Third-year law student Brian Adams presents his case at "The Closer" competition at Baylor University on Jan. 14, 2018. Photo courtesy of Nick Teixeira, Baylor Law School.

UT Law student dominates transactional law competition

For the second consecutive year, a UT Law student has won Baylor University Law School’s elite invitation-only “The Closer” competition.

Brian K. Adams, Jr., who was joined by coach and Professor Brian Krumm throughout Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend at Baylor, finished in first place and returned to Knoxville with $5,000 in prize money.

“I was honored to represent the University of Tennessee College of Law,” Adams said. Baylor Law hosted “a first-class event where I was able to meet a number of talented law students from across the country.”

“The Closer” is an invitation-only competition limited to one student entrant per school. Law schools invited to compete must have excelled at previous transactional law competitions or have otherwise distinguished themselves in the area of transactional training. Ten teams were selected for this year’s competition.

Brian Adams (left) and Law Professor Brian Krumm celebrate Adams' win at "The Closer" competition at Baylor University. Photo courtesy of Nick Teixeira, Baylor Law School.

Unlike other transactional law contests, the details of the problem are only disclosed to the competitors twenty-four hours prior to the first round of negotiations. The tight timeline pushes competitors to identify the legal issues and devise and negotiate solutions that best serve their client’s wishes with the efficiency required of lawyers under realistic time constraints.

Adams said he learned early Friday that he would be negotiating a loan agreement between the Hippodrome Theatre, Inc. – an historic dine-in theater in Waco, Texas; and fictional lender – Theatre Funding, LLC.

With five competitors designated to represent the borrower and five representing the lender, all of the students toured the Hippodrome then were given the day to develop their individual strategies for negotiating an agreement.

On Saturday, Adams negotiated on behalf of the borrower, then learned he was advancing to the final round along with three other finalists. The student lawyers received additional details for the second round of negotiation on Sunday. Adams and American University law student Ericha Penzien then separated themselves to win the competition.

Krumm said he’s proud of Adams’ success and his dedication to the competition.

“One of the biggest rewards that I get as a law professor is working with promising young attorneys like Brian Adams, and watching them grow and blossom through competitions like the Closer,” Krumm said.

Adams said he doesn’t believe he would have been as successful without the advice of his former classmate and last year’s “The Closer” winner Bobby Bramhall.

“When we found out I was going to the competition, we discussed the event and how he approached it,” Adams said. “He was the first person to congratulate me, and I am grateful to go to school with people like him.”

View the competition video at this link.