Jill Pilgrim’s distinguished career includes decades of experience working in the legal, sports business and corporate environments, as an attorney, strategic business consultant, international consultant, arbitrator, entrepreneur, law professor, speaker, and published legal author. Ms. Pilgrim is principal owner of Pilgrim & Associates law firm. Ms. Pilgrim has built a national reputation as a prominent business, sports and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) lawyer and advisor.
Pilgrim’s career spans a diverse array of work environments; big law, in-house counsel, solo private law practice and higher education. She served as general counsel of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), and as general counsel and director of business affairs for USATF, the Olympic governing body for the sport of track & field.
Ms. Pilgrim is an independent hearing officer for the New York State Gaming Commission and an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association for commercial and domestic Olympic and sports disputes. She also served on the Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Committee on Infractions. Outside of the sports industry, Ms. Pilgrim is a long-serving securities industry arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (formerly, the National Association of Securities Dealers). She also conducts pro bono arbitration and mediation on attorney-client fee disputes for the New York County Lawyers’ Joint Committee on Fee Disputes and Conciliation.
Pilgrim was appointed to the prestigious Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, in January 2019. She is also the founder and president of the Center for the Protection of Athletes’ Rights, Inc. (CPAR), a nonprofit advocacy, education and legal service provider for low income members of the U.S. athletic community. Pilgrim is co-chair of Sports Committee of the New York State Bar Association's Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section. She is also co-chair of the Sports & Entertainment Section of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.
Ms. Pilgrim was Marquette University School of Law’s National Sports Law Institute 2018 Joseph E. O'Neill Award Recipient, for making a significant contribution to the sports industry while exemplifying the highest ethical standards (October 2018). She was also recognized by the Columbia University Black Law Students Association as a Paul Robeson Distinguished Alumni Honoree (February 2018). In 2005, Ms. Pilgrim received the Larry Ellis Track & Field Distinguished Alumni Award from Princeton University’s Friends of Princeton Track alumni association.