Harvard University, JD 1970
Professor Abrams restired from the Northeastern Law faculty in 2018. He is a prolific author and leading authority on sports and labor law and legal education. He has served as a salary arbitrator for Major League Baseball and as a permanent arbitrator for the television, communications, electronics and coal industries, for the US Customs Service, Internal Revenue Service, Walt Disney World, the State of Florida and Lockheed-Martin Company.
Professor Abrams has published seven books on the business and history of sports: Legal Bases: Baseball and the Law (1998), The Money Pitch: Baseball Free Agency and Salary Arbitration (2000), The First World Series and the Baseball Fanatics of 1903 (2003), The Dark Side of the Diamond: Gambling, Violence, Drugs and Alcoholism in the National Pastime (2008), Sports Justice (2010) and Playing Tough: The World of Politics and Sports (2013). In addition, Professor Abrams is co-author of the leading sports law casebook, Sports and the Law, Text, Cases and Problems, published by West Publishing Company. In 2013, Bloomberg/BNA published his book on alternative dispute resolution, Inside Arbitration: Deciding a Labor and Employment Dispute. Professor Abrams’ most recent book is an experiential course book on the practice of labor arbitration published by Carolina Academic Press (2016) and Bloomberg/BNA will publish his next text on labor law for sports lawyers. In 2015, he was appointed to the New York Journal of Books (NYJB) Panel of Reviewers.
Professor Abrams is a former dean of the School of Law: he was appointed to lead in July 1999 and stepped down in 2002. He also served as dean of both Rutgers University’s law school in Newark, New Jersey, and Nova University Shepard Broad Law Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before coming to Northeastern. He began his academic career on the faculty of Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio, where he became the youngest tenured full professor in the history of that university. After graduating from Harvard Law School cum laude in 1970, he clerked for Judge Frank M. Coffin of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, and then practiced with the Boston firm of Foley, Hoag & Eliot in the areas of labor law and civil rights litigation. Professor Abrams is an elected member of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Foundation, the National Academy of Arbitrators and the Massachusetts Historical Society. In 2016, Professor Abrams was appointed as a neutral arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Located in Lausanne, Switzerland, CAS is the highest court of the international sports movement and hears disputes involving the eligibility of athletes to participate in the Olympics and various World Cups.