Mitchell student team garners Best Draft award as semi-finalists

Law students Jacob Steen and Maria Cisneros took their legal skills to the 5th Annual Transactional LawMeet in February, competing at regionals. They represented William Mitchell College of Law in competition against 84 teams from nearly 50 law schools. The team was dubbed one of two semi-finalists, and they garnered the Best Draft award in the Chicago Region.

Jacob Steen and Maria Cisneros

Jacob Steen and Maria Cisneros

The competition asked law students to represent one of two sides in drafting and negotiating an indemnification agreement to address a royalty dispute that arose between the seller and a third party during an acquisition. It consisted of several stages: a drafting stage and the live competitions at the regional and national levels.

The drafting stage took place prior to the regionals, with students working on the transactional case for two full months. During that time, Steen and Cisneros drafted indemnification agreements, held interviews with their clients, and marked up the drafts of opposing teams, in preparation for competition.

The regional rounds of the competition culminated with the live negotiations on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. Negotiations were held at seven law schools across the U.S., with Steen and Cisneros competing at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. Their team was named one of two regional semi-finalists, with two teams of finalists advancing to the national competition in April.

They were also recognized for their excellent drafting skills, receiving one of two Best Draft awards for the region. The second Best Draft award went to a team of three students from the University of Colorado.

The 2014 Regional Transactional LawMeet was sponsored by Bloomberg Law and Practical Law. The Chicago Regional Meet was sponsored by Goldberg Kohn; Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Kirkland & Ellis LLP; and Sidley Austin LLP.

LawMeets was founded in 2010 by Karl Okamoto, as a way to deliver practical skills exercises to law students interested in transactional law. The 1st Annual Transactional LawMeet began with 11 participating teams in 2010, and increased to 84 participating teams in 2014. The organization also hosts the Intellectual Property LawMeet.