Student Using MLS Degree as Ticket to Big Leagues
Amber Astredo has long hoped to find a career on the business side of sports, ideally in the front office of a Major League Baseball team, and she has always loved the law. So as soon as she learned that Loyola Law School, Los Angeles was creating a specialization in sports law within its Master of Science in Legal Studies (MLS) program, she applied immediately.
“To tie law to sports is marrying my two favorite things together,” says Astredo, an avid Dodger fan whose dog Jordan is the namesake of the iconic basketball player. “I knew that if I were going to take the time and effort to earn a master’s degree, I wanted to do something I’m passionate about.”
Astredo believes the Loyola degree will turn her dream of landing a position in the front office of a professional ball club into reality. “I’m hoping that having legal knowledge geared toward sports law will help me to stand out to professional teams and organizations unique.”
Astredo is part of the first cohort of MLS students at Loyola to enroll in the sports law specialization, which launched this year. The program has already made inroads: nearly half of part-time MLS students are pursuing a sports law focus.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying it,” she says about the program. One reason is that she and her MLS colleagues have become like a family. “We’re all very team-oriented in that we like to work in a group. It’s fun.”
The cohort takes its first classes in sports law and entertainment law during the spring 2019 semester. In their first semester, they studied Legal Method, taught by Professor Katherine J. Lyons ’02, to learn how lawyers analyze and write. They also took Contracts with Professor Hiro Aragaki an international expert on alternative dispute resolution with deep experience in contract drafting and interpretation.
That skillset has turned out to be surprisingly useful to Astredo in her job as the executive assistant to Thomas Poon, executive vice president and provost, Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Her duties often involve dealing with documents such as contracts, memoranda of understanding and other official notifications.
“But now that I’m in this class, I look at them very differently. I’m far more a critic of the wording,” she said. “It’s great being able to put theory to action from my Contracts class.”
Astredo uses it so much that she takes her drafting textbook to work to use as a reference. “I even have people coming to me, asking, ‘Does this make sense?’ So I pull out my book.”
A Southern California native, Astredo began working at LMU soon after graduating from the university in 2004. She moved next to the advancement office at Loyola Law School before returning to LMU in 2010.
True to LMU’s Mission, furthering her education was a natural goal for Astredo. She knew that having some legal knowledge would be helpful in life, but she didn’t want to pursue a JD degree. Loyola Law School’s MLS degree was the perfect fit.
“I never realized how into sports I was until a few years ago, when I decided I needed to pursue my hobby as a career,” Astredo says. “Now, thanks to Loyola’s sports law specialization, I’m finally doing it.”