10 Questions with Aalok Sharma

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1.What is your elevator speech?

The esports, legal sports wagering, and sports tech industry is
full of innovators who push boundaries where there are few laws
and regulations to guide them. I partner with these innovators to
provide legal guidance to help them mitigate risk.

2.What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I have the privilege to partner and work with a forwardthinking
industry that is based on innovation and creativity, and a
dedication to sports. I’m passionate about their businesses, so my
work just doesn’t feel like work.

3.As a sports lawyer and fan, how are you coping with the
cancellations of sporting events due to COVID?

Like so many, my weekends typically revolved around big games.
It’s tough not to have sports in my daily world. I know these
brands and institutions will survive this hiatus. The upside to this
disruption is leagues, teams, and athletes are learning to adapt to
provide their fans with content.

4.You were selected to the Leadership Council on Legal
Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinders program. What does that
involve and how has it impacted your career so far?

In law school, I noticed that many firms in town struggled with
diversity in their ranks. I’m grateful Stinson values diversity and
that I will be one of their LCLD Pathfinder participants this year.
As an attorney of color, there can be barriers to success. LCLD
teaches us skills to deconstruct those hurdles and provides us
with a unique opportunity to connect with other diverse attorneys
to learn together and support one another.

5.You worked as a CPA. Has your accounting background
been useful in your legal practice?

Sports law is intriguing to many, and the reality is that front offices
are businesses with obligations to create new revenue streams and
to increase enterprise value. My training as an attorney and former
CPA enables me to support my clients’ bottom line. I’m able to
provide substantive legal and financial guidance at the same time.
My clients value this insight when making their business decisions.

6.You were a long distance runner for your college track
team. How did your experience as a Division I athlete
influence your career choice?

To fans, it looks like track athletes are competing against each
other. In reality, we are competing against time. Time is a neutral
arbiter and it does not care about your race, age, ethnicity, sexual
orientation, or gender. To achieve your best time, you must be
willing to put in the hard work, day after day. I use this mindset in
life and approach the practice of law in the same manner.

7.What is the most valuable thing you learned from
participating in sports?

I learned that success often equated to the right mixture of hard
work and talent.

8.When you aren’t working, how do you like to spend your
free time?

I still really love to run. My favorite place to run in the Twin Cities is
around the lakes, but I do enjoy my road bike more and more these
days. My favorite bike path takes me over the Smith Avenue bridge
in St. Paul over into Lilydale.

9.What book is currently on your nightstand?
Moneyball by Michael Lewis. It’s a great example of innovation
and using sports data for the first time to improve player
performance. Major League Baseball helped revolutionize sports,
and their approach remains a great example of creative, datadriven
thinking.

10.Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
The future of sports was already changing, and it is going
to accelerate with the ongoing pandemic. The regulatory and
legal world is not equipped to handle this change, and sports
businesses are going to need counsel that is adept, flexible,
and creative. I plan on using my skills and passion to help them
become successful.