College of Law students win national LawMeets competition

A University of Tennessee College of Law team of students placed first in the 2021 Transaction LawMeets competition.

Twenty-four teams of law students from across the United States competed in the online event on March 26, 2021 hosted by the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

The competition enables students with an interest in transactional law to experience live competition by learning how transaction practitioners resolve difficult business problems through contract negotiation and drafting. The competition requires student teams to represent a client in a transaction, draft a document and mark up the other side’s drafted document. The event culminates with two negotiations in which competitors finalize the documents and their terms. 

This year, the teams negotiated an amendment to a stock purchase agreement addressing an intellectual property infringement claim and FDA drug inquiry that arose after the agreement was executed and prior to closing of the merger transaction.

The College of Law team that included students Emily Gould, Ben Kelly and Stefan Kostas won the best drafting award for their work on an amendment to a stock purchase agreement. Kostas and Kelly, who served as negotiators, then led the team to an overall win in the competition. 

Kostas said he and his teammates spent hours on Zoom preparing and practicing their negotiations. They went into the competition hoping to learn as much as possible and were pleasantly surprised to come away with the win. 

“The entire drafting and negotiation process validated my interest in transactional law,” Kostas said. “This win would not have happened without the hard work and dedication of my teammates and the guidance of Professor [Brian] Krumm.”

Krumm spent weeks helping two teams – the second included students Abigail Caldwell, Taylor Kinard and Will Salisbury – prepare for the competition. 

“I’m so proud of their success,” Krumm said. “What’s remarkable is that both teams are comprised of second-year law students, so I expect them to be equally successful next year.”

The students’ culminating online negotiations were judged by practicing attorneys from law firms and in-house corporate counsels from the greater Denver and Kansas City areas.