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While Chris Carr has been working out every day at the Ravens’ voluntary offseason conditioning program this spring, his schedule is far from complete upon leaving team headquarters.
Around noon on weekdays, Carr trades his sweaty workout shirt for a jacket and tie, grabs a quick lunch and heads to downtown Baltimore, where he works towards landing a second job – lawyer.
This year, Carr is interning with the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, gaining valuable experience to set himself up for his post-NFL career.
“Before I came out of school, I wanted to go to Law School, because the NFL is no guarantee,” said the Boise State graduate. “I had everything prepared, my LSAT, my resume, my letters of recommendation, some applications. I thought, ‘If I make a team, that’s great, but if not, I have to be prepared.’”
Carr was nudged towards Hogan & Hartson by Ravens Assistant Director of Player Programs Harry Swayne, O.J. Brigance’s right-hand man in Baltimore’s award-winning player development initiative.
The former political science major knew Law School was in his future, but just wasn’t sure when. He said a constitutional law course at Boise State originally piqued his interest before he began his NFL tenure.
“I would have taken pre-law if Boise had it, but I went poli sci instead,” Carr explained. “I was already thinking about becoming a lawyer, but after that class, I loved it.”
What immediately followed graduation was a successful three-year stint as a returner and nickel back with the Oakland Raiders, and another year with the Tennessee Titans. Carr then joined the Ravens in 2008 and became a critical member of Baltimore’s secondary.
Now that he is in offseason mode, where players have the ability to relax more, Carr is enjoying splitting his time between the office and weight room.
“I’m the type of guy where I want to give my full attention to what I’m doing, so during the season, I have to focus 100 percent on football,” said Carr. “Now, we’ve got some extra time on our hands, so I can focus 100 percent on this internship when I leave the building.
“When my career is done, which I hope is not anytime soon, I want to focus 100 percent on law school.”
Carr has worked with H&H’s corporate division, finance and litigation, assisting mainly on research for various cases.
The long days might seem daunting to some, but to Carr, the mental stimulation is enough to keep him going into the evening on a few occasions.
“The only challenge sometimes is when I have a really hard workout,” he said with a laugh. “If it really got me, and then having to go and sit down in an office, that can be tough. You’re just so tired. But I enjoy doing it. I feel like I’m learning some great things. That keeps it fresh and fun. Some nights, I’m there pretty late, and I definitely don’t mind.”
Every team in the NFL has player development opportunities that help set athletes up for life after football. Some players work towards finishing their undergraduate degrees. Some, like Brendon Ayanbadejo’s pursuit of a master’s degree in business at the University of Baltimore, have an eye towards upper-level education.
This year, however, Carr is getting his education in the real world.
“I think you need to take advantage of these opportunities,” said Carr. “You have time to pick up a hobby, whether that’s an internship or picking up the Rosetta Stone and learning a language.
“Why not get out there and use that time to your advantage?”