2019-20 UCLA Transactional Law Competition FAQ’s

Who can participate?
A school can send up to two teams, each of which shall consist of two to four members. Members shall be second or third year full time law students in a JD program, or students in a legal graduate program such as an L.L.M. First year students are not permitted to participate.

Is there a limit on the number of schools that can participate?
Up to 24 teams may participate in the competition. If the number of teams registered exceeds the number of spaces available, schools registering two teams may be asked to only send one team.

Is there training provided by the Competition?
We will provide the teams with some general resources on where to find precedent agreements and information on the issues presented. It is highly recommended that each team have a faculty or practitioner coach. While the final work should be that of the students, advice, comments and direction from an experienced transactional lawyer is encouraged.

How does the Competition work?
Each registered team will receive a Case Statement of shared information. The Case Statement provides general background information on the transaction and the parties’ prior dealings. Each team will then be provided client-specific confidential information. Each team will draft portions of an acquisition agreement that address the open issues consistent with the client’s desires. Prior to finalizing the Draft Agreement, each team will have an opportunity to pose questions to the client.

After submitting a Draft Agreement, each team will receive a Draft Agreement, created by a team on the other side of the transaction, on which it will need to make comments (the “Mark-Up Agreement”). Each team will have a second opportunity to communicate with the client prior to submitting a Mark-Up Agreement. The Draft Agreements and Mark-Up Agreements are distributed in a daisy chain fashion. For example, Seller 1 will send a Draft Agreement to Buyer 1 to mark-up, Buyer 1 will send its Draft Agreement to Seller 2 to mark-up, and Seller 2 will send its Draft Agreement to Buyer 2 to mark-up, etc.

Prior to the March 6 Competition, judges will receive the Draft Agreements and Mark-up Agreements for the teams they will judge. Judges will score these agreements prior to the Competition. The scoring rubrics will be distributed to the team when the Case Statement is distributed to the teams. The judges’ scores and comments will be available to teams at the conclusion of the Competition.

On March 6, each team will engage in two rounds of negotiation. Each round will last approximately 90 minutes. Teams will negotiate during the first 60 minutes of the round. During the last 30 minutes of the round, each team will have a private 15 minute debrief with the judges to explain the team’s approach and their expected resolution (if one has not been achieved), and judges will provide feedback on the team’s performance. In one round, each team will negotiate as the side that created the base Draft Agreement. In the other round, the team will negotiate as the side that submitted comments or a Mark-Up to a Draft Agreement. Thus, each team will have the opportunity to negotiate as the first drafter and as the commenting party. Teams will receive scores from up to two judges in each round of the Competition.

How is the Competition judged?
The Competition will be judged by experienced practitioners from Los Angeles. Each team’s Draft Agreement will be evaluated by four judges and the Mark-Up Agreement by two judges. Each round of negotiation will be evaluated by two judges, so that each team will receive a total of up to four judge evaluations for the negotiation portion of the Competition.

How is a winner selected?
Three awards are available for each side of the problem (e.g., Seller’s Counsel and Buyer’s Counsel): Best Draft, Best Negotiation and Best Overall. Best Draft and Best Negotiation awards are based upon the cumulative scores earned by the teams. Awards for Best Overall are based on the judges’ comparative ranking of each team’s performance. If there is a tie in ranking, the tie will be resolved in favor of the team with the highest raw score.

What is the cost to participate in the Competition?
Each team must pay the $250 registration fee, or receive a fee waiver by providing judges for the competition (see below). Each team is responsible for their own travel, food and lodging. We will distribute information on hotel rooms once registration has closed. The Lowell Milken Institute will arrange for the judges and will provide lunch and snacks during the Competition and a reception following the award ceremony.

How does a team receive a fee waiver?
In lieu of a registration fee, a team may provide two attorneys experienced in transactional law to judge the competition. The judges must be available to score draft agreements prior to March 6 and attend the negotiation competition from 12:30-5:00 on March 6 at UCLA School of Law. If a team elects to receive a fee waiver by providing judges it is the team’s responsibility to recruit and ensure the judges attend the competition. A team wishing to receive a fee waiver must contact Sarah Korobkin (sarah.korobkin@law.ucla.edu) for further information and rules on providing judges in lieu of fees for the competition.

How do I register?
Registration opens on September 6 and closes on October 31. All teams may register here.

Each team must pay $250 by check within 30 days of registration, but in no event later than November 15, 2020.

Checks should be made out to “UC Regents.” Invoices are available upon request. Checks should be mailed to:

Rachel Estrada
Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy
UCLA School of Law
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476

What is the timeline for the Competition?
The timeline for the Competition is as follows:
• September 6: Registration Opens
• October 31: Registration Closes
• December 13: Case Statement Published to Teams
• January 24: Client Conference Call – Each team will engage in a conference call for its side of the transaction and may pose questions and seek clarification on the issues from the client.
• February 7: Drafts Due
• February 21: Client Conference Call
• February 28: All Mark-ups Due
• March 6: Competition at UCLA School of Law

If you have any additional questions please contact Sarah Korobkin at sarah.korobkin@law.ucla.edu or (310) 267-4728.

UCLA Transactional Law Competition home page