Detroit Mercy Law students win Regional Transactional LawMeet

March 06, 2018

Jessica Gnitt, Matthew Tapia and Detroit Mercy Law Professor of Practice David Joswick pose for a photo.University of Detroit Mercy Law students Jessica Gnitt and Matthew Tapia took first place at the 2018 Regional Transactional LawMeet held in Washington, D.C., on February 23.

The Transactional LawMeet is the premier competition for law students interested in a transactional practice.

“I was proud to represent the school and bring home a win for us,” Tapia said. “My colleagues and friends work really hard, and it’s nice to have something we can all be proud of. I enjoyed the thrill and adrenaline rush during the negotiations. I had to think quickly and on my feet.”

Gnitt and Tapia will now compete in the National LawMeet competition in New York on April 6, where they will go head-to-head with the first place finishers from the other seven regional competitions.

“To earn that first place finish, Jessica and Matt had to compete against many fine teams from Northwestern, Wayne State, Cornell, University of Maryland and UCLA, earning high praise from both the judges and the other teams,” said Detroit Mercy Law Professor of Practice David Joswick, who coached Gnitt and Tapia. “Jessica and Matt's performance was a stellar achievement for them and for Detroit Mercy Law.”

Gnitt and Tapia put in months of preparation and their hard work paid off at the regional competition.

“My participation in the Transactional LawMeet competition has been one of the most valuable experiences I have had in law school,” Gnitt said. “There are few extracurricular opportunities available to students who are interested in transactional law and participating in this competition has allowed me to develop a foundation of practical and transferrable skills that I will continue to build on in my career.”

This year’s LawMeet featured 96 teams from across the country facing off in head-to-head competition involving structuring a business transaction, drafting contractual solutions for the client to several issues and then negotiating resolution of those issues with the lawyers who represent the other party to the transaction.

“The case this year involved the leveraged buyout by a private equity firm and presented many of the issues involved in these transactions, with the added issues that arose because the purchaser is a Chinese private equity fund and the target is a U.S. company involved in a business that could raise national security issues under CFIUS,” Joswick said.

“The quasi-political issues meant the students had to address some interesting drafting and negotiating issues,” Joswick added. “Jessica and Matt worked hard and did extremely well in both the drafting and negotiating phases.”

Gnitt credits Detroit Mercy and Joswick for preparing her team to succeed at the competition.

“We were extremely lucky to have Professor Joswick as our coach and advisor for the competition, as he has over 30 years of experience in transactional law,” Gnitt said. “He is passionate about the competition, invested in our success, and has made himself available to provide guidance around the clock.”

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