First year University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law student Colin Cloherty knows the courtroom can sometimes be a rough and tumble atmosphere. He’s used to getting knocked around.
For four seasons, Cloherty was a tight end for NFL teams such as the Jaguars, 49ers, Colts, Browns, and Falcons. He scored his first NFL touchdown in 2011.
“I really didn’t have a master plan for law school,” admits Cloherty, who graduated from Brown University as a history and political science major. “Football was all I thought about.”
During the 2011 NFL lockout, Cloherty – whose teammates nicknamed him “Ivy” – says he was probably one of the few players to wade through the voluminous information provided by the NFL Players Union.
“I was interested,” says Cloherty, who took a constitutional law class in high school and completed a summer internship at the Washington D.C. law firm of Wiley Rein LLP.
Even with his exposure to law, Cloherty didn’t want to let his fellow players know that he was considering law school.
“I didn’t want to advertise that I had a back-up plan,” he adds. “A lot of people in the NFL aren’t supportive of law school.”
After being cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012, Cloherty decided to apply to law school. He took the LSATs and was accepted at the UM Carey School of Law.
On Aug. 24, Cloherty played his final minutes in the NFL as a member of the Atlanta Falcons. After being released by the team, he took off his football gear, packed his car, and drove to his parent’s Bethesda home in time to start classes in the morning.
“A lot of people ask me if I’m going to be an agent,” jokes Cloherty, who says he isn’t a Jerry Maquire “show me the money” type. “I’m interested in contract law and labor relations,” he says.
And yes, he still works out every day.