▶Sports and entertainment
40 Under Class – 2016
Timothy Epstein has never been one to follow the pack. This might explain why he chose to pursue the rather specialized field of sports and entertainment law.
But it’s his sharp legal mind, hard work and dedication to his clients that explains his success in this field.
Epstein at a young age has already built a thriving practice and a steady stream of dedicated clients. To his peers, this is no surprise. There is no one in the Chicago market who boasts as deep a knowledge of sports and entertainment law, they say.
“Tim has never been a follower,” said Jill Polk of Armstrong Teasdale in St. Louis. “He emerged as a leader as early as our law school years, making his own way. After law school, Tim grew a sports law and entertainment practice from his own desire to become an expert in the field.”
Chicago attorney Robert Adelman of Levin Riback said that Epstein is constantly learning more about his field. This includes putting in the time to research hot stories and topics in the entertainment and sports worlds.
“Tim is on top of each and every ‘hot topic’ issue where sports and law intersect,” Adelman said. “Whenever sports law becomes a national story, Tim becomes well-informed on the topic and is on top of the legal issues involved.”
Morgan Stogsdill, from the Chicago law firm of Beermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove, says that one need look no further than Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival. That festival has grown in stature and popularity each year, and Epstein has long worked behind the scenes to make sure that legal challenges don’t slow this growth.
“The biggest example of his lawyering skills is the clients that he has,” Stogsdill said. “He represents festivals all over the United States. If he was not great at his job, he would not be their counsel, as usually you see counsel from Los Angeles or New York City for these events.” Epstein now serves as counsel to over twenty major music and arts festivals across the country.
Building a successful practice in sports and entertainment law is no easy task. On the sports side, Epstein represents educational institutions, coaches, student-athletes, and prospective student-athletes in issues concerning NCAA eligibility, recruiting and other possible rules violations.
Doing this, requires Epstein to truly understand the rule book of the National College Athletic Association. This is a challenge, as the NCAA’s rules are often complex and onerous. But Epstein’s peers say that this attorney knows the arcane rules as well as anyone.
“Whether Tim is representing a coach, a prospective student-athlete or an institution, he handles every NCAA issue with the utmost professionalism and exceptional knowledge and understanding of NCAA legislation and issues,” said Renee Gomila of Indianapolis’ RG Sports Consulting, and herself a former adversary of Epstein as a NCAA enforcement officer. “His ability to deal with the numerous parties involved in NCAA rules violations and litigation provides Tim with unique and exceptional lawyering skills.”
Outside of the courtroom, Epstein is a professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He and his wife, an Army veteran, have dedicated a great deal of time to charity work supporting service men and women including the Pat Tillman Foundation and Bunkers in Baghdad.