Managing Attorney, Pilgrim & Associates Arbitration, Law & Mediation LLC
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 founder of Pilgrim & Associates Arbitration, Law & Mediation LLC. She has built a national reputation as a prominent business, sports and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) lawyer and advisor. Ms. Pilgrim’s career spans a diverse array of work environments; big law, in-house counsel, boutique law practice and higher education lecturer.
Ms. Pilgrim’s legal career began as a tax and corporate associate at New York City law firms, including Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Cowan Liebowitz & Latman. In 1990, she established her own private law practice before leaving New York to accept positions as general counsel at sports organizations.
Ms. Pilgrim has a long association with track and field, having excelled in the sport at Princeton University; worked at USA Track & Field, Inc. (USATF) as the general counsel and director of business affairs from 1998 – 2007; and, later in her career, serving as Acting Executive Director & General Counsel of Track & Field Athletes Association, Inc. from 2017–2019.
At USATF, Ms. Pilgrim was responsible for rendering business and legal advice to the organization’s chief executive officer, president, board of directors and staff. She also worked collaboratively with the volunteer membership to overhaul its event bidding and contracting operations and to develop and implement new business policies and practices. As such, she was part of the management team that oversaw, planned, and conducted over 150 national championships and other domestic and international programs and events annually.
Ms. Pilgrim has also been involved in sports dispute resolution, helping advance athlete well-being and sports integrity issues. In this capacity, she was an independent hearing officer for the New York State Gaming Commission and served on the Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association Committee on Infractions. She is currently an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) for domestic Olympic and sports disputes. In 2023, Pilgrim became a Policy Arbitrator for appeals, for the Policy & Program on Substances of Abuse and the Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances, for the NFL Management Council and the NFL Players Association.
As an educator, Ms. Pilgrim teaches sports arbitration at Columbia University Law School. She previously taught “Legal Issues in Sports” for the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies’ Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management Program, and “The Globalization of Sports” and “International & Comparative Sports Law,” as an adjunct professor in the Columbia University School of Professional Studies & Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía (ISDE) Companion Masters in Sports Management & Masters in Global Sports Law Program. Ms. Pilgrim previously developed and taught “The Olympic Games & the Law” course at the University of Miami School of Law.