On November 5-6, 2022, forty-eight students participated in Cornell Law School’s fourteenth Transactional Lawyering Competition, which was held in person for the first time since fall 2019. Essentially a “moot court” for students who are interested in becoming deal lawyers, the competition is the culmination of the Introduction to Transactional Lawyering class taught by Mark Underberg, adjunct professor of law. It remains one of the only intramural competitions of its kind in the country.
Divided into twenty-four two-person teams, representing the buyer or seller, participants engaged in mock negotiations over the purchase of a privately owned airport in upstate New York by a private-equity company. They were judged by a distinguished panel of twenty-eight deal lawyers from around the country (listed below), nearly all of whom are Cornell Law School alumni. The panel graded the teams on their mark-up of a twenty-five-page asset purchase agreement and their ability to negotiate effectively on behalf of their respective clients.
Following three rounds of negotiations over the weekend, the winning teams were those with the highest cumulative scores on both their written work product and their negotiation skills. Partners on the winning buyer’s counsel team were Yuchen Liu, LL.M. ’23, and Josh Spagnoli ’24. Jerolynn Liu ’23 and Pablo Storch ’24 were partners on the winning seller’s counsel team.
Transactional Lawyering Competition Alumni Instructor-Judges
Margaret Bae, J.D./M.B.A. ’04 Dorsey & Whitney
Tim Bixler ’93, Adjunct Professor Cornell Tech and Law
Steven Browne ’88, Morgan Lewis & Bockius
Sandrine Cousquer-Okasmaa ’00, Bond
Chris Dalrymple ’96, Alleghany Corporation
Robert Feiner ’85, Feiner Wolfson
Alison Fraser ’07, Confluence
Shawn Galey ’86, Brambles
William Haubert ’91, Richards, Layton & Finger
James Hill ’91, BlackRock
Adele Hogan ’85, Lucosky Brookman
James Hu ’12, White & Case
Nathaniel Isaacson ’07, Sloan Valve Company
Garth Janes ’83, Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy
Melissa Lewin, B.A. ’00, Two Sigma Investments
Thomas Malone ’05, Latham & Watkins
Deborah McLean ’78, Nixon Peabody
Joshua Nathan ’91, Joshua Nathan, PC
Brendan O’Connor ’05, Golub Capital
Jennifer Perry ’06, Comerica Bank
Marshall Phelps ’69, Independent Executive Consultant
Brett Pritchard ’90, Locke Lord
Dunia Rkein ’13, Morgan Stanley
Randy Samuels ’89, Topcon American Corp.
Lindsay Silber ’04, Holland & Hart
Andreea Stan ’07, Ralph Lauren
Kelann Stirling ’04, Kirkland & Ellis
William Verhelle ’98, QuickFi by Innovation Finance USA