A few weeks ago, esports attorney Bryce Blum announced the formation of ESG Law, the first esports dedicated firm. Then this announcement came:
Naturally I got excited and let down at the same time. I have the passion, but experience? Not so much. I was on the fence about sending a resume and cover letter Attorney Blum’s way because why waste his time? Then Rex Sheild, the 3L head of the one and only Marquette Sports Law Society Blog, approached me about writing a blog post about why I would be qualified anyways. I immediately said yes, then I hesitated. Would this be “too bold?” How do I approach this? What is right “tone?” I asked some friends, and each gave me a similar answer: what do you have to lose? So Attorney Blum, if you are reading this, here goes nothing.
Dear Attorney Blum:
If you recall, we had a brief exchange of emails early in 2016 as you participated in a Question and Answer for the SLS Blog. Back then, I had no idea attorneys in this field existed, and after our exchange I knew I needed to get involved. My drive had nothing to do with how quick the field is booming, but everything to do with my passion and interest in eSports. The first time I really got into competitive video games was watching Starcraft II. I was always blown away with the player’s key strokes and quick ability to adapt. I then attempted a grind at the latter thinking “man, I can go pro at this?!”…and got let down real quickly making it as far as Gold Solo. Then I got into Multiple Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs). It, surprisingly, started a couple of years ago with Heroes of the Storm. The simplistic gameplay got me hooked. I requeued at the the fast match times. Heroes League was a blast, even making the grind to Diamond League a few seasons ago. Ever since then, I have followed the competitive Heroes scene, watching it evolve from a small pro scene and major Blizzcon event to the new Heroes Global Championship that kicked off last week.
In our string of emails, you also mentioned that the best way to break into the field is to write about eSports, and I have taken every opportunity to do exactly that. It started first with writing for this blog, as I try to cover issues in the industry as well as major developments. Furthermore, at the beginning of this year I started writing for an upstart blog “Everyday Esports.” (Editor’s Note: you may find Micah’s recent article here). But my attempt at writing on the subject has not stopped there. This year both my law review comment for the Marquette Sports Law Review and seminar paper are focused on legal issues in the industry. While there is no guarantee either paper gets published, I saw it as an opportunity to continue learning about the industry.
But passion cannot be the only driving factor to hire me. As of this May I will have graduated Marquette University Law School with a Sports Law Certificate granted by the National Sports Law Institute. In late May I will be admitted to the Wisconsin Bar. My focus in school as been on both sports and business law — two areas of law that, at least in my estimation, can benefit ESG Law tremendously. A focus on sports law and sports governance would be greatly beneficial because it seems that eSports is moving more towards a “sport” like industry. To me eSports and traditional sports have tremendous parallels that are too important to ignore.
To that end, I have taken every opportunity to find those parallels and continue to learn about each industry in those areas. As with traditional sports, the eSports is a business. Every team and organization is a business that needs to make decisions based off their business needs and legal needs. For that reason, much of much of my time in law school has been spent gaining valuable knowledge on general business law issues such as entity formation and real estate financing.
Now I could list the classes I have taken and the final grade to prove my worth, but I realize my competition is going to be people with more “real world” experience where grades may not matter. So, instead, I would like to highlight my major experiences and accomplishment while in law school. Admittedly, it does not add up to anywhere close to three years of “entertainment/business law experience,” but I hope you find it shows my passion for sports, my work ethic, and my ability to learn and perform at a quick pace.
First, is my time as a Student Associate with Marquette’s Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic this academic year. This clinic works with for profit start-ups and small businesses. As a Student Associate, I have been assigned to and work with different real world clients. The work is transactional in nature, and I have worked on various different matters for clients, such as helping clients form LLCs or buy-sell agreements. It has not been easy and more of a “trial by fire” sort of deal as I was thrust into client work week one of the fall semester. However, it has been an extraordinary legal experience and I look to continue to build off of the skills I have learned in this clinic in my legal profession.
Second, is my time as an Enforcement Extern with the NCAA. Sports governance has always been a interest of mine. I have been intrigued with not only how a governing body reaches its decision but also why, and my time with the NCAA provided that. As an Extern my assignments varied depending on what was needed. At time I would proof transcripts for accuracy so the investigators knew they were getting a transcription of their interviews as close to “word for word” as possible. I also spent some time in the questioning process of investigations. But a majority of my time was spent on project that helped prepare the investigators for an on-campus visit or their time in-front of the Committee on Infractions.
Third, is my time a Student Mediator in Marquette’s Mediation Clinic. I mention this because I believe, as you have mentioned in multiple posts on ESPN, that Alternative Dispute Resolution is huge, and having forms of ADR is epsorts is important. I recognize if I were brought on to your firm I could not act as a mediator for dispute; however, it would be comforting for clients to work with someone with experience in the mediation process. Mediation is not the only form of ADR I am versed in. I have also taken a class focused strictly on negotiation styles as well as participated in Marquette’s Intramural Sports Law Negotiation Competition.
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention moot court accomplishments that I believe have made me a better writer, both in legal papers and briefs and in communication with clients. At Marquette, in order to participate in moot court, we are required to take Appellate Writing and Advocacy as a 2L. I received an honors grade in Appellate Writing and Advocacy. The result of that grade was an invitation to participate in an intraschool In the Spring of 2016 I participated in the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition. Admittedly, it was disappointing not to win; however, my team reached the semi-finals. This past fall semester I was a member of one of Marquette’s National Moot Court Competition. In this competition, my team was awarded best brief for the region. Overall, moot court has provided me an invaluable experience to continue to work on my communication skills, both oral and written, and work under pressing deadlines.
I realize there may be hesitations to bringing on a fresh out of law school graduate. It requires patience and time a new firm may not currently have. But I pose to you this: as a fresh out of law school graduate, you have an opportunity to mould me into the perfect attorney for your firm. I have certain lawyering skills I have picked up from my time as a Student Associate and working on moot court problems; however, these skills are not so old they cannot be adapted to fit your firm. Furthermore, you do not have to wait on me passing a bar. You previously tweeted that California or New York Bar certified is preferred, but that anywhere in the U.S. would work. The day after I graduate, I have the opportunity to be, and will be, sworn into the Wisconsin Bar. I can start right away.
Is an open cover letter too bold? Maybe. If you find it bold, I hope you find it bold in a good way. Attorney Blum, if you have made this far, I have done my job to keep you interested in what I can provide you and your new firm. If you have any interest in following up shoot me an email: email@example.com, I will gladly send you a resume. I look forward to hearing from you.
Micah Woo – hopeful eSports attorney