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Alumnus lands dream job with sports agency for LeBron James

Friday, July 1, 2016  /  Rate this article:
As the saying goes, timing is everything.

And just before Jim Jiang graduated from law school two years ago, the timing could not have been better.

With an undergraduate degree in business from Case Western Reserve University already under his belt, Jiang wanted to earn his JD and get the legal skills needed to become an attorney in the sports industry.

In 2012, the law school launched its Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Law Academy, a summer program for law students who want to enter the legal side of sports. Jiang landed a placement with the Cleveland Cavaliers - “a big resume builder,” he says.

“I was very fortunate to get to learn from Professors Craig Nard and Peter Carfagna. They really gave me a road map of what courses I needed to take to work in this industry,” Jiang said.

“It’s a lot of IP contract," he explained. "The academy really gave me an advantage going forward, just to work with those documents. It’s a lot of luck and a lot of timing to break into this industry.”

A couple months after graduating from law school, Jiang was hired by Klutch Sports Group. Klutch was founded by Rich Paul, a Cleveland-based sports agent whose clients include LeBron James, Tristan Thompson and John Wall, to name a few.

“It’s very much a team. Rich Paul is the agent of record, and we are all support,” Jiang said. “As an agency, we have 12 NBA players.”

Over the summer, Jiang handled contract and administrative duties leading up to the NBA Draft in June. After the draft, he turned his attention to the free agency period and worked on negotiating new deals and extensions.

After commitments are made, the agency transitions into marketing deals and client services.

“We are very big on making sure we do what is best for our guys and their families,” Jiang said. “It’s really about our clients, and we put them first.”

His work is nothing like a typical 9 to 5 or law firm job. He described it as non-traditional and “keeps me on my toes.”

“In this industry, the hardest part is opening that door,” he said. “But once you are in, you are in.”

And as for working with LeBron?

“He’s a very cool guy. Very professional. Very friendly. He’s very much like a normal person,” Jiang said. “But … he is LeBron.”

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