Wayne Law hosts 15 law schools in Jaffe Transactional Law Invitational

DETROIT — Wayne State University Law School hosted 15 law schools from around the country in the annual Jaffe Transactional Law Invitational on Friday, March 26.  

The competition’s sponsor, Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss, normally hosts the annual competition in-person at its Southfield, Michigan office. However, the competition was held on Zoom for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.

Representing Wayne Law at the competition were second-year students Lindsey LaForest from Macomb, Michigan and Madison Light from Hartland, Michigan, and third-year students Patrick Masterson from London, Ontario, and Max Shuart from Northville, Michigan. Wayne Law placed second in Drafting for the Entrepreneur’s Counsel.

Winners were:  

  • First Place Negotiations (Entrepreneur’s Counsel) – Chase Canevari and Ben D’Alton of the University of San Diego School of Law
  • First Place Negotiations (Investor’s Counsel) – Teo Dragic and Brenden Leader of Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
  • First Place Drafting (Entrepreneur’s Counsel) – Phillip Van Leuven and Alex Wagner-Jakubiak of Willamette University College of Law
  • First Place Drafting (Investor’s Counsel) – (tie) Julian Freitag and Joseph Kuzmiak of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law; and Mac Bank, Nolan Gruemmer and Jack Swanson of the University of Michigan Law School

This innovative, live-round competition is part of a one-credit course created and supervised by Wayne Law Associate Professor Eric Zacks. Third-year students Jackson Buday, Scott Carter, Brandon Corcoran and Kelsey Postema were this year’s chairpersons of the competition. The program is supported by the Jaffe Transactional Law Competition Fund, established in 2018 by Michigan-based law firm, Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss. 

“Jaffe Law is proud to continue its support for the Jaffe Transactional Law Invitational and remains committed to the growth and development of business-minded law students from across the region and throughout the country,” said Justin Hanna, co-founder of the Transactional Law Competition at Wayne Law. “We believe this competition enhances the quality and skill of business law graduates as they prepare to enter into the practice of law, and the eager judging support from top corporate lawyers in the area underscores the appreciation for practical experience provided to the participants.”

The Jaffe Transactional Law Competition helps students develop drafting, negotiation and counseling skills, with two-member teams representing a buyer and seller involved in a complex acquisition. After a semester of drafting and revising, the day of the live negotiations brought the teams together from 15 different law schools for two rounds of competition. The panel of judges – composed of eighteen attorneys – offered feedback after each round.  

This year, Arizona State University, Florida State University, Georgetown University, University of Illinois-Chicago, Louisiana State University, University of Maryland, San Diego University, Santa Clara University, University of Virginia, and Willamette University participated for the first time, demonstrating the growth of the competition.   

Attorneys serving as judges were:

  • Gabriel Appel ’17, Jaffe
  • Thomas Appleman ’81, Miller Canfield
  • Cody Attisha ’16, Kerr-Russell
  • Jyotsna Balakrishnan, Jaffe
  • Christopher Banerian ’14, Logicalis US
  • Joshua Borson ’13, Jaffe
  • Alex Bowman ’16, Honigman
  • Laura Davis, Honigman
  • John Decker, Jaffe
  • Danielle Graceffa ’06, Invest Detroit
  • Nezar Habhab ’18, Kerr-Russell
  • Justin Hanna ’15, Jaffe
  • John Kanan, Honigman
  • Jeff LaBine ’99, Miller Canfield
  • Alan Schenk, Wayne State University
  • Peter Sugar ’70, Jaffe  
  • Arius Webb ’15, Ford Motor Co.

“As law students continue to express an interest in developing transactional lawyering skills, we are committed to expanding this program to permit as many students as possible to participate,” said Zacks. “It was extremely exciting to host so many law schools and law students from around the country. I am very proud of all of our student chairpersons for their hard work throughout the year, which included running our fall Wayne-only competition, and of course, we are grateful to our partners at Jaffe, who have been behind this program from the beginning.”


Student competitors and judges on Zoom
A screenshot of some of the student competitors and judges during the 2021 Jaffe Transactional Law Invitational on Zoom.


Contact: Mary Hiller

Email: maryhiller@wayne.edu

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