Oregon Law Students Shine at National Transactional Law Competition

Oregon Law students engaged in negotiations at the transactional law competition

Exhibiting exceptional business law acumen and negotiation skills, a team of Oregon Law students was among the top performers in the 2024 Wayne State Taft Transactional Law Invitational. Twenty-two law school teams competed in a series of negotiation rounds at the Taft Law office in Southfield, Michigan on March 22, 2024.

The Invitational offers students a unique platform to develop and practice drafting and negotiation skills essential for business law practice. Teams, representing either the buyer or seller in a complex acquisition scenario, engage in rigorous preparation, including drafting and marking up letters of intent, before engaging in two rounds of live negotiations before experienced business law practitioner judges. 

Oregon Law students Nate Bassinger (2L), Matthew Lee (2L), and Nathan Rice (2L) dedicated themselves to preparing for the event. From mid-January to the week prior to Spring Break, the team diligently drafted a letter of intent and marked up another team's draft. Then, Lee and Rice traveled to Michigan to negotiate the provisions of both preliminary acquisition documents.

The team’s hard work paid off. The Oregon Law students clinched second place in the seller's counsel negotiations. The competitors expressed appreciation for the opportunity to develop their skills and represent Oregon Law at the event. Reflecting on the experience, Nathan Rice said, "It was great to collaborate with other students interested in business law on a long-term project that allowed each of us to learn and contribute towards our final product. The competition was also a rare opportunity to engage with law students from around the country."

The students’ outstanding performance underscores the invaluable practical learning opportunities provided by experiential events like the Invitational. Such competitions not only sharpen students' legal skills but also instill confidence and professionalism, crucial for navigating complex legal negotiations.

Oregon Law students with their coach, Professor Kristie Gibson
(From left to right) Nathan Rice, Matthew Lee, and Professor Kristie Gibson

Matthew Lee emphasized the value of the competitive process, stating, "[The Invitational] was a rare opportunity to gain comprehensive experience in drafting an agreement, from editing to negotiation. Events like these provide helpful, practical insight into transactional law, especially since law school is typically litigation focused."

The team’s faculty coach, Professor Kristie Gibson, reiterated the significance of practical learning experiences in preparing students for success in practice. "Competitions like the Invitational provide a format and forum for students to explore and experience how business and business law intersect in the transactional practice space. The students focused on the hypothetical client’s goals as they researched, drafted, and prepared for this intensive competition—along the way, they developed and honed important transactional skills that they can transition to their respective practices." She praised the efforts of the student competitors and was “impressed with the students’ preparation, teamwork, and professionalism.”

Oregon Law’s success at the Wayne State Taft Transactional Law Invitational reflects the Business Law Program’s commitment to bridging classroom learning and the challenges and complexities of real-world business law practice. 

To learn more about Oregon Law's Business Law Program, please visit law.uoregon.edu/explore/bizlaw.