Ericha Penzien representing AUWCL at “The Closer” National Transactional Law Competition.
Ericha Penzien representing AUWCL at “The Closer." Photo credit: Nick Teixeira, Baylor Law School.

Transactional Law Society Member Competes in “The Closer” National Transactional Law Competition at Baylor Law School

Jan. 22, 2018

During the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, 2L Ericha Penzien represented the American University Washington College of Law Transactional Law Society (TLS) in Baylor Law School’s “The Closer” National Transactional Law Competition. Only schools who have previously excelled at the National Transactional LawMeet® were invited to compete.

Unlike many competitions, the details of the issue were disclosed to competitors only 24 hours prior to the first round of negotiations. This year’s competition consisted of 10 competitors, who were assigned to represent either the lender or the borrower in the negotiation of a loan agreement. Competitors participated in four rounds of negotiation on Saturday; four competitors competed on Sunday in the final round. The tight timeline allocated for preparation pushed competitors to efficiently identify the legal issues and devise and negotiate solutions that best serve their client's wishes.

Two winners are chosen for each side of the negotiation: Penzien and Brian Adams from the University of Tennessee College of Law placed first for their respective sides of the table. 

“As a competitor in ‘The Closer,’ I was able to apply the doctrinal concepts I learned in class to real life practice,” Penzien said. “Although we were competitors from different schools vying for the top spot, we forged friendships and hope to meet each other again in our careers in the future. ‘The Closer's’ format encouraged cooperative negotiation, which demonstrated the need to recognize that business negotiations are the formation of a relationship, in which a long lasting positive memory pays dividends over the course of the business venture.”

“I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with some of the nation's best student negotiators, learning, competing, and forming professional relationships that will continue long past the end of the final negotiation round.”

Penzien and the Transactional Law Society team were coached by alumnus Eric Gleysteen '15.