Wright Lindsey Jennings team members in a meeting

All sports. One firm. Full service.

We are committed to serving the best interests of our professional athletes, student-athletes and coaches – from start to finish.

4 former collegiate athletes

On the WLJ Sports Law team.

2021 NIL changes the game

The NCAA allowed student-athletes nationwide to begin profiting from the sale of their name, image and likeness.

Let us put our experience to work for you.

With a distinctive client-focused approach, WLJ Sports Law works to create and maximize personal and professional growth, endorsement opportunities and public awareness for our athletes on and off the field, while adhering to the strictest ethical standards and legal rules.

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Attorney John R. Tisdale

John R. Tisdale

Partner

Little Rock, AR

John has been recognized as a leading Tax Attorney in Arkansas by Chambers USA for more than 13 years. He has served as Canon Chancellor to the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas since 1999.

jtisdale@wlj.com Learn more

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Attorney Judy Simmons Henry

Judy Simmons Henry

Partner

Little Rock, AR

Judy tumbled from the gym to the courtroom and into the boardroom – and never looked back. A former elite gymnast and coach, today Judy is recognized as one of the South’s top litigators.

jhenry@wlj.com Learn more

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Attorney Collins Hickman

Collins Hickman

Associate

Little Rock, AR

Collins is an associate attorney with the firm. In his diverse practice, he effectively handles a variety of transactional and complex commercial litigation matters and also assists clients with their estate planning needs.

chickman@wlj.com Learn more

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Cal Rose

Cal Rose

Partner

Rogers, AR

Cal’s corporate and transactional practice encompasses an extensive range of business, tax and legal matters, including mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, securities offerings and executive compensation.

crose@wlj.com Learn more

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Attorney Meredith Lowry

Meredith K. Lowry

Partner

Rogers, AR

Meredith’s intellectual property practice centers around retail products, which isn’t surprising with the world’s largest retailer in our backyard.

mlowry@wlj.com Learn more

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Antwan D. Phillips

Partner

Little Rock, AR

Antwan is committed to the community. He is a Little Rock native and has dedicated his free time to serve a number of nonprofits that focus on improving the lives of children, public education, and overall quality of life in Little Rock. His community involvement has helped establish and grow his municipal governmental relations practice.

aphillips@wlj.com Learn more

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Attorney Jason T. Browning

Jason T. Browning

Partner

Little Rock, AR
JBrowning@wlj.com Learn more

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Wright Lindsey Jennings’ Sports Law Team is passionate about sports and the athletes and businesses we serve. WLJ Sports Law is a full-service, professional sports practice composed of licensed attorneys (and former collegiate athletes) who specialize in all aspects of representation at both the collegiate and professional levels. Our goal is to represent athletes and businesses who pursue and implement a standard of excellence in athletics, academics and business. WLJ Sports Law negotiates and executes player contracts, endorsement deals, brand development, non-profit formation and post-career estate planning.

Judy Simmons Henry has served as a National Football League (NFL) Players Association Certified Contract Advisor and is the firm’s sports law group founder and leader, representing D-1 coaches, student-athletes and businesses that partner with them. Antwan Phillips is one of only two agents in the state of Arkansas certified by the National Basketball Association (NBA) Players Association. Antwan and Judy, supported by the WLJ Sports Law Team, represent, advise, counsel and assist eligible players in the negotiation, execution and enforcement of playing contracts. WLJ Sports Law’s Jason Browning is a certified agent advisor with the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and provides counsel to MLB players and player agents on all aspects of baseball.

For NFL and NBA prospects, Judy and Antwan offer assistance to the draft-eligible player with decisions ranging from date of eligibility in declaring for the draft, through the NFL/NBA Combine, college Pro Days, and relationship building with NFL/NBA clubs through the draft process and in free agency. In his work with the MLBPA, Jason advises clients on player salaries and negotiations with the Clubs, and represents players through the salary arbitration process as well as fee grievances between agents. In addition to working through the draft process and contract negotiations, WLJ Sports Law offers a full range of services focused on the rising professional athlete such as tax consultation, real estate transactions, trust and estate planning, endorsement and licensing negotiations and protection of trademarks, among other intellectual property rights.

In the evolving world of name, image and likeness (NIL), WLJ Sports Law represents businesses and student-athletes across the state and region. The team provides legal advice and support to student-athletes to monetize brands while staying in compliance with NCAA regulations, school policies and procedures, and current state laws.  WLJ Sports Law is also well versed in negotiations and contractual obligations – a critical piece of the overall NIL puzzle. We also work to strategically partner businesses with student-athletes and teams to maximize promotion of both brands.

With a distinctive client-focused approach, WLJ Sports Law works to create and maximize personal and professional growth, endorsement opportunities and public awareness for our athletes on and off the field, while adhering to the strictest ethical standards and legal rules, including those established by the NFLPA, NBPA, MLBPA, NCAA and under State law.

We are committed to serving the best interests of our professional athletes, student-athletes, coaches, and businesses who partner with professionals – from start to finish. Our athletes also value our robust relationships within the industry. We seek to enhance our clients’ communication skills and marketability to increase their earning potential beyond the playing field. We also recognize the importance of planning for life after sports. Put simply, WLJ Sports Law is dedicated to realizing our clients’ full potential both on and off the field.

Services for College and Professional Athletes

NIL Advising: WLJ Sports Law provides legal advice to student-athletes to navigate the NIL industry and offers support to monetize brands while staying in compliance with NCAA regulations, school policies and procedures, and current state laws.  It is important that the student-athlete seeks guidance from attorneys familiar with NIL rules, who are also well versed in negotiations and contractual obligations to maximize opportunities.

Trademarks: Brand protection starts with a sound trademark strategy for a student-athlete’s name, logo, slogan and other marks. Our trademark practice is focused on protecting your brand and the reputation of your business. WLJ Sports Law trademarks attorneys regularly advise clients on all issues related to trademark protection and we have successfully handled thousands of federal, state and foreign trademark registration applications.

Trademarks can consist of a word, phrase, logo, symbol or design that identify your business, services or products for your customers. WLJ’s group of trademark attorneys routinely works with clients to identify potential trademarks, to determine if a potential trademark may be registered and to outline strategic next steps to protect trademark rights. We work with our clients through the life of their trademark registrations for any licensing or enforcement needs.

We manage trademark portfolios for our clients ranging from individuals, startup companies and small businesses to colleges and universities and Fortune 500 companies. Our trademark clients not only come from our home-state of Arkansas, but also from across the United States and foreign countries as well.

Contracts: WLJ Sports Law offers contract review, contract negotiation and contract drafting to make sure that NIL and other agreements (i.e. publicity rights endorsements, apparel and merchandising negotiations, etc.) are in the client’s best interest BEFORE the contract is signed.

Taxes: WLJ’s team of tax professionals provides consultation and advice to student-athletes, including advice on both state and federal tax questions.

Entity Creation: WLJ Sports Law helps athletes decide on the right business structure (i.e. LLC, LLP, S-Corp, etc.) to help achieve their goals while also considering personal liability.  The business structure chosen influences day-to-day operations, taxes and personal assets risk.  WLJ’s team can also create non-profit organizations, including 501c3s, for gifting and community outreach.

Marketing: WLJ Sports Law represents many businesses across the state, region and nation—many of which are marketing in the NIL space. We can introduce athletes to our business clients for potential NIL partnerships and assist matching our business clients with the right athlete.

Publicity Rights & NIL Licensing: The NIL landscape is relatively new, but the WLJ Sports Law team and our intellectual property attorneys have been well-versed in publicity law and NIL matters for a number of years, including the successful drafting and enactment of Arkansas’ original publicity law for all residents – the Frank Broyles Publicity Rights Act.

With a team of former athletes and attorneys who still participate in sports of all kinds, WLJ Sports Law is committed to helping professionals, student-athletes and businesses achieve success on and off the field by staying current with NCAA regulations and the various school rules to ensure that our student-athletes maintain eligibility while pursuing their business goals.  In addition, our team of professionals routinely works with both influencers and businesses to counsel on licensing, proper social media usage, compliance with the Federal Trade Commission guidance on social media advertising and false advertising issues.

Wills & Estate Planning: As athletes grow their income, a will for distributing assets and an estate plan are essential! WLJ Sports Law can assist in creating a plan for assets and income to ensure future goals and wishes are honored.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution: WLJ Sports Law offers legal representation in connection with general and business disputes from the earliest stages to settlement and all the way through trial, if necessary.

NIL Compliance: WLJ Sports Law provides representation and advocacy for student-athletes in all facets of NIL-related compliance and enforcement including, but not limited to, disciplinary or enforcement actions brought by the NCAA, school or other institutions for alleged improper use of NIL. and non-compliance with NIL rules or laws.

Professional Sports Representation: When the time comes to pursue a professional sports career, WLJ Sports Law can help guide athletes through the process.

Services for Business Clients Partnering with Athletes

NIL Advising: WLJ Sports Law provides legal advice on navigating the new NIL industry and helps strategically partner businesses with college athletes and teams to maximize promotion of both brands. We are knowledgeable and up-to-date on school policies and procedures, state laws and NCAA regulations.

Contracts: WLJ Sports Law offers contract negotiation, review and drafting to ensure all NIL contracts are carefully constructed and provide protection to businesses.

Branding: WLJ Sports Law facilitates creative partnerships between business clients and their chosen athlete(s) through media and marketing avenues such as commercials, print ads, appearances, social media and non-traditional marketing.

Trademarks: WLJ Sports Law offers trademark advice, registration and prosecution to ensure business clients’ intellectual property is preserved and protected in NIL transactions.

Licensing Agreements: WLJ Sports Law attorneys are skilled in drafting, negotiating, reviewing and advising on licensing agreements between business clients and athletes.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution: WLJ Sports Law offers expansive legal representation (from the earliest stages to settlement and all the way through trial, if necessary) in connection with disputes from business disagreements such as breach of contract.

Services for Coaches

WLJ Sports Law attorneys have a rich history representing coaches in the following areas:

  • Interview Preparation
  • Contract Salary/Benefits Negotiation
  • Protection of Intellectual Property, including Trademarks
  • Trademark/IP Registration & Prosecution
  • Sponsorship Opportunity Review
  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Real Estate & Other Legal Transactions
  • High-Net Worth Estate Planning

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