Michigan-based law firm gives students practical experience

Wayne State University Law School students interested in transactional law will benefit from the new Jaffe Transactional Law Competition Fund, established by Michigan-based law firm Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss PC.

The endowment will support operations of the Law School's Transactional Law Competition co-curricular program, which is open to second- and third-year students wishing to strengthen drafting, negotiation and counseling skills in the transactional context. The program will now be formally named the Jaffe Transactional Law Competition.

"We could not be more appreciative of the support shown by Jaffe," said Associate Professor Eric Zacks, who created and acts as faculty advisor for the Transactional Law Competition. "The program provides a unique, realistic and invaluable practice skills development experience for our students. Jaffe attorneys have been instrumental since the program's inception, first as Wayne Law students and now as alumni judges."

Wayne Law graduates Justin Hanna '15 and Gabriel Appel '17, both served as student chairs of the Transactional Law Competition and are now associates in Jaffe's Southfield office. Hanna was chair for two years and a key player in launching the program.

The fund provides additional opportunities for Jaffe attorneys to assist students in their preparation for the program's annual intramural competition through guest lectures and acting as judges for the competition.

The Transactional Law Competition course is set using the same model as LawMeets transactional competitions. Two-member teams represent a buyer and a seller involved in a complex acquisition in the intramural competition and are required to draft, revise and negotiate complicated transactional agreements. The top two teams typically go on to represent Wayne Law at two different regional competitions during the winter semester. Wayne Law has been involved in regional competitions for six years, and during that time, has taken five first-place honors for either negotiation or drafting.

"We are excited to be able to further strengthen and extend our deep ties to Wayne Law," said Peter Sugar, a shareholder of Jaffe and an adjunct professor at Wayne Law teaching business courses since the mid-1970s. "From Jaffe's inception in 1968 through today, Wayne Law has educated and trained the vast majority of our lawyers. As adequate training in advising clients on increasingly complex business activities becomes a greater burden for firms like Jaffe, we are especially grateful to Professor Zacks and the Transactional Law Competition for the valuable experience gained by participants. It comes as no surprise to me that the Wayne Law students experiencing the event have excelled nationally."

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