Former NCAA Football Player Finds Footing at Clippers
Jonathan Mputu ’17 is spending his summer as a legal intern in the Office of the General Counsel of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. A former NCAA Division I wide receiver already with experience at sports talent agencies, the third-year law student is enrolled in Loyola’s Entertainment Law Concentration and Sports Law Course of Study.
How did you land your summer job?
I was able to land my job through a little bit of luck, good timing and a lot of preparation from Loyola and its Career Development Center. I emailed the general counsel of the Clippers to schedule an informational interview. After that meeting, I had the opportunity to apply for the internship. At that point, it became about using the skills I had developed to put myself in the best position possible to land the job.
How did the Career Development Center help you secure the position?
The Career Development Center helped me out in a variety of ways. I used all of the resources available to me to give myself the best chance possible. I reviewed cover letters and interviewing tips from the Career Development Center website. Additionally, the center counselors reminded me of potential job postings on the Symplicity website, and I learned the importance of securing a summer job sooner rather than later. I worked closely with my counselor, Jolene Horn, to get my resume in the best shape possible to send out to potential employers.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
The most interesting part of my job is the ability to experience and understand firsthand the daily responsibilities of being an in-house counsel on a sports team. Every day is different. I've learned much more than what I could have anticipated.
What has been your most challenging assignment thus far?
My most challenging assignment thus far has been creating a contract template from scratch, but doing so in a way that it could be easily adapted for other uses. The challenge seemed minute at first, but the difficulty was in choosing which provisions to include, which provisions to omit and finding creative ways to favorably protect the rights of the team that are amenable to the other party.
What new legal skill(s) have you acquired during your summer job?
My ability to issue spot has improved tremendously, as has my legal writing. However, the most important skill I’ve developed is the ability to think more strategically and efficiently as a lawyer. In class, it is easy to spot and resolve issues and concerns within hypotheticals. There are no real-life consequences for getting incorrect answers. It's more challenging when it’s real-life scenarios with millions of dollars on the line.
How has your Loyola education helped you make a difference in your placement?
My Loyola education gave me the substantive background needed to understand the transactional issues I see daily. It has also helped me develop a calm, controlled demeanor in the workplace while handling a large work load.
What LLS courses have you found most helpful to your position?
I mainly deal with transactional issues. Therefore all contract-related classes have helped me with interpretation and the handling of the types of issues that regularly arise.
In what additional ways has Loyola helped you map your career path?
Loyola has opened up so many doors for me. Through its reputation, its network and its alumni, I have had access to people, opportunities and resources that I only dreamed of. These are all things that I am very fortunate to have access to and do not take for granted.