Bobby Bramhall (’16) wins big at Baylor Law School’s “The Closer” competition

UT Law student Bobby Bramhall (’16) scored a huge win for UT Law last month in Baylor Law School’s elite invitation-only competition, The Closer.

Following in the tradition of Baylor’s Top Gun national mock trial competition, The Closer is an innovative transactional law competition for students to “flex their deal making prowess.” The University of Tennessee College of Law was one of only eight teams selected from the National Transactional LawMeet invited to compete in this inaugural competition. The UT team consisted of Bobby Bramhall and Luke Smith (’17), joined by coach and Professor Brian Krumm.

Closer participants were tasked with negotiating a “term sheet” between Balcones Distilling, LLC (a real and award-winning distillery in Waco) and a fictional Premier Service Corporation hired to manage Balcones’ gift shop and hospitality business.

“Unlike LawMeets, where teams have the ability to work on the problem for two months before the regional negotiations begin, the Closer competition introduces the problem the day before the negotiations,” explained Krumm.

After receiving a case packet containing drafts of contracts, email correspondence, and other information, students were given a tour of the facility at the center of the negotiations and then left to work with their coaches in developing a strategy to negotiate a term sheet.

While Luke Smith faced off against some aggressive competitors and earned the compliments of the judges for his successful handling of his negotiations, only Bramhall made it into the final negotiations where additional facts emerged to force the competitors and their coaches to adapt their strategies the night before the final deal.

In the end, though, Bramhall emerged victorious in his representation of Balcones along with Alexia Boggs, of the University of Mississippi College of Law, who represented Premier.

“Bramhall impressed not only the judges who came from law firms throughout Texas, but also his fellow competitors,” said Krumm. “They awarded him the Professionalism Trophy for his ability to form effective relationships, which allowed him to work collaboratively with opposing counsel in balancing the risks and benefits shared between the parties, as documented on the term sheet.”

Bramhall and Boggs each took home prizes of $5,000 and the well-earned privilege of calling themselves Baylor Law School’s first Closers.

“Baylor Law put on a first-class event in every aspect, and we were proud to be named the winners,” Bramhall said. “Professor Krumm and I were honored to represent the University of Tennessee in my home state and I know that the Closer will continue to be a success in the future.”

Look for our full feature in the Spring 2017 issue of Tennessee Law Magazine.