2017 | The Closer
On January 12-15, eight competitors from law schools with accomplished transactional programs gathered at Baylor Law to participate in the law school's latest national competition: The Closer.
A Transactional Law Competition Like No Other
In its inaugural year, Alexia Boggs of the University of Mississippi School of Law and Bobby Bramhall from the University of Tennessee College of Law are the winners of Baylor Law School's innovative transactional law competition The Closer.
The Closer is an invitation-only transactional law competition reflecting Baylor Law School's commitment to training practice-ready lawyers. The contest featured a substantial $10,000 prize pool and a chance for the competitors to flex their deal-making prowess. Only schools that have previously excelled at the National Transactional LawMeet® were invited to compete. And, unlike other transactional law contests, the details of the problem were only disclosed to the competitors twenty-four hours prior to the first round of negotiations. This tight timeline pushed competitors to identify the legal issues and devise and negotiate solutions that best serve their client's wishes with the efficiency required of lawyers under realistic time constraints.
Competitors negotiated a term sheet between Balcones Distilling, L.L.C. (Waco's award-winning whisky distillery) and Premier Service Corporation, a fictional hospitality management company proposing to manage Balcones' gift shop and hospitality business. During the competition, the students made a site visit to the distillery, had a meeting with their client, and reviewed a large client file including email correspondence, drafts of contracts, research, and other relevant information in an effort to produce an agreement that satisfied and protected the interests of both parties.
Closing the Deal
Alexia Boggs took home $5,000 for representing the interests of Premier, and Bobby Bramhall took home $5,000 for representing Balcones Distilling. Both competitors earned the privilege of calling themselves Baylor Law School's first Closers.
Upon winning, Boggs said, "Winning The Closer was an exciting way to begin my final semester of law school! I had so much fun getting to know the other competitors, our clients, and the wonderful people at Baylor Law who hosted such a unique competition with every detail perfectly thought out." Boggs also graciously thanked the Baylor Law professor who created The Closer and its sponsors, saying, "I am especially grateful to Professor Beth Miller for her enthusiasm for transactional law and to those who sponsored the competition!"
Bobby Bramhall, co-champion with Boggs, added: "Baylor Law put on a first-class event in every aspect, and we were proud to be named the winners. Professor Krumm and I were honored to represent the University of Tennessee in my home state and I know that The Closer will continue to be a success in the future. Thank you to the Baylor Law family!"
"Baylor alumni at Haynes and Boone, LLP are pleased to see Baylor Law School's growing focus on transactional law practice—and Haynes and Boone were especially pleased to have participated as a sponsor for The Closer," said Tom Harris, partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP. "The competition showcased Baylor Law School's commitment to teaching law students to prepare and to think on their feet (or, in this case, to think and speak while seated and engaged in an unpredictable mock negotiation). Well done, Professor Miller and the rest of the Baylor Law School team," he concluded.
The Final Round
JUDGES SCORING THE FINAL ROUNDS WERE:
- Tom Harris: partner, Haynes and Boone, LLP, leading the Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group
- Janice Davis: partner, Bracewell LLP
- Greg Looser: Co-Founder, Partner and Director of Clarion Offshore Partners, LLC, a partnership formed with The Blackstone Group
- Jennifer Lindsey: partner, Beard Kultgen Brophy Bostwick & Dickson, LLP
- Lotte Bostick: General Counsel, FirstCity Financial Corporation
BAYLOR LAW SCHOOL SINCERELY THANKS THOSE WHO INVESTED IN THE CLOSER:
- Kim and Bill Shaddock for their vision and for underwriting the competition
- Haynes and Boone, LLP for its sponsorship and its outstanding commitment to furthering education in transactional law
- Balcones Distilling, LLC for use of their facility and their brand as the basis of competition
- Naman Howell Smith & Lee, PLLC for allowing their attorneys to help craft the issues
- Jennifer and Ryan Lindsey
2017 PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS AND COMPETITORS
- Drexel University's Thomas R. Kline School of Law - Kristen Capriotti
- Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law - Jason Rainey
- Northwestern Pritzker School of Law - Katie Stevens
- South Texas College of Law - Jackson Gayle
- University of Colorado Law School - Parker Steel
- University of Mississippi School of Law - Alexia Boggs
- University of Tennessee College of Law - Luke S. Smith
- University of Tennessee College of Law - Bobby Bramhall