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October 15, 2013

On September 25, The Business Law Society together with the Intellectual Property Law Association brought 6 transactional attorneys together to share what is it that they do on a daily basis. According to Business Law Society President, Jeremy Elias (3L), this panel was very important because most students are not sure exactly it means to be a transactional attorney.  All of the panelists were candid with their answers and were excited to their share experiences with everyone.  The networking reception that followed allowed members to have more in depth conversations with our panelists, professors, and other students. There was an incredible turnout for both the panel and the networking reception and both organizations look forward to putting on future events.

Lawyers perform a variety of roles in a transactional context, including the following:

• advising on the laws applicable to the transaction and on the appropriate structure that should be adopted to manage and minimize the legal and commercial; risks involved;
• drafting contracts and other documents;
• helping clients with the commercial negotiations; and
• helping clients with the management and execution (i.e. successful completion) of the transaction.

In addition to understanding the legal issues, transactional lawyers must develop the skills necessary to enable them to perform the above roles in an effective, efficient and ethical manner. They must also develop an awareness of the commercial context, including the client’s commercial objectives, to ensure that the transaction works from both a legal and commercial perspective.

Vice President of IPLA, Stephanie Ferguson (3L) reflected on the event with the following:

So much of business today incorporates intellectual property.  There is a huge overlap between the two, and a majority of intellectual property law is transactional.  By putting together this panel, we were able to expose students to the various day-to-day lifestyles as a transactional attorney in addition to getting them up close and personal to these attorneys, many of whom are TJSL alums.  I really appreciate those who were able to attend and we have already received great feedback, from both panelists and attendees.

For BLS Vice President Alexander Green (3L), the panel offered a great opportunity to connect those who are commencing their law school careers with those who are established in carving out their own legal careers in the realm of Transactional Law:

The Transactional Law Panel provided a great opportunity for the students involved–especially 1Ls–to get some context surrounding the way in which business transactions and corporate law can and do overlap, in practice and, hopefully, in the careers of many Business Law Society members. From there, the opportunity for students of various backgrounds and experience to interact and engage with some of Thomas Jefferson’s most prominent alumni within the Southern California Business Law community was simply priceless. It’s one thing to network for the sake of networking; it’s another to network with a purpose, building foundational relationships with those who can and will have an impact in our careers, one way or another.

For BLS Member Shabnam Jafari (1L), this panel provided insight into how to get a oriented on a career in Transactional Law:

The BLS Transactional Law Panel and networking reception was an enlightening and enjoyable experience! It was a wonderful opportunity to hear first-hand from attorneys about what they truly do on a day-to-day basis. Their refreshing candor about life in transactional law and advice on how I can start as a 1L to pursue a successful career in law was immensely valuable and encouraging. I sincerely look forward to the next BLS panel!

BLS Treasurer Conor Leedom (2L), summarized the impact of the event and its lasting effects for those in attendance:

At the Transactional Law Panel I learned a lot about legal careers that depart from the typical litigation based careers we all hear so much about in law school. It was also great to see and reconnect with TJSL alumni. It’s inspiring to see the success and endeavors they’ve pursued since graduating.