Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Good sports

Ben Dogra and Tom CondonThis morning's New York Times profiles Ben Dogra, "maybe the best football agent attracting the least attention."

Dogra, working alongside Tom Condon (at right in the picture), Jim Steiner, and Ken Kremer, has led Creative Artists Agency's football division to dominance in the fast and powerful game of representing players in the National Football League. Their 130 clients, give or take, include four of the first eight picks from the most recent draft, and six of the top 21. Since 2001 this agency has represented four of the past five first-overall choices and 48 first-round picks. Far outpacing all competitors, Dogra and company "are the current champions in their mysterious corner of professional football."

Condon and Steiner became agents after careers in professional football. Their partner? Not quite:
Dogra’s background is far different. Dogra moved from New Delhi when he was 6, and his family hopscotched before opening a restaurant in northern Virginia when he was in high school. He did not play sports but wanted an N.F.L. career. Being an agent seemed a reasonable route. After attending George Mason, Dogra chose St. Louis University Law School based on its proximity to two sports agencies, for whom he hoped to work days while studying at night.

“My dad said, ‘Is that the equivalent of going to Los Angeles and being a bartender to become an actor?’” Dogra said. “I said, no, because if I don’t become an agent, I’ll be in law school.”
Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan. Quarterback from Boston College. Drafted third overall by the Atlanta Falcons. And a Creative Artists client.
MoneyLaw can't let Ben Dogra pass by without taking note of his beautifully entrepreneurial attitude and his success. There is hardly a better description than his of the multiple paths that lead out of law school into real life.

As this forum has noted, Scott Boras attended McGeorge School of Law. Theo Epstein went to law school at the University of San Diego. Dogra, as I just pointed out, attended SLU Law. Thanks to Bill Henderson, this forum is keenly aware that top plaintiffs' lawyers are not concentrated among the alumni ranks of elite schools, but rather come from schools all over. Successful sports agents and executives, one strongly suspects, follow a similar pattern. There are indeed many paths to success after law school, and the overwhelming majority of those paths have no connection to the 35 schools in the top twenty, let alone the three, fourteen, or eighteen truly "elite" schools that dominate gossip in legal academia.

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