Notre Dame Law Students Compete in the “Major Leagues”

Author: Lauren Love

Notre Dame Law students James Schwabe, Michael Xavier and Adam Roundy, all 2Ls, were quarter-finalists in the National Baseball Arbitration Competition, hosted by the Tulane Sports Law Society at Tulane University. Coached by Koh Tanimoto, 3L, and Dean Ed Edmonds, the team placed in the top 8 among 40 competing teams.

“The National Baseball Arbitration Competition was an exhilarating experience that gave us the confidence and the skills to pursue a legal career that we are truly passionate about,” Schwabe said. “Dean Edmonds inspired us to take our passion for this area of the law outside of the classroom by challenging us to craft our arguments in a unique manner through salary arbitration.”

The competition is a simulated salary negotiation modeled closely after the Major League Baseball process. The organizers of the event said the goal is to provide law students with the opportunity to sharpen their oral and written advocacy skills, within the specialized context of MLB’s salary arbitration proceedings.

In the actual major leagues, potential arbitration proceedings take place during the early part of each year. According to MLB rules, players with a defined amount of service time (i.e., number of years playing at the MLB level) enter into the salary arbitration process with their teams in which the player, likely represented by their agent, and the team will present their case to have the player’s salary set by a neutral third party arbitration panel for the upcoming season.

The competition is held annually in the spring academic semester at Tulane University Law School. To close the two-day competition, the Sports Law Society organized a panel of experts to discuss legal issues related to baseball.

“It was an extremely competitive tournament and we were honored to have the opportunity to represent Notre Dame Law School in the quarterfinals,” said Schwabe. “My teammates and I look forward to training next year’s team and our goal is to continue to elevate Notre Dame’s presence in the sports and entertainment industry.”