Winners named in 2022 Wayne Law Jaffe Transactional Law Competition

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Wayne Law Professor Eric Zacks (far left) and Jaffe attorney Justin Hanna (far right) posed with competition winners (left to right) Connor Schram, Danny Harwood, Camran Astani, Ameera Hashwi, Margaret Reaume, and Celina Grimes.

Photo courtesy of Wayne Law


Twenty-five Wayne State University Law School Students participated in the 9th annual 2022 Wayne State Jaffe Transactional Law Competition on Friday, November 11. The competition was held at the Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss office in Southfield.

This year's winners were:

• First Place Negotiations (seller's counsel) Second-year students Connor Schram and Danny Harwood

• First Place Negotiations (buyer's counsel) Second-year students Camran Astani and Ameera Hashwi

• First Place Drafting (seller's counsel) Second-year students Connor Schram and Danny Harwood

• First Place Drafting (buyer's counsel) Third-year students Margaret Reaume and Celina Grimes

This live-round competition is part of a one-credit course created and supervised by Professor Eric Zacks. Past winners and third-year students Andrew Vailliencourt, Muhammad Siwani, Muhannad Al-Ujayli, and Trevor Lloyd served as the chairpersons of the competition. The program is supported by the Jaffe Transactional Law Competition Fund, established in 2018 by Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, and Weiss.

The winners will represent the law school at the spring Wayne State Jaffe Regional Transactional Law Invitational, at which Wayne Law will host approximately 25 law schools from around the United States in a similar competition.

The Wayne State Jaffe Transactional Law Competition helps students develop drafting, negotiating, and counseling skills, with two-member teams representing a buyer and seller involved in a complex acquisition. After a semester of drafting and revising, the negotiations brought the teams together for two rounds of competition. The panel of judges composed of practicing transactional attorneys offered feedback following the completion of each round.

"We are proud to support the Jaffe Transactional Law Competition and the resulting growth and development of business-minded law graduates from Wayne Law," Wayne Law alumnus and Jaffe attorney Justin Hanna said. "The eager and reliable judging support from experienced M&A lawyers in Michigan underscores the industry's appreciation for the practical experience and education provided to the students. Professor Eric Zacks and his team of student competition managers continue to improve and expand the impact of the competition on the training and maturation of Wayne Law's graduates, and the competition has helped to advance and enhance the competitive quality of Wayne's business law graduates both regionally and nationally."

Attorneys serving as judges were:

• Danielle Graceffa '06, Invest Detroit
• Robert Gordon, Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, and Weiss
• Justin Hanna '15, Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, and Weiss
• Sara Kruse '96, Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, and Weiss
• Aleksandra Miziolek '80, Solid Power, Inc.
• Peter Sugar '70, Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, and Weiss
• Ahmad Sabbagh '19, Honigman
• Arius Webb '15, Rivian
• Kate Smigelski '22, Bodman
• Allison Tuohy '22, Dickinson Wright
• Mazen Hajali '21, Honigman

"We are grateful to Jaffe for their continued support of this program and to all of our volunteer judges for generously giving of their time to help our business law students," Zacks said. "This program allows students to develop invaluable transactional law skills and experience while working in a collaborative and supportive environment, and we at Wayne Law are really proud of the competition and our student competitors."