On Friday, August 24, 2012, the Tulane Sports Law Society welcomed Tulane Law alumnus and baseball agent Marc Kligman back to campus as the first guest in our annual Speaker Series. (View Marc’s Alumni Profile here) Kligman discussed his path to success as a baseball agent and gave some advice to members of the Sports Law Society based on his experience. Kligman was a self-described jock in high school, who went on to play baseball at Johns Hopkins, although he never played professionally. He came from a sports family and always loved coaching, especially coaching his kids’ teams, which he thought could be a conduit toward being an agent.
While at Tulane Law, Kligman competed on the mock trial team, making the ATLA team as a lawyer in his first year. After graduating law school in 1995, he decided that he did not want to work in the mailroom of an agency, but wanted to begin his career as a lawyer so he worked with the San Diego County Public Defender’s office, later forming his agency, Total Care Sports Management (TCSM), in 1998. Eventually he left the public defender’s office to start his own criminal defense firm and build up TCSM.
Kligman briefly discussed some differences between MLB and NFL agents, including the requirement that MLB agents actually represent a client on a MLB team’s forty man roster. He also explained some of the more difficult aspects of being an MLB agent such as terminable at-will contracts. In discussing the arbitration process, he commented that the players are happy with the arbitration system in general. Although it may be difficult to get a player to arbitration it can be an exciting and rewarding experience for an agent. He cautioned students interested in becoming an agent to know what they are getting into, to prepare thoroughly, and to work hard. “It’s not who you know; it’s what you know, how hard you work, and how you treat people,” he said. Despite the difficulties in pursuing a career as a sports agent, Kligman also talked about the joy of representing clients and the benefit one can derive from forging relationships with players. He also answered questions concerning arbitration preparation and contract negotiations.
Coming as it did one week before Hurricane Isaac cut off power to New Orleans for days, perhaps the best piece of advice Kligman gave the students was “Don’t get caught in a hurricane.”
You can see more pictures of Marc Kligman’s visit on the Sports Law Society’s Flickr page.