View from the Corner Office, with five headshots of featured alumni smiling at the camera
Shawna Benfield L’09 (top middle), Richard M. “Rich” Jones ’92, G’95, L’95 (top right), Stephanie Jacqueney, G’82, L’82 (bottom left), Joe Di Scipio L’95 (bottom middle), Peter Carmen L’91 (bottom right)

View from the Corner Office: Entertainment & Sports Law

In our fifth View from the Corner Office feature, we are looking at leaders in the field of entertainment and sports law. This field, which is growing in popularity among current students, ranges from representing individual entities such as sports teams and entertainment venues to securing broadcast rights and programming, and beyond. We spoke with five Law alumni spread across different aspects of sports and entertainment law to hear about their unique careers and how their law degrees set them up for success in an ever-changing industry.

Legal Acumen that Empowers Creative Minds

Shawna Benfield L’09 was drawn to the entertainment industry early on—but always worked behind the scenes. “I was way too shy and utterly lacking in talent,” she laughs, “But I loved seeing how things were created.” She was the first non-musical theater major to take a course in the history of musical theatre at the University of Miami, where she majored in sports administration. So it was probably inevitable that she would end up in entertainment law, but it was not a straight career path out of law school.

Read Shawna's Story

A Principled Approach to Law and Business

Like most kids his age growing up in Syracuse in the 70s, Peter Carmen L’91 didn’t reflect on Indigenous lands or tribal sovereignty. It wasn’t part of the public consciousness then. That makes the story of how he became one of this nation’s leading advocates for tribal sovereignty and a driving force behind the success of Turning Stone Enterprises, LLC all the more intriguing.

More About Peter

Earning Trust in Fast-Changing Media Regulatory Environment

When Joe Di Scipio L’95 was in law school, he wasn’t especially interested in mergers and acquisitions. He had his eyes set on politics, perhaps the U.S. Attorney’s office, and thrived on the trial team. Today, Joe is heavily engaged in business negotiations and regulatory compliance in a field that involves a whole lot of politics.

Learn About Joe

Ensuring the Show Goes On

The precision with which 38 Rockettes on stage individually perform 160 eye-high kicks in unison in every show is stunning. While the spotlight usually shines on the performers, the true maestros are the lawyers working behind the scenes, ensuring the show goes on seamlessly. Stephanie Jacqueney, G’82, L’82 spent more than two decades as the Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs for Madison Square Garden. From resolving last-minute copyright disputes to orchestrating daring helicopter exits for Diana Ross during a Super Bowl Halftime show, Stephanie’s journey unveils the untold stories that make the entertainment industry more than just glamour—it’s a symphony of legal intricacies and creative solutions.

More About Stephanie

Creating Entertainment that Serves Communities

Dive into the fast-paced world of entertainment mergers with Rich Jones ’92, G’95, L’95, a force behind many major big dollar deals from Time Inc. to AOL. Now executive vice president, general tax counsel, and chief veteran officer for Paramount Global, Rich has always been driven by a desire to serve others. Rich says he loves having a job where he can practice law at the highest level, driving great value for stakeholders and still serve veterans and entire communities with the kind of entertainment that informs and inspires. It’s “storytelling with a higher purpose.”

Read Rich's Story

niloo stands on basketball court with two reporters around her holding microphones and smiling

Enjoying the Ride: Recent Graduate Achieves Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

From law student to a Wayne & Theresa Embry Fellow with the Toronto Raptors, the story of Niloofar Abedzadeh L’23 reflects how the power of passion combined with experience can lead to career success. Initially unsure about the feasibility of working in the sports arena, Niloo found her way by connecting with the right people and seizing valuable opportunities, like an externship with the Brooklyn Nets. Witness her inspiring journey, where uncertainties evolve into a fulfilling career at the intersection of law and the NBA.

Learn About Niloo

Jdi@5 header with blue background and an orange computer icon with an internet icon inside of it


Just over five years ago, a motivated group of 32 students became the inaugural cohort of JDinteractive (JDi) at a residency in Dineen Hall. 110 students have now graduated from JDi, with 250 currently enrolled in the program. With the fifth year upon us, we caught up with students from the first two cohorts to see how their Syracuse Law degree has impacted their lives and communities.

See JDi Alumni Stories

Making Public Service a Life Calling

When you ask Adam Katz G’04, L’04 why he wanted to be a lawyer, you can feel his exuberance for the very familiar reason many decide to pursue law: to serve the public and do the right thing, every day. His decision to enroll in Syracuse Law not only led him to meet his future wife, but also shaped his professional trajectory. Adam’s story is a testament to the enduring impact of mentorship, a commitment to justice, and the pursuit of a meaningful legal career.

Read About Adam

Adam and Marlana smile at each other in a wedding photo, her in a white dress and him in a tux

Lawyers in Love: Adam Shoshtari L’17 and Marlana (Shaw-Brown) Shoshtari G’17, L’17

Their story began in their 1L year when a mutual friend introduced the two at a Black Law Student Association meeting. From that moment on, they were inseparable—but just friends. They shared weekend getaways to Skaneateles, enjoyed countless dinners with friends, and spent many late nights poring over law books together. With graduation only a few short weeks away, Adam was faced with the very real possibility of losing his best friend. After graduation, he was headed to D.C. and Marlana across the country to Los Angeles. As Adam recounts, “I was falling in love with my best friend and could not imagine life without her.”

Love at Law School

Marshall twirls Gabriella in a dance move in front of the law school building outside

Lawyers in Love: Marshall Reed L’22 and Gabriella Kielbasinski L’22

For Marshall, love-struck during their 1L Fall class election when Gabriella confidently captivated the room with her campaign speech for class president. He remembers a clear-cut moment of realization: “Wow, it’s her! She’s it!” For Gabriella, however, it wasn’t a single defining moment. Instead, it was the good morning texts during their first year of law school, the reassurance during the anxious months of bar prep, and Marshall’s unwavering support during hard times that showed her what true partnership looked like.

Check Out Their Story

three LL.M. students congregate in a hallway, looking at each other and talking.

LL.M. Alumni Are Making an Impact in Central New York

Meet Chiebuka Christiana Okezie LL.M.’ 23 from Nigeria, Beheshta Rasekh from Afghanistan LL.M.’ 23, and Ahmad Raza Riaz LL.M.’ 23 from Pakistan—three recent LL.M. graduates who chose Syracuse as their home to champion justice in immigration law. Working with the Hiscock Legal Aid Society, they navigate the intricacies of the immigration system, bringing relief to clients across 18 counties. Witness the profound impact global perspectives can have on local communities.

See Their Impact

three tables full of people joined together at dinner celebrating their 50th law school anniversary and reunion

A Celebration Half a Century in the Making

Last September during Law Alumni Weekend, nearly 50 members of the College of Law Class of 1973 gathered for the best-attended reunion dinner for any class in recent memory!

More 50th Reunion Photos

Venture to Victory: College of Law Alums Return to Campus for Symposium on Tech, Venture and Private Equity

Five distinguished alumni guests returned to Syracuse to speak on a panel about representing the legal, and financial aspects of bringing a new high-tech company from early-stage funding to exit strategies. The personal experiences of the alumni provided realistic perspectives and lessons learned that were shared with the students.

Uncover More on the Symposium