You’d be shocked to know that not that many Americans are knowledgeable about or have even read the Constitution. Far from just a mildly-interesting trivia, this is an alarming fact that may explain why we have historically allowed ourselves to be manipulated by whoever happens to occupy the seat in the White House. In this pivotal time in American history, it is important for us to go back to this incredible document and use it as our North Star in initiating movements that aim to make the nation a better place. Coming into the podcast to speak with Josh Martin about this is Pepperdine University associate professor, Alicia Jessop. A sports writer and attorney, Alicia possesses a wealth of information about the intricacies of the constitution and its history. In this episode, they tackle the subjects of executive orders, electoral colleges, the role of athletes in social change, and the continued relevance of the Constitution in these contemporary times.

Listen to the podcast here:

The Guiding Power Of The Constitution With Alicia Jessop

I’m excited to have Alicia Jessop on. How are you, Alicia?

I’m good. How are you?

I’m doing well. Thanks for joining us on the Making America Let’s Keep Talking. I’m excited to have you on and to have this conversation. For those who are reading, Alicia Jessop is a Sports Law Professor at Pepperdine University and also the Founder of The Prospering among a lot of other things. You’re a writer for The Athletic. You have a lot of things going on, Alicia. Why don’t you tell everyone what you’re about and who you are?

Thanks for having me on. I’ve been a sportswriter for many years. I’m with The Athletic. I also have a contract with The Washington Post. My background is in law. I got my law degree in 2009. I’m a lawyer in California and Colorado. I moved into academia in 2013. I’ve taught at the University of Miami and I’m a professor at Pepperdine. I’ve done a lot of different things, mostly in the sports industry, also in journalism and in the legal field.

The University of Miami, I’ve been to that campus. I’ve also driven by the Pepperdine campus. Those are beautiful campuses. It’s not bad choices when it comes to academia.

Regardless of who you're voting for, you need to vote. Shame on you if you don’t use this power. Click To Tweet

There’s a joke that I only work at resort universities. I feel lucky to have had the opportunities I have.

I’m looking forward to getting to pick your brain as a legal expert. I’m excited to talk about all the craziness that’s going on and have some questions answered. A big reason why I started Making America is that I was curious about what exactly is going on and how can I make a difference. I was interested in gaining a perspective to learn where to start in making a difference. A perspective that I’m interested in gaining in this particular conversation is we have the presidential election.

I’m going to hop right in. I was interested in the use of executive orders by the president. I think most people are more engaged than they have been in the past. I know I’ve been more engaged over the last couple of elections than I have been in the past. You see this use of the executive order and I’m thinking to my head, I took AP Gov in high school. I’m thinking of three branches of government, checks and balances, things like Schoolhouse Rock, How a Bill Becomes a Law. I don’t think we covered executive orders. I’d love to learn a bit more about executive orders, the function of executive orders, and how they play a role for presidents and this presidency in particular.

You know a lot more than most Americans. On the first day of my classes, I always ask my students if they’ve read the Constitution. I’ve been teaching for many years. I teach incredibly smart people. I’ve taught at two top 50 universities. I’m shocked by the number of American-born citizens who have not read the Constitution and who know less about the Constitution than students in my classes who are foreign-born, so great job. That’s a hallmark for everyone reading. That’s something that we can all do. Before I came on with you, I re-read the Constitution myself. It will take you an hour tops if you’re unfamiliar with the document. To answer your question, where do executive orders come from? We have to look into the Constitution to answer that question. How our federal government system is organized is laid out in the Constitution.

We have three branches of government. The legislative branch, which is Congress and the Senate. The executive branch, which is the President. We have the judicial branch, which is our Supreme Court. What we’re talking about now falls under the executive branch, the President, which is outlined in Article II of the Constitution. If you look at the text of Article II of the Constitution, it gives the president broad powers. There’s this line in Article II that tells the president he or maybe someday she has the executive power. To get more deeply to your question, what we’re dealing with under our administration is what does that power entail? What is this executive power? There’s nothing in the Constitution that specifically tells the president that he can carry out executive orders. It might be good at this point to tell the readers what an executive order is and how presidents have utilized it.

Break it down for us. In the brief research that I did looking at the number of executive orders issued by presidents in the last few terms, there’s been an increase in executive orders. I know that this administration is on pace to have the largest number of executive orders than the last few presidencies. I’ll let you define exactly what an executive order is.

JFM 14 | The Constitution

The Constitution: Executive orders are not new, but something that has increased over in recent history is presidents using executive orders to create their own legislation.


Let’s start with this. All but one president has issued executive orders. George Washington issued an executive order. The Emancipation Proclamation, which I hope most of us think was an important thing, was an executive order that was issued by Abraham Lincoln. Executive orders are not something that are new to use by presidents, but to your point, how they’ve been utilized have shifted over time. What is an executive order? We have three branches of the federal government, the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. The creation of these branches of government is carved out in the United States Constitution. Article I of the Constitution creates the House of Representatives, which we call Congress and the Senate. It also tells the House of Representatives and the Senate what they do. It tells them to legislate. They pass the laws.

Article II creates the executive branch, which is made up of the President and the Vice President. It tells the them what they do. In Article II, there’s that broad term that they have an executive function. Presidents beginning with President George Washington have taken the language of the Constitution to assume that they have the power to carry out the laws that Congress passes. Historically, they’ve done that narrowly. Congress passes laws. The laws then shift over to the executive branch, where it’s the job of the executive branch to carry out or execute the purpose and intent of those laws. This executive power that’s granted in Article II allows the president to make sure that the purpose of the law is fulfilled. What we’ve seen over American history and what we’re seeing in this administration is different presidents taking different approaches to executive orders. What we have now, this has been something that’s increased over history, is presidents using executive orders to create their own legislation.

That’s certainly what it seems like. I’m thinking, “Are these laws?”

Executive orders are laws. They are filed in the code of the federal register under Section 3. The question is, how does this operate in our constitutional structure that presidents can do this? Presidents can enact executive orders that comply with the different law. If Congress, our legislative branch has passed a law, the president has a responsibility to execute that law. The president can enact executive orders around preexisting laws. The way the executive orders are drafted must comply with the preexisting law, or presidents can enact executive orders to overturn the executive order of a past president. When Donald Trump took office in early 2017, there was a flurry of executive order activity by him. A lot of which was turning over past executive orders most drafted by President Obama. I don’t know if that helps at all. I don’t know if it’s the good point to stop him.

That’s helpful. One, I did not know that executive orders were laws. That’s good to know. My first reaction is, why and how is that possible? The second thing that I picked up on is the president can pick and choose how they enforce the laws passed by Congress. It does give them an incredible amount of influence and power when it comes to meeting their campaign promises or whatever they ran on. I’m curious to understand, with the way that executive orders are being used by the Trump administration, in your opinion, how will this impact the future power of the presidency in terms of democracy, and the checks and balances in our government? We’re at a crossroads as a country with the way things are being implemented. Donald Trump isn’t the only president to use executive orders, but I’m curious. They seem a little different than they have in the past.

A question that the United States is going to have to reckon with in the next decade is, 'Is it time to amend the constitution?' Click To Tweet

It depends on who you ask if things seem different, but there are a few questions wound up into your questions. Let’s start maybe with what’s been going on with executive orders for the last twenty years. All but one president has utilized executive orders. They have been used as a tool by presidents for a myriad of reasons. We see presidents utilize executive orders more around wartime. Whenever we’re having conversations like this, we always need to go back to the Constitution. The Constitution is going to be your North Star in understanding who can do what in these situations. In the Constitution, the framers gave the right to go to war to Congress. If we are going to declare war, per the Constitution, that declaration needs to come from Congress, but there have been warlike matters that have been issued by the president through executive orders.

We’ve seen this utilized by both Democratic and Republican. You see George W. Bush following 9/11, utilizing executive orders to expand the scope of the presidency. He used executive orders to essentially torture detainees in Guantanamo Bay in an attempt to elicit information from them that our government could utilize to go find the perpetrators of 9/11. Executive orders were used to allow torture. The Bush administration wrote executive orders to surveil. They use executive orders to place wiretaps on Americans’ phones. Arguably, that violated the Fourth Amendment. Did the president have the authority to do that? That was taken out by our Supreme Court.

President Clinton utilized executive orders for the Kosovo attacks. President Obama utilized executive orders for attacks on Libya and ISIS. We see a range of types of activities where presidents are utilizing this broad and uncertain authority granted to them under Article II of the Constitution. If you look at that language, it’s not clear for what type of activities the president can utilize this executive power. We’ve seen it utilized in areas of national security and also in economic concerns. During the Great Depression, FDR wrote an executive order mandating Americans to turn in their gold.

Looking back, during World War II, there were thousands of executive orders issued.

I want to get to the middle part of your question where you’re scratching your head and you’re like, “How is this allowed under the Constitution?” You answered your question in asking the question. You said, “I thought we had three branches of government. I thought we had checks and balances.” In my opinion, the usurping or the growth of presidential power is the result of the Supreme Court, and how the Supreme Court is interpreting the Constitution. Many of the cases I discussed have been taken up by the Supreme Court. Let’s jump forward to this administration. One of the most notable executive orders from President Trump came early in his presidency and it was the order banning entry into the United States by people from seven countries. Five of those seven countries have predominantly Muslim populations.

This came on the campaign trail after President Trump made inflammatory statements against people of the Muslim faith. In enacting this executive order, it continued the same language and rhetoric. A number of states including the State of Hawaii sued the Trump administration seeking to prohibit the execution of this executive order, seeking to prohibit the ban on people from these seven countries. This case went all the way to the Supreme Court and at the time Justice Ginsburg was still living. We had a split court in terms of liberal and conservative ideologies, but the court ruled in favor of upholding the ban. There are different standards that the Supreme Court applies to determine if an executive order is a law or to determine if a law is constitutional.

JFM 14 | The Constitution

The Constitution: There are some things in the constitution that we may have outgrown. A good example is the electoral college.


In that case, which is called Hawaii versus Trump, the Supreme Court led by Justice Roberts took a unique approach where they applied something called the rational basis standard. There are three standards the court could have chosen to apply, the rational basis standard, the intermediate scrutiny standard, and the strict scrutiny standard. Of the three, if the ban was going to be upheld, the rational basis standard would present the greatest likelihood for the ban being upheld. If the ban was going to be overturned, the strict scrutiny standard presented the greatest opportunity for the ban to be overturned. What you see is the liberal and conservative justices taking differentiating viewpoints of which of these standards should apply. Justice Roberts and the majority of the court said, “We’re going to apply the rational basis standard because this isn’t a matter of the First Amendment.”

The First Amendment to the Constitution allows Americans the free exercise of religion, and it prevents the establishment of a religion or the discrimination against a religion. Liberal justices were saying, “This is a First Amendment issue. By banning people from these predominantly Muslim countries entry into the United States, we are violating people’s free exercise of religion.” The conservative justices said, “This isn’t a First Amendment issue. This is an issue under immigration law. Because it’s an issue under an immigration law, we’re going to apply the standard called rational basis.” When that standard is applied, it’s easier for the government to show that it’s behaving appropriately and for the law to be upheld. In my opinion, what’s at the crux of this expansion of presidential power through executive orders over the past decades is the Supreme Court.

You’re talking about the standards that they use to evaluate the cases brought to them as the justices on the Supreme Court. What the language of these executive orders and how they’re written, I would imagine that, “We’re not banning Muslims. We’re banning citizens of these countries.” There are different languages that you use to gain that quarter of favorability when it comes to courts judging in your favor. How much does that play a role when they’re writing the executive orders in order for them to be upheld? I feel like they get creative and clever in the language that they use. It’s almost coded. I’m not a politician, Political Science major, political expert or a lawyer, but it became apparent that there are some politics going on.

What role does it play? The language and how the order is drafted is the whole role. If the order gets challenged, that is what the court is going to look at to decipher whether or not it’s constitutional. Many of us follow the news. We see the president signing the executive order. We hear the chatter on all sides. I don’t care if it’s President Trump or President Obama or pick your favorite president. It’s not like this person is sitting in an office by himself like, “Let’s fire off some orders. I’m going to go in here.” He’s advised by some of the most well-trained and well-educated lawyers, not just in the country but in the world. These lawyers are looking at the campaign promises and platform that this person ran on. They’re working to manipulate the law as it presently exists to achieve that platform.

To your point, how these orders are written is careful and crafty because they are trying to position the order under certain types of legal analysis, and to avoid other types of legal analysis. Whoever drafted the ban on US entry from those seven countries, they knew what the legal standards were. They knew, “We do not want to be analyzed under the strict scrutiny standard. We’re stuck if we are analyzed under that. We want to be analyzed under the rational basis standard. We’re going to write this to give us a better chance of accomplishing that.” Here’s the thing though, the Supreme Court has a lot of power in how they interpret this. We saw a number of justices in that case, most notably Justice Sotomayor and Justice Ginsburg. They say, “We’re reading through this. You’re saying you’re doing this, but we’re going to read between the lines. You’re discriminating against people because of their religion.” I put a lot of responsibility on the court for that.

The Constitution is an imperfect but incredible document. Our forefathers’ foresight has allowed our nation to become what it is today. Click To Tweet

I feel like we’ve discussed a lot of what the executive orders mean, what is an executive order and what are the implications. Since we’re talking about the Supreme Court, we have a new justice that’s been nominated by Trump. There’s a lot of conflict on whether or not they’re going to force this justice through, whether or not it’s going to be approved, but it speaks to the importance of the election. What it means when you vote in the election for whatever ideology you follow or believe in. I’d love to talk about the election. Maybe we can go over or discuss it. We had the debate. I didn’t watch it live. I listened to the first fifteen minutes and I had to turn it off. It was tough to listen to. I could speak personally for myself. I know who I’m voting for. It’s not even who I’m voting for. It’s what I’m voting for, in my particular beliefs and who is going to bring us closer to equality and uniting our country.

When you have a presidential candidate or a termed president who was unable to denounce white supremacy, that doesn’t bode well in my favor in my personal experience, when it comes to people like me gaining equality and opportunity in the United States. I also have noticed during Bush versus Gore where the popular vote did not align with the electoral college vote. The same thing happened in the previous election with Trump and Hillary Clinton. I’d love to discuss the electoral college and any implications and impact on the election as well. Maybe if you could explain what the electoral college is and we can start from there.

Before that, this is a call to vote. If you don’t like what our country is experiencing, did you vote last time? Who did you vote for? Did you vote for a third-party candidate? Did you not vote for president? In the debate, President Trump, when asked about nominating a Supreme Court Justice with 46 days to go at the time before the election. When Justice Scalia died, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland nine months before the election, and the Republicans did not allow that to happen. In answering why he’s doing what he’s doing right now, President Trump nailed it on the head. In the second sentence of the debate, President Trump said, “Elections have consequences.” That could not be more true in this election. I don’t know if you’re going to be voting for Supreme Court Justice because the justices are increasingly becoming younger.

I don’t know if that’s at stake in the next four years, but you are voting on things like racial equality, women’s rights, climate change, and America’s place in the world. I encourage you, if you have friends across the globe, give them a call, FaceTime or text them, and ask them what they think about America’s place in the world. One thing that has allowed the president’s power to grow, which we see with the growing utilization of executive orders is America’s place in the world. When America was coming out of the Great Depression and coming out of World War II, it wasn’t the biggest power in the world. It used its dominance in World War II and its position in the Cold War to become the country that it is now. Because of that, arguably our president has needed more power to maintain that power in the world.

Ten years from now, are we still the greatest nation in the world? Are we still the most powerful country in the world? I’m 36 years old and this is the first time in my life where I don’t know if that will still be true. I’m not a mother now. I know I’m going to become a mother in the next several years. What kind of world am I bringing my children into? Elections have consequences. Our own president said it, and regardless of who you’re voting for, you need to vote. I’m a woman and you’re a black man. When this Constitution was ratified, neither of us had the right to vote. People who are like me only got the right to vote 100 years ago. If we aren’t utilizing this power, shame on us. People fought and died. Shame on you if you do not vote in this election. There’s no excuse.

Related to the electoral college, there have been 5 or 6 elections where the popular vote winner, the person who got the most American votes, did not become president. In the last years, we’ve had two. The 2000 election, Al Gore versus George W. Bush, though it’s George W. Bush’s first term, and the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump. Both of those elections saw the democratic candidate earning more popular votes, but not taking office because of the electoral college. What is the electoral college? I tell my students when I teach legal classes that in legal classes, the answer is usually, “It depends.” For this little lecture we’re doing, the answer is always the Constitution. Where did the electoral college come from? The Constitution. The way the electoral college works is when we cast our ballots on November 3rd, it’s not you and I who are electing the president.

JFM 14 | The Constitution

The Constitution: We are more united that the media would have us believe. Each of us has a role in bringing everyone together as a country.


We are directing our state to instruct the electors that have been picked by the leaders of our state on who they should cast their votes for. Every state has a number of electors. The number of electors is equal to the number of senators. Every state has two senators, the number of senators and congress people that state has. California has the most electors because we are the most populous state in the nation. Each state gets to set its own rules for how its electors cast their votes. There are 538 electoral votes because Washington, DC gets three. My dad’s an American-Samoa. Why doesn’t American-Samoa get any electoral votes? Why doesn’t Puerto Rico get any electoral votes? That’s another question for another day, but there are 538 electoral votes. To win the presidency, you need 270.

You can start seeing how this math can play out, where if the majority of people in California vote for Joe Biden but if President Trump amasses more of the smaller States and adds up more electoral votes, he could hypothetically lose the popular vote, but secure the electoral vote. Under our Constitution, it’s the electoral vote that matters. A question that the United States is going to have to reckon with in the next decade is, is it time to amend the Constitution? There are some things in the Constitution that maybe we’ve outgrown. Do we need the electoral college anymore? You’re going to see a massive political battle if you’re going to try to amend the Constitution to eradicate the electoral college. It’s an interesting question.

That’s a nice brief breakdown of the electoral college. Some research that I’ve found was that it was essentially a compromise between the Northern states and the Southern states when it came to slaves being counted and represented in the electoral college for the purpose of influence in the Southern states. You have Virginia at the time the Constitution is being ratified had a quarter of the electoral college based on population, but it was 40% slaves in terms of their population. It’s based on the 3/5 compromise that allowed them to gain that influence. Most people would know that slaves didn’t have the right to vote. Who was voting on their behalf?

When you consider the times when the Constitution was written, amendments exist for a reason. We’ve grown and changed so much as a country. It only makes sense that we should be critical of some of the documents from our founding and making the appropriate changes. You had a sports law background. You’ve written for The Athletic. You wanted to talk about athletes, activism, and how more athletes seem to be trending towards getting involved when it comes to politics. You have More Than a Vote with LeBron James among a myriad of other organizations being started by athletes.

I also teach marketing and there’s a term called Marketing Myopia. Myopia is a lack of foresight. It would be an interesting question for all of your readers to ask themselves, “Is the Constitution myopic?” I love the Constitution. It’s an imperfect document because out of its ratification, it did not see me a woman as a human. It saw you as 3/5 of a human and property. Beyond its imperfections, it is an incredible document. The foresight that our founding fathers had to see the necessity for a post office, and the necessity for a central entity to manage fiscal policy and money. The foresight of our founding fathers to protect copyrights and patents to encourage Americans to create and to innovate is what has allowed our nation in part to become what it is today.

Most Americans love our country. A lot of us realize that our country could be better and there are changes that could be made to improve it. By and large, most every American says, “There are some good things that are going on here. Maybe if we make some tweaks, we could be even better.” I want you all to read the Constitution and ask yourselves, in this technological world we’re living in, in a country where age demographics are shifting, we have a rising Generation Z, in an age where race demographics are shifting, is this still the best document for our country or are there some modifications that need to be made? We’re in an interesting period of history. There’s a lot of tension in our country.

There is a book called 1968. The time period that we entered around 2015, 2016 largely resembles the 1960s and the Civil Rights movement. There’s going to be a lot of positive change that comes out of this period in history for all people. We are going to go through some pains. The America that we’re living in in 2020 isn’t the America that our founding fathers were governing around. We have to decide what does a more perfect union looks like in 2020 and how do we legislate around that. I’ve been in the sports industry for many years. I’ve been a sports writer. I’ve written for many different publications. I’ve covered the Super Bowl. I was in the locker room with the Miami Heat for four years, two of which LeBron James was there. I’ve done a lot of things in the sports industry.

I have never seen athletes recognize their collective power like I have in the past months, particularly since COVID rose. There was a period in history where athletes were expected to go ball. You run the ball down the field, you dribble the ball down the court, that’s all you do. Athletes are realizing the fallacy in that. They’re realizing that that’s a lie, that they have a microphone, thanks to their athleticism and because of social media, where people care what they have to say. In the ‘90s, Charles Barkley was one of the most visible sports figures. He had an endorsement deal with Nike where he aired a commercial saying, “I am not a role model.” Athletes were expected to stand down, step back and don’t do anything. They’re not believing that lie anymore and they’re realizing they have a voice.

If you want to lead a movement and lead the charge, start by reading the Constitution. Click To Tweet

This is critical because if you look at who professional athletes are in our three biggest leagues, the NBA, the NFL, and the Major League Baseball, who are those people? Predominantly, they’re black men and historically, this group of citizens has been told, “Sit down and shut up. We don’t want to hear you. Stay quiet. Do not get involved.” Now, they’re like, “I am going to get involved. I have thoughts. I have ideas. I’m well-read and I’m going to start speaking up.” This is a powerful moment in American history where no longer you have one person or you have Tommie Smith and John Carlos standing on the podium and everyone else got to stay quiet. You see a collection of men and women getting involved in the process. It’s going to be a tough period for a while. There is some polarity in our country but as a majority, we are more united than the media would let us believe. Athletes can play an important role in encouraging the average American to become informed, but also in bringing us back together as a country, which most of us want.

Some people might argue that we’re in a civil war of sorts. Speaking as an athlete, there’s a number of factors. You touched on a couple of them. One, being technology and the access that we have to eyes and ears, and the amount of influence and resources athletes have gained over the last couple of decades in terms of dollars and cents. These contracts are huge. You don’t have to focus and worry about your job when you’re set for life for generations. There’s also the reality that life is bigger than sports. If you look at your life, the period of time that you’re an athlete is much smaller than the rest of your life afterward.

In recognizing those facts, I think that there’s more to life than sports. You have the access and the ability to make a difference. Professional athletes in the majority are people of color, in the three big leagues. People are being sick and tired of the cliché. They realize that they have the power to be that change. They’re doing it and we’re seeing it. I’m excited about where things are headed and with everyone who is mobilizing in fighting for what they believe in. Regardless of what you believe in, political activity and being engaged and involved is going to take this country to a better place. We’ll all be better off for it.

I see this as a great awakening. In my opinion, everything needs to come back to the Constitution. If you want to lead a movement, if you want to lead the charge, one of the best things you can do is read that document. If you don’t understand it, watch things like this, reach out to lawyers, send some professors some emails, read some books. Think about being a football player. You’re going to battle every Sunday. The casual fan thinks you just show up and you play the three-hour game. There’s a battle plan, there’s a strategy plan. If you want to change society, you need a game plan. If you’re trying to change the government, you better know how the Constitution works. That’s your homework. If you’re going to march in the streets, if you’re going to protest, if you are going to cry out for change, we need to understand what we’re trying to change. A lot of it boils down to the law, and our supreme body of law in the US is the Constitution. That’s your North Star.

Alicia, this has been the most knowledge packed conversation that I’ve had since I’ve started Making America in terms of facts and perspectives. I appreciate your input and your bringing your expertise to the conversation. When you’re spitting hard facts, the perspective is important. If you want to make a change, you have to understand how to do that and understanding the bodies that allow you to do that. That North Star that you said was the Constitution. That informs all the laws that we have. It’s what makes change possible. It’s the founding document of our country. I don’t have any other questions. Alicia, I don’t want to hold you up. I appreciate you coming on. Everyone, Alicia Jessop, Pepperdine University professor, Founder of The Prospering, sportswriter and all around badass. Thank you so much, Alicia.

Important Links:

About Alicia Jessop

JFM 14 | The ConstitutionAlicia Jessop is a sports industry professional whose background in business and law allow her to solve complex problems. With a law degree from Chapman University School of Law, cum laude, with an emphasis on entertainment law and a bachelor’s of science from the Colorado School of Mines in economics, Alicia’s educational background provided her with the tools necessary to analyze some of the most pressing issues facing the sports industry.

This background has allowed Alicia to become a sports contributor to national media outlets including, The Athletic, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Huffington Post, CNBC and Sports Illustrated after launching the widely read sports industry website, Through covering sports on a national level, Alicia received opportunities to visit and speak with students at universities across the country. Through these opportunities, Alicia realized that her passion was teaching others about sport, business and the law. In August 2013, Alicia became a full-time professor at the University of Miami, teaching Legal Aspects of Sport and Sport Governance. Today, Alicia is a tenure-track Associate Professor at Pepperdine University, where she teaches Sports Law, Sports Marketing, and Sport Leadership and is an Academic Director of Pepperdine University’s Institute for Entertainment, Media, Sports and Culture. Alicia has and continues to consult with a number of leagues, players associations, sport industry businesses and athletes on legal, marketing and communication matters, including the NBPA, Alliance of American Football and Pacesetter Technology. Presently, Alicia is an Advisory Board member of Openly, a tech company focused on providing transparency in the sports industry hiring process.

In consulting and academia, Alicia’s research focuses on personal development, career transition and employee and consumer protection. She is presently engaged in funded research with Women In Film on the drivers and inhibitors of funding in the screen industries. Alicia is an attorney licensed to practice law in California and Colorado. She is the President-Elect of the Sport and Recreation Law Association and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal for Legal Aspects for Sport and Journal of Sport Innovation. Alicia gives back to the community by serving as a member of the executive board of NFL player, Melvin Gordon’s nonprofit, volunteers with the American Red Cross and Junior League of Los Angeles and travels to Haiti frequently where she advocates for orphans through the KORE Foundation.

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