Sports Law Clinic

The Valparaiso University Law Clinic is no longer accepting new clients. If you are in need of legal assistance, please contact Northwest Indiana Volunteer Lawyers at or Indiana Legal Services at 219.738.6040. 

For whom: Individuals involved with amateur sports (as an athlete, coach, trainer, or other capacity) that have what they believe to be a legal issue relating to matters arising from their sports-related role.

The Valparaiso University Law School Sports Clinic welcomes clients all amateur arenas of competition: Olympic, college, high school, and others.

Client eligibility: as a legal clinic operated by an ABA-accredited law school, our services are designed to be provided on a no-fee basis. Consequently, the clinic normally restricts its services to those who are unable to afford legal representation.

Typical cases involve issues such as: doping and drug testing, discipline, team eligibility, gender equity, visas to compete, and loss of scholarship. This list is only an example of the types of cases that have come before the clinic already, and is not intended to be an exclusive listing.

Who will be providing the legal services: The Valparaiso University Law School Sports Law Clinic is directed by Michael Straubel, a full-time member of the Law School faculty whose expertise is sports law. Professor Straubel is assisted by third-year law students all of whom are certified by the Indiana Supreme Court to represent clients under Professor Straubel’s supervision.

Clinical education at Valparaiso University Law School: 
Established in 1967, the Valparaiso University Law Clinic is a licensed law firm, offering students the opportunity to represent clients during their third year of law school.  The Law Clinic is dedicated to providing free or low cost legal services to disadvantaged members of the community.  Students gain practical experience while providing a vital service to the community.

With a special license from the Indiana Supreme Court, third year law students engage in a full range of lawyering duties:  client intake, interviewing, and counseling; research; discovery; preparing and arguing motions;  negotiating settlements; representing clients in court; and, more.  Clinic students graduate with a year of hands-on experience with live clients for whom they have provided meaningful professional services.

Contact Information:

Sports Law Clinic

Valparaiso University
Law School
Heritage Hall
510 Freeman Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383


Stephen Starks (J.D. ’06)

Sports Law Clinic Experience

Associate Professor Michael Straubel

Origins of the Sports Law Clinic

“I was told of the Sports Law Clinic prior to my visit to Valparaiso, but when I visited the school, I was impressed with the caliber of clients the students were given the opportunity to work with. Valpo Law provides students with the opportunity to bring in speakers and make networking a reality. The sports industry is not an easy field to break into, but with the tools provided to students here, they have a leg up compared to other students around the country.” – Alex Mitrani (’16)

Disclaimer: The Sports Law Clinic cannot guarantee that it will accept every case that comes to its attention.