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CEO, Champion Women

Advocacy for Girls and Women in Sports

Nancy Hogshead-Makar, J.D.

We endeavor to create the strongest national and local legal teams on behalf of our clients, wherever the matter is located.  Without question, Nancy’s work, personal accomplishments and professional stature are incomparable, which is why she and the firm agreed to affiliate.

Nancy is a life-long advocate for access and equality in athletics. A scholar, an author, public speaker and activist, she has a commitment to empowerment, using sport as a vehicle for social change. Nancy leads Champion Women, a non-profit leading targeted efforts to advocate for equality and accountability in sport. Focus areas include equal play, such as traditional Title IX compliance in athletic departments, sexual harassment, abuse and assault, as well as employment, pregnancy and LGBT discrimination.

Nancyis an internationally recognized legal expert on sports issues. Her book, co-authored with Andrew Zimbalist, Equal Play, Title IX and Social Change, has received acclaim since its release by Temple University Press. She was the lead author of Pregnant and Parenting Student-Athletes; Resources and Model Policies, published by the NCAA, and her book chapter, The Ethics of Title IX and Gender Equity for Coaches, appears in The Ethics of Coaching Sports; Moral, Social and Legal Issues, edited by Robert L. Simon.

Nancy has testified in Congress numerous times on the topic of gender equity in athletics, written numerous scholarly and lay articles, and is a frequent guest on national news programs on the topic, including CNN, ESPN, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC and 60 Minutes and network morning news programming. She serves as an expert witness in Title IX cases and has written amicus briefs representing athletic organizations in precedent-setting litigation.

As a recognized thought-leader, Nancy is a frequent keynote speaker, and regularly contributes to shaping policy for girls and women. In 2015, she was appointed to the NCAA Task Force on Gender Equity. She currently serves on the advisory boards of the Association of Title IX Administrators, the Aspen Institute’s Sport and Society and One Love Foundation. She was on the executive board of the World Olympians Association from 2014-2015. Champion Women is a member of the LGBT Sports Coalition. From 2003 – 2012 she was the Co-Chair of American Bar Association Committee on the Rights of Women. She was elected to the editorial board of the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport. Sports Illustrated Magazine listed her as one of the most influential people in the history of Title IX.

Nancy practiced law at the law firm of Holland & Knight, in both their litigation and public law departments. She was a tenured Professor of Law at the Florida Coastal School of Law, where she taught courses including Torts, Sports Law, and Gender Equity for twelve years. Nancy enjoyed a 30 year history with the Women’s Sports Foundation, starting as a college intern, becoming the third President from 1992-94, its Legal Advisor from 2003-10, and a consultant as the Senior Director of Advocacy until 2014. She earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and is an honors graduate of Duke University.

Nancy has received significant awards recognizing her commitment to girls and women in athletics, including the International Olympic Committee’s Women and Sport Award for the Americas. She has received the Courage Award from the National Organization for Women, the Honor Award from the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators, the Title IX Advocate Award from the Alliance of Women Coaches, the Guiding Women in Sport Award from SHAPE, America, and the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Award. She has been inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame, the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame, the National Consortium for Academics and Sports Hall of Fame, the National Association for Sports and Physical Education Hall of Fame. She has received an honorary doctorate from Springfield College.

Nancy capped eight years as a world class swimmer at the 1984 Olympics, where she won three gold medals and one silver medal. Through high school and college dual meets she was undefeated.  Other major awards include the Nathan Mallison Award, given to Florida’s outstanding athlete, and the prestigious Kiphuth Award, given to the best all-around swimmer nationally. Nancy has been inducted into eleven halls of fame, including the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

She and her husband Scott Makar, a judge on Florida’s First District Court of Appeal, have a son and twin daughters. They are continuously restoring their 1920s Mediterranean home.