Transactional Practice: Deal-Making Skills

Big city or small town. Corporate or start-up. New York, Shanghai, or Portland. Wherever you go after law school, crafting deals will be a big part of the job.

Transactional practice labs

This unique experimental course introduces business law students to the process of doing a deal and the relationships among the various parts. You will draft, negotiate, and close a simulated contract – one based on a successful real-world deal.

A law professor and a practicing business attorney teach the one-credit labs, which take place in Eugene and Portland. The law school partners with a number of Oregon firms for this new course.

Assistant Professor Rob Illig says, "These labs give you the experience of taking each step on your own – along with some coaching beforehand and feedback afterwards. Much of the learning, in fact, will arise from your mistakes!"

The lab opens with an orientation meeting in Eugene. An all-day class in Portland follows. Students form two-person buyer and seller teams and the attorney instructor introduces the teams to their contract assignment. The teams spend the afternoon in short meetings with "sub specialist" attorneys whose practice areas are relevant to the contract. The buyers and sellers plan their next moves.

The next three classes take place in Eugene. Teams develop initial drafts, receive comments from the professor, revise their drafts, send them to the opposing team, and receive written responses.

During the fourth class, teams learn the basics of negotiation and plan their negotiating strategy.

The final class takes place at a law firm in Portland. Teams negotiate and the whole class discusses the outcome, followed by a talk on the "real world" deal upon which these simulations are based. The class and professors share dinner in Portland with the sponsoring law firm.

Future transactional practice labs may include employment law, complex CEO agreements, prenuptial agreements, and employment law.

Other transactional skills courses:

  • Accounting for Lawyers
  • Contract Drafting
  • Externships
  • Intellectual Property Licensing
  • Negotiation
  • Business Law Clinic