Name: Keava Soil
Title: Coordinator of Recruiting
Year Hired: 2017
Claim to Fame: Scholar of the Law
A law degree is not required to work in LSU football operations.
In Keava Soil’s case, though, it comes in handy.
Soil is the resident J.D. in the department and the most recent full-time addition to the staff. She worked for Sharon Lewis as a student worker before going to law school, and in her 3L year, just before graduation, she sought out Lewis for employment advice.
“She randomly popped up and said, ‘Actually, I have an intern position here, if you want to stay in sports and see how that goes,’” Soil recalls.
With nothing else lined up, Soil jumped at the opportunity: a two-year, full-time internship assisting Lewis as recruiting coordinator.
“It was supposed to be a two-year internship,” Soil says. “I worked really hard, did a good job, and she ended up creating a position for me as coordinator of recruiting.”
Lewis knows it’s wise to keep a good lawyer around. Soil’s plans upon entering law school were to either get into sports law – working in the Saints’ legal department had been a dream job of hers, she says – or into compliance. Lewis saw Soil’s nose for interpretations of complex or vague NCAA, SEC, and in-house regulations as a worthwhile skill set to retain.
Football operations always defers to LSU’s compliance office, of course, but everything they do – from mail outs to official visits – has a compliance aspect, and Soil’s legal background becomes valuable when clarification is required.
“Some [regulations] are extremely vague,” she says. “You can interpret it so many ways, which makes it difficult, but it’s also fun, because I like to see how others interpret it.”
There is plenty of work unrelated to the law, of course. Coordinating visits, streamlining events, and game days that extend well into the early hours of Sunday morning. Her job became officially full-time this spring, she says.
She wouldn’t admit it, but the key to sticking around was becoming indispensible to The Boss Lady. The same traits required to get through law school – dedication, intelligence, and discernment – became vital to Lewis, and Lewis’ mentorship, Soil says, has been vital to her.
“She’s a great mentor,” Soil says. “She runs everything. She’s awesome to look up to, and she’s given me an awesome opportunity.”