Elizabeth “Lizzie” Snyder lives for college sports.
So, it’s not that far-fetched that she would enter law school and seek out Tulane Law’s nationally-recognized sports law program or take a leadership role in the Tulane Sports Law Society or co-chair the Women in Sports Law Symposium.
“I’ve always had a passion for college athletics and a goal of being a Division I, Power Five Conference athletic director, and truthfully, there is no real solidified path to get there,” said Snyder, who along with fellow students has organized a robust Sports Law Speakers series this fall and is co-chairing a three-day conference in the spring courting some of the top female leaders in sports law across the country with fellow second-year, Kayla Williams (L ’23).
“I feel that if I think like a lawyer, have that experience, I can give any institution, and more importantly, student athletes, the best that I can.”
She got her start as an undergrad at Wake Forest where she worked for the sports marketing department, organizing events and logistics, and helping the athletic fundraising staff. She had an internship with Army-West Point Athletics, where she did similar work with the fundraising arm of athletics and helping to support student-athletes.
“My brother is a West Point graduate so that kind of work had a really special meaning,” she said.
By the time she graduated Wake Forest in 2019, she was experienced enough to be picked up by Purdue University athletics, once again working with fundraising, putting on donor events and raising funds for student-athlete scholarships.
A year later, she was in New Orleans getting her first taste of law school, just after the COVID-19 pandemic changed the usual law school routine. But she was lucky: Her law school mentor was Hannah Holmes (L’21), former president of the Sports Law Society and a Moot Court Program dynamo. She was assigned a sports law alumni mentor, too, which turned out to be none other than Nina King (L’05), who this May was named the first Black woman athletic director at Duke University, and only one of six female athletic directors in the nation at the Power Five Conference level.
“Hannah was amazing, helped me get through a really tough first-year and encouraged me to apply to be a mentor for incoming 1Ls,” Snyder said. “And Nina and I met for the first time in person recently at the College Athletics Leadership Symposium (CALS), where I met many industry leaders I admire and really was able to network with those in the field.”
Her efforts in her first year of law school paid off this summer. She was able to intern for two big sports industry players, Altius Sports Partners, a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) firm working on cutting-edge legal and compliance issues that college athletics are facing, and with Fanatics, Inc., the leader in sports apparel licensing where she worked with law alum Jim Aronowitz (L’98) who is the company’s VP of legal affairs.
Aronowitz, who has had a standout career in sports intellectual property, has also been active with Tulane’s Sports Law Program for many years and serves as a mentor himself— one of the program’s highlight extracurricular opportunities— matching Tulane Sports Law students with current sports professionals who offer real-world insights to their mentee over the academic year.
“I was lucky to have had two opportunities to learn from some extremely talented people and work on some pressing legal issues facing college athletics, “ Snyder said.
For her, the rest of the semester will be continuing her work with Altius and looking for a sponsor or two for the Women in Sports Law Symposium and make that conference a “legacy” event at Tulane Law. She hopes the event will take place in early Spring.
“There are so few women in the sports law industry and it is so important for law students to network more formally,” she said. “It’s exciting to help build this into a legacy event and hopefully make it even bigger.”