Founded in 1989, the National Sports Law Institute (NSLI) is affiliated with Marquette’s Sports Law program. Its mission is to be the leading national educational and research institute for the study of legal, ethical, and business issues affecting amateur and professional sports from both an academic and practical perspective. It provides educational opportunities for law students as well as current and future leaders in the sports industry. The NSLI provides a national forum for discussion and consideration of American and international sports issues and encourages input by persons and organizations with a wide range of viewpoints. The NSLI seeks to promote a legal environment in which sports at all levels of competition will flourish. In an effort to achieve these goals, the NSLI sponsors high quality national conferences and symposia and disseminates knowledge through publication of thoughtful scholarship in the Marquette Sports Law Review. It also serves as a resource for the media and public. As a part of Marquette University, a Catholic Jesuit university, the NSLI is committed to searching for truth, discovering and sharing knowledge, fostering professional excellence, developing leaders, and serving those in the sports industry. Although the NSLI does not espouse any particular ideological viewpoint, it does seek to promote ethical and moral practices within the sports industry as a means of furthering Marquette University’s mission.
The Institute is also affiliated with the Marquette University Law School Sports Law program, which provides the nation's most comprehensive offering of sports law courses and student internships with local sports organizations as well as opportunities to become members of the Marquette Sports Law Review and National Sports Law Moot Court team. With the assistance of the Directors of the Institute, the Sports Law Program is designed to provide Marquette University Law School students with both a theoretical and practical education covering the legal regulation of amateur and professional sports industries, thereby enhancing their attractiveness to sports industry employers. Students who meet certain requirements before graduating from Marquette University Law School are also eligible to receive a Sports Law Certificate from the National Sports Law Institute.