Work with pro athletes led to law school
As a former business owner, 3L Luke Fedlam plans to bring plenty of real life experience to his job in corporate law.
In 2006, Fedlam and a colleague started a sports management firm focusing on wealth and financial management for professional athletes in Miami, Fla.
“We really focused on both wealth and lifestyle management. This included everything from investment management to helping them make large purchases, budgets, tracking their spending, making sure bills were paid,” he said.
While Fedlam loved working with these athletes, the longer he worked as business owner, the more he realized that it wasn’t all fun and games.
“Being the business owner, you realize early on that maybe only 25 percent of your time is spent actually doing what you love and the other 75 percent is running a business: seeking funding, back-office support and administration, compliance, growing professional relationships — all these things are outside of that passion that drew you into the business,” Fedlam explained.
Fedlam also found that as a business owner he was constantly calling on lawyers to assist in all types of athletes’ transactions.
“We brought in lawyers for everything including estate planning, establishing and managing foundations and other philanthropic endeavors, for deal reviews, and for helping these athletes manage the legal side of the businesses that they owned,” he explained. “When I was working with these lawyers I realized that I really liked what they were doing. That’s what led to my decision to go to law school.”
After being called to active duty as a part of the Army National Guard in 2009, he decided it was time for a life change.
“I was away from the business, and you realize how short life is and how fast life happens. It’s like, ‘I’ve always wanted to go to law school. I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer. Let’s go,’ ” Fedlam said.
Fedlam and his wife moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he could attend the Moritz College of Law and she could continue her work at Abercrombie & Fitch’s corporate headquarters.
Having been a business owner, Fedlam feels he can relate to his future clients on a more personal level.
“I understand the challenges of business owners, so I want to work with business owners,” said Fedlam. “These business owners have their own individual needs, but they also have business needs if they want to grow their business.”
He plans to work with clients to create the best business experience possible for them. Some of his clients will be players he worked with during his time in Miami. Fedlam explained that these players are very similar to a small business and have many of the same needs. He’s excited to be able to work with them on a legal level, enhanced by a business and financial background.
“I think it’s similar because I can still bring business advice to these athletes, but now I can bring legal advice, too. It’s a great marriage of the types of advice these clients need,” he said.
Posted in: Winter 2013, Student Profile