Another school year has introduced another innovative course as part of the Georgia State College of Law’s Entertainment, Sports & Media Law Initiative with the addition of “Sneaker Law,” which is new to the curriculum this fall.
The course revolves around the book “Sneaker Law,” which aims to teach readers “everything you need to know about the sneaker business” by using culturally relevant topics to teach critical information about the sneaker industry. The book was written by attorneys Kenneth Anand and Jared Goldstein, and when Initiative Director Mo Ivory got a preview of the book, she saw a perfect fit for her program.
“It was just fantastically written,” Ivory said. “I knew I wanted to bring that to Atlanta, especially because there’s such a strong sneaker culture here. Obviously, GSU has such a big athletics department, and I wanted to be able to offer this type of information, not only across the law school, but across the university.”
In conjunction with the release of their book, Anand and Goldstein were also doing six-week lecture series at various law schools around the country, but they added a stop at the Georgia State College of Law as the first full-semester offering with both serving as adjunct professors.
With the authors of their textbook on board, students get access to a pair of successful lawyers with experience in fields across the industry. Goldstein is currently Legal Counsel for ad-tech and marketing company LiveIntent. Anand is the co-founder of fashion licensing company 3 8 0 Group and was formerly General Counsel and Head of Business Development at YEEZY Apparel.
“There’s not a large portion of legal education that includes things that are currently relevant to lifestyle culture and the things that peek students’ interests, like music, television and fashion,” Ivory said. “To be able to do courses on things they actually go to the store and purchase currently is unique. It’s something to walk into class one day and have your professor ask you what your favorite sneakers are. You just don’t really get that in law school.”
That connection to modern popular culture, along with professionally experienced guest speakers and professors, has been among the primary goals of the initiative since its launch in 2018.
Starting with its “Legal Life Of…” series, where students have studied the legal aspects of the careers of Ludacris and Kandi Burruss, through its Hip-Hop and the Law course taught by Ivory, and its Advanced Music Publishing course taught by Adjunct Professor Kendall Minter, the Initiative has always aimed to provide career-focused, practical education that mirrors the actual state of working in these industries.
“Students get an opportunity to laugh and smile while they’re learning about real business and legal applications of careers they may want to pursue,” Ivory said. “I did it that way because I never really had classes like that in law school, and I wanted to be the type of professor that really could have my students walk away and understand exactly what it takes to be a lawyer practicing in these specialty areas of the law.”
After an early emphasis on entertainment law and the development of that curriculum, the addition of Sneaker Law was part of a concerted effort to concentrate on the development of additional curriculum in the sports and media fields.
There is another edition of the “Legal Life Of…” series in the works that will be announced soon, but that is only the next step, as Ivory remains ambitious about the future quality and scope of the Initiative.
“The next steps are to continue to expand the offerings and grow the curriculum,” she said. “Instead of having five to six rotating classes like we do now, I hope to have 10-15 one day. I’d like to be able to offer these classes to students inside and outside of the law school, in person and online. This is information on subjects that all students would want, so that would be the ultimate goal.”
Written by Alex Resnak