Unprecedented Legal Competition to be Held at Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University
Moot court competitions have long been a staple of law school for students who seek firsthand experience in the courtroom. But law students who want to test their skills in structuring and negotiating transactions have never had a comparable opportunity – until now. The Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University will hold its First Annual Transactional Lawyering Meet on March 4-5, 2010.
The meet was designed by Professor Karl Okamoto, who directs the Business and Entrepreneurship Law Program at the Earle Mack School of Law, and a Student Executive Board of third-year law students. Under Okamoto’s leadership, the program has taken a path-breaking approach to the teaching of transactional law. Students have multiple opportunities to practice their negotiation and presentation skills through simulations “judged” by some of the nation’s most accomplished transactional lawyers.
The competition will measure students’ mastery of the skills involved in structuring and negotiating everything from mega-mergers to financing a multi-unit rental property.
The inaugural meet will bring teams from 11 law schools around the country to participate in two days of rounds. Teams from Brigham Young University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Emory University, University of Georgia, the University of Indiana-Bloomington, New York Law School, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Washington & Lee University will join Drexel in the competition.
In each round, teams representing buyers and sellers will be asked to structure and negotiate a letter of intent for the sale of a business. Their performance will be judged by senior deal lawyers from major firms: Henry Nassau of Dechert LLP; Douglas Raymond of Drinker, Biddle & Reath; Ralph Mauro, Thomas Speranza and Rosemary Ford of Kleinbard Bell & Brecker; Jeffrey Bodle of Morgan Lewis & Bockius; John Devine, Mark Flanagan, Lisa Jacobs and Matthew Pilcher of Pepper Hamilton, Thomas Kennedy of Versa Capital and John Pauciulo of White & Williams.
“What is challenging in designing an event like this is that ‘winning’ means something very different than in a litigation context. In this setting, both teams can ‘win,’” Okamoto said. “Indeed, it is probably more likely that one team’s score will only improve if the other also does well since the goal of any business negotiation is to find the ‘win, win’ solution.”
The meet will conclude with a panel discussion during which teams of senior deal lawyers will demonstrate how they would have approached the challenge.
“This was the approach we took in our deals class – try yourself and then watch an expert demonstrate,” Student Executive Board member Helen Park said. “The contrast gives students a real glimpse of what it means to be an expert.”
In conjunction with the meet, the Business & Entrepreneurship Law Program will host a conference that will explore new approaches to educating transactional lawyers. Participants will include a select group of faculty from law schools around the country, senior practitioners and others involved in educating the next generation of deal lawyers.
More information on the meet can be found at: http://www.drexel.edu/law/transactional-lawyering-competition.asp
More information on the Business & Entrepreneurship Law Program at the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University can be found at: http://www.drexel.edu/law/entrepreneurship-overview.asp
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Noah Cohen, Office of University Relations
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