When Oregon Law student Jacob Landsberg received his client file in the early morning hours of Friday, January 15, 2021, he had just 24 hours to prepare for his first virtual negotiation session in Baylor Law’s The Closer.
The Closer is a premier, invitation-only national transactional law competition. It challenges law students to understand the deal documents, identify legal issues, problem-solve, and negotiate solutions under significant time constraints. Baylor Law extends “a limited number of invitations to law schools whose programming demonstrates a commitment to excellence in practical transactional law training.” Landsberg represented Oregon Law for its inaugural debut in The Closer competition.
Landsberg, a 3L, negotiated a fictional assignment of patents and related intellectual property for a medical hippotherapy simulation device that mimics the motion of riding a horse. The scenario is based on an actual medical therapy device owned by Baylor University and sold by Chariot Innovations, Inc., a company that was formed to market the device. Landsberg represented Chariot in the competition.
In the weeks leading up to the competition, Landsberg studied several merger agreements and ancillary documents. Landsberg and his coach, pro tem instructor LizAnn Eisen, would then discuss the provisions and how they relate to the big-picture of the deal.
On Saturday, the first day of the competition, Landsberg competed in four, 40-minute negotiation rounds. He focused on deal points relating to the payment, indemnification, and assignment provisions of the intellectual property assignment contract. “As I went through each negotiation session, I learned more about what the other side would argue and what they were willing to accept,” Landsberg said.
Saturday evening, Landsberg learned he would advance to the final round of the competition, which would start that Sunday morning. He also received new information that changed the deal – just 14 hours in advance of the final round.
Landsberg, a CPA, who has an accounting degree from the University of Washington Bothell School of Business, and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Sports Management from Gonzaga, drew on his accounting, finance, and business law knowledge to negotiate payment terms and royalty provisions in the 45-minute final round.
In this high-pressure competition, Landsberg took second place among participants who represented Chariot. “Jacob did a great job in the competition,” coach LizAnn Eisen said. “He was able to showcase and build his skills in translating concepts learned in business law classes to real life scenarios with impressive success.”
Landsberg found this practice-focused experience aligned with his interests in accounting, finance, and transactional law. This competition provided a space to “create opportunities and solve problems for the hypothetical client,” Landsberg said. “This is the type of work I enjoy, and, looking at the big picture, it is where I can have the most impact.”
Landsberg plans to pursue his LL.M. in tax at the University of Washington School of Law next fall.
Final round of Baylor Law’s The Closer 2021 recording.
By Kristie Gibson, Supervising Attorney/Instructor – Business Law Clinic