Law schools compete in first-ever virtual Jaffe Transactional Law Invitational

Students from Wayne State University Law School, Michigan State University College of Law, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, and University of Kansas School of Law competed in the second annual, and first-ever virtual, Jaffe Transactional Law Invitational on Friday, March 27.

The event was originally planned to take place at the Southfield office of Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, and Weiss, but was moved to an online format due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Representatives from each school were:

• Wayne Law: Jackson Buday, Scott Carter, George Cobane, Brandon Corcoran, Kelsey Postema, and Nicholas Stock
• Michigan State University College of Law: Tariq Akeel and Meg Bauer
• University of Detroit Mercy School of Law: Michael Cappabianca, Alexander Choi, Andre Goyo, and Martin Volz
• University of Kansas School of Law: Denise Dantzler, Shaye Maetzold and Chris Rogers

Winners were:

• Negotiations (seller’s counsel): Brandon Corcoran and Scott Carter of Wayne Law
• Negotiations (buyer’s counsel): Meg Bauer and Tariq Akeel of Michigan State University College of Law

Wayne Law’s team was supervised by Associate Professor Eric Zacks. Third-year students Asma Al-Khshali, Jamila Garmo, Megan Hoberg, and Joseph Zannetti were the chairpersons of the competition and helped organize the event. The competition was supported by the Jaffe Transactional Law Competition Fund, established in 2018 at Wayne State University Law School by Michigan-based law firm Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, and Weiss.

“While we were saddened about the inability to host the invitational at our Jaffe offices due to COVID-19, Professor Zacks, the host committee and the participants did a remarkable job of adjusting to changing circumstances and were able to host the competition virtually without a hitch,” said Justin Hanna, attorney at Jaffe and co-founder of the Jaffe Transactional Law Invitational. “Jaffe is proud to support the growth of aspiring transactional lawyers and the M&A practice of law. The growing Jaffe Transactional Law Invitational provides participants with an opportunity to develop crucial practical skills at a very early stage, giving them a unique advantage for their future careers.”

The Jaffe Transactional Law Invitational helps students develop drafting, negotiation and counseling skills, with teams representing a buyer and seller involved in a complex acquisition. After a semester of drafting and revising, the day of the live negotiations brought the teams together from four different law schools for two rounds of competition. The panel of judges, composed of seven transactional attorneys, offered feedback after each round. The Wayne Law team was comprised of students who won the fall semester’s in-house competition, in which 45 students competed.

Attorneys serving as judges were:

• Thomas Appleman, Miller Canfield
• Brad B. Arbuckle, Miller Canfield
• Christ Attar, Bodman
• Arthur Griem, Miller Canfield
• Robert Gordon, Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, and Weiss
• Chris Moceri, Jaffe, Raitt, Heue, and Weiss
• Peter Sugar, Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, and Weiss

“We are extremely pleased that, with the generous support of Jaffe, we were again able to hold the competition, even though that involved changing the negotiations from an in-person event to an online format,” said Zacks. “The student chairs did an incredible job making sure the new format was a success, and the student competitors impressed the judges with their level of preparation and poise. We look forward to expanding the competition next year to even more schools.”


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