“Sports do not build character, they reveal it,” goes the popular saying. The sporting world is full of characters, many we admire and even try to emulate. But what happens when the biggest names in sports or the top teams in the world are caught in a legal quagmire? Well, there is a small but speedily growing army of sports lawyers that bats for them in courts. Or against them, in some cases!
From the biggest doping scandals in history to the litigation against IOC that pressured Saudi Arabia to end discrimination against women in sports, this niche league of lawyers has battled issues of the fields and far beyond. O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) alum and former professional tennis player Apoorvi Jha volleyed her way into the ranks of this super squad, one solid swing at a time.
Apoorvi’s sporting spirit reveals a character that would make the best of sporting legends proud—commitment, dedication, hard-work, and zealous ambition with eyes on the target. While most sports fans dream of meeting their idols like those mega EPL stars, Apoorvi coolly represents high profile athletes through Tannuri Ribeiro Advogados, where she works as a sports lawyer. How’s that for a goal!
As a professional tennis player, Apoorvi is accustomed to heavy hitting. She is also used to reading the game well. “Since I was a kid, I have been consumed in playing sports, tennis, in particular,” she reveals. On the lookout for higher education options, she came to know of the impeccable sports facilities at JGU. Her love for sports and smart planning for the next move brought her to Jindal Global Law School to pursue the B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) programme. The decision was a slam dunk.
At JGU, she found a platform to keep her game alive and take it to the next level. Apoorvi won the University Blues Award for her outstanding contribution to Lawn Tennis. She bagged a slew of medals while representing JGU in inter-varsity and other sports competitions. While she certainly leveraged the advantage thatshe found and closed out the game in her favor, more often than not, on the courts, her academic pursuits were leading to different types of courts altogether.
Apoorvi was set for a big score in the legal world too. Coached by top-class faculty at JGU, she knew she was cut out for a career in sports law though it was a relatively new and rare choice not only in India but the world over. A Master’s from ISDE (Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia), Madrid, Spain with a specialisation in International Sports Law was the next move in her careful planning. It opened up a new set of adventures and she was ready to take a swing at them. “The only thing that mattered during the programme was how much passion and hunger you showed towards sports and the development of International Sports Law. It’s because this is a super closed area to practice law, is still relatively new and needs more brainstorming,” she recounts. Her winning combination of sporting instinct and legal intellect is certainly scoring big points.
Post a Master’s degree, Apoorvi began her career with one of Brazil’s biggest sports law firms, Tannuri Ribeiro Advogado. Based in the home of football legends, the firm handles high profile cases of famous sports personalities and several big football teams including Al Kharaitiyat Club in Qatar and Albirex Niigata in Japan. With that, it is game, set and match for her to launch her career into the premier league of sports law!
Currently, in order to expand her expertise within the industry of sports, per se, she has joined another Master’s degree from ISDE, this time in Global Sports Management. She believes that knowledge is unending and there is no limit to learning new areas and expanding one’s own career as per an individual’s passion.
“Love, determination, and self-belief can make you achieve everything you desire,” is the mantra she lives by and offers as advice to aspirants who want to follow her footsteps. The unconventional career choice has all the makings of an innings to remember.