in the entertainment and arts sectors working on fair labor practices and employment deals

Sports, Entertainment, and Arts Law Certificate (15 credits)

Introduction to the Law and Business of Sports, Entertainment, and Arts (3 credits)

Topics covered in this course will include:
  • Introduction to law and the legal process, with special attention to sports, entertainment, and arts law
  • Introduction to the business of sports, entertainment, and arts
  • Introduction to the “raw materials” and related areas of law required to produce sports, entertainment, and arts projects:
  • “Talent” and Labor and Employment Law
  • “Content” and Intellectual Property, Defamation and Right of Publicity Law
  • “Money” and Finance and Distribution Law

Labor and Employment Law in Sports, Entertainment, and Arts (3 credits)

Topics covered will include:
  • The roles played by creative, business, and support personnel.
  • The roles played by lawyers, agents, and managers
  • Employee, independent contractor, and intern policies and agreements.
  • Labor law, including collective bargaining agreements for unions representing athletes, actors, musicians, and support personnel
  • Regulation of amateur sports, including college sports and NCAA compliance

Intellectual Property in Sports, Entertainment, and Arts (3 credits)

Topics covered will include:
  • Copyright Law, including protection for written, video, and audio works
  • Trademark Law, including protections for logos and branding
  • Patent Law, including protection of entertainment technology
  • Contract Law, including assignment of intellectual property rights
  • First Amendment, Defamation, Libel and Slander Law
  • Right of Publicity Law

Organization, Finance, and Distribution Law in Sports, Entertainment, and Arts (3 credits)

Topics covered will include:
  • Legal entities in sports, entertainment, and arts, including for-profit, non-profit, hybrid, and governmental entities
  • Legal issues and agreements related to financing sports, entertainment, and arts content, including investment, loan, tax, and grant legal issues and/or agreements
  • Legal issues and agreements related to distributing sports, entertainment, and arts content, including licensing, broadcast, and online streaming legal issues and agreements

Special Topics in Sports, Entertainment, and Arts Law (3 credits)

This seminar study allows students to take an in-depth look at special topics in corporate compliance.

Students will select and complete an independent study in one of the following three special topic areas:
  • Professional, Amateur, and/or esports
  • Entertainment, Media, and/or Communications
  • Arts and Design

Examples of instructor-led case studies and/or student class projects areas might include:
  • Professional, Amateur and/or esports: Intellectual Property Protection in Professional in Sports; NCAA compliance policies; and/or esports Labor and Employment Issues
  • Entertainment, Media, and/or Communications: Entertainment Unions’ Collective Bargaining Agreements; Actors’ Right of Publicity Protection; and Film Investment Agreements
  • Arts and Design: Artist Independent Contractor Agreements; Trademark Protection for Logo Designs; and Grant Agreements for Non-Profit Arts Organizations

Interested in a More In-Depth Sports, Entertainment, and Arts Specialization Education?

Online Program Director Stephanie Dangel

Meet SEAL Online Program Director Stephanie Dangel

Professor Stephanie Dangel is a professor of practice, who teaches courses on entertainment, transactional drafting, social innovation, and commercializing new technologies law. She is also the co-director of Pitt Law School’s externship program. Before joining Pitt Law School, she practiced law at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Gates and served as director of business and legal affairs for the Steeltown Entertainment Project, a Pittsburgh-based social entertainment enterprise. Professor Dangel has produced two documentaries, “My Tale of Two Cities,” a theatrically released, personal-point-of-view documentary about Pittsburgh, and “The Shot Felt ‘Round the World,” a BBC/Smithsonian Channel documentary on the role played by Pittsburgh, Jonas Salk and Bill Gates in developing and distributing the polio vaccine.

Additionally, Dangel co-directs a series of public Start Smart Law seminars and workshops for law students and entrepreneurs from the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and the greater Pittsburgh community. While at Pitt Law School, she has delivered speeches and published articles on using law and social innovation training to prepare law students for 21st-century careers.

Open the New Playbook for Sports, Entertainment, and Arts Professionals

Your online certificate in Sports, Entertainment and Arts Law will help you build key skills for the modern age of business. You will also have the option to pursue the Master of Studies in Law degree for 15 additional credits to build a strong foundation in U.S. law should you decide to continue your educational journey with Pitt Law.

Students who successfully complete the certificate program with a 3.0 GPA, will be able to apply to the MSL program without paying additional application fees.

Pitt Law opens doors for you. Start your journey today.

Fall 2024 Admissions Deadlines

Priority Deadline
August 2
Fall 2024
Final Deadline
August 12
Fall 2024
Start Date
August 19
Fall 2024

University of Pittsburgh has engaged Everspring, a leading provider of education and technology services, to support select aspects of program delivery.