Bio: DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA: What You Need to Know

A Look at the NFLPA and Career Opportunities

DeMaurice NFLPA
By NFL Players Association (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

DeMaurice Smith is the National Football League Players Association Executive Director

Background: 

Smith worked as a trial lawyer and litigation partner at District of Columbia law firm Patton Boggs. He concentrated on white-collar criminal defense and tort liability.

Smith previously served as Counsel to then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder in the Department of Justice. His duties included national security issues, congressional relations, and DOJ budget.

Before that, Smith worked in the District of Columbia's U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Smith teaches trial advocacy classes at the University of Virginia, George Washington University, and American University.

Accomplishments:

United States Attorney Generals’ Award

John Evans Trial Advocacy Award from the United States Attorney’s Association

Smith chaired the Patton Boggs government investigations and white-collar practice group.

While at the Department of Justice, Smith was responsible for the development of business and strategic plans for prison construction.

Board of Governors of the D.C. Bar Association

Former president of the Assistant United States Attorney’s Association

Board of Directors of the Good Samaritan Foundation, which assists inner city youth in Washington D.C. in school and with job opportunities

Education

University of Virginia School of Law

Bachelor’s Degree, Cedarville University in Ohio

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In his role as Executive Director of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith is in the public spotlight regularly.  His background as a lawyer is common - although not required -  for professionals who oversee major sports leagues and the associated player's associations.

As the NFLPA website describes the organization, "We, The National Football League Players Association … Pay homage to our predecessors for their courage, sacrifice, and vision; … Pledge to preserve and enhance the democratic involvement of our members; … Confirm our willingness to do whatever is necessary for the betterment of our membership — To preserve our gains and achieve those goals not yet attained."

To reach those goals, the NFLPA is focused on its former players and current players, while also providing services for the professionals who provide guidance and advice to its constituents, namely agents and financial advisors.

The organization is also involved in creating licensing and marketing opportunities for former and current NFL players.  The website declares, "We provide player solutions to your company’s business problems.  As a one-stop shop, we provide exclusive group licensing rights for all active players, access to players through unique events and strategic consulting on player marketing and appearances."

And in this role as "one-stop shop" firms wanting to create marketing opportunities and events in partnership with NFL players can use the group for advice in creating cutting edge marketing initiatives.

As a result of the diverse services the NFLPA provides its members and other firms, the organization has many options for those seeking careers in the sports industry.  Backgrounds in law, finance, accounting and information systems are key for specific positions.

Also, the NFLPA has a robust internship program.  Departments that hire interns include Communications, Executive, Former Player Services, Player Affairs and Development, Salary Cap, and Agent Administration, among others.

The opportunity to intern for the NFLPA is a tremendous way to learn about the complex business of professional football and is a great brand to have associated with your name, whether you are pursuing a career in football or any other part of the sports business landscape.

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This article was updated by Rich Campbell.

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