James T. Gray, Law ’90
First, a little background. Charles Mentkowski turned down a football scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and instead pursued law studies at Marquette. He eventually became associate dean of the Law School and helped found the school’s National Sports Law Institute in 1989.
Jim Gray worked with the impressive institute practically from its start, serving initially as its manager. Jim knew and worked with Charles. “It is quite a special moment for me to earn an award in his memory,” says Jim, a sports attorney and partner with the Milwaukee law firm of Pierski & Gray LLP.
Jim’s influence stretches beyond his law offices. He is also assistant professor at the department of sport management and media at Ithaca College in New York; participates as a visiting fellow at a university sports law program in England; serves on an editorial board with another sports law program in Holland; was appointed by the U.S. Olympic Committee to serve as ombudsman and represent Olympic athletes; and has authored many articles and a few books about sports law.
Like Charles, Jim believes athletes and sports in general need ethical legal representation. He is dedicated to sharing what he has learned, developing sport-based teaching opportunities, most recently in Antigua and Switzerland, and teaching and leading students who will work with the Olympic News Service during the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.
How did Marquette contribute to Jim’s success? “The Jesuit tradition helped me develop professional goals while recognizing that there is a greater duty to maximize the talents of others that are unique to them,” Jim says.
He remains connected to Marquette, serving on the Sports Law Alumni Board and sharing his experience with students concerning the challenges of law school and opportunities in sports law.