Growing up in New Jersey, Matthew Gaeta 2L Evening played baseball, soccer, football, and hockey and dreamed of a career in sports.
At New York University, he played college baseball until an elbow injury put an end to his hopes of playing professionally. But Gaeta was determined to find his niche. At age 20, he took the Major League Baseball Players Association agent certification exam, built a business plan, and founded his own company, Gaeta Sports Management, becoming one of the youngest certified agents in the sport’s history.
Five years later, he is the sole agent of nearly 80 professional baseball players, including some in the Major Leagues. In 2020, Gaeta was named “Sports Agent of the Year” by the website PG Sports and was included in Sports Business Journal’s “New Voices Under 30” Class of 2020.
Now an evening student at NYLS, Gaeta sees his legal studies as a critical differentiator for his clients.
“I always knew that law school would help me separate myself from the competition,” he says. “A J.D. isn’t a requirement to become an agent, but the practical and analytical training I’m receiving at NYLS will further enhance my ability as an agent and greatly benefit my clients.”
He chose NYLS because the School is just blocks from his office in 1 World Trade Center and because he liked its strong sense of community.
“It was clear that you aren’t just a number at NYLS,” he says. “The administration knows who students are, and their interest is genuine and sincere. That was different compared to the larger law schools I was considering.”
During his 1L year, COVID-19 changed the dynamic of both work and school. Now, Gaeta spends his days counseling his players by phone. With a new Major League Baseball collective bargaining agreement in the works, and uncertainty about how the pandemic will affect the new season, it’s a hectic time. One silver lining for Gaeta was the opportunity to watch the 2020 World Series in person last fall, to support his client Nick Anderson, a Relief Pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays who was recently honored by being named to the All-MLB First Team. Gaeta says he won’t forget the surreal feeling of watching the event in a nearly empty stadium due to social distancing protocols.
He stays organized by spending an hour every Sunday blocking out his week, including time for class, study, and work. His father, who he counts as his biggest influence, demonstrated the importance of grit and discipline.
“On weekends after my youth baseball practices and games, my father would bring me to his engineering firm,” Gaeta says. “Watching first-hand how he operated his business and the sacrifices he made for the betterment of our family molded me into the person and professional that I am today. His ‘lead by example’ approach instilled in me a relentless work ethic that I attempt to replicate when serving my clients.”