By Alexander Green BLS Vice President
The Business Law Society (BLS) and the Intellectual Property Law Association (IPLA) recently brought six transactional attorneys, including several TJSL alumni, together to share what it is that they do on a daily basis in their law practices. The panelists at the September 25th event included Eric Bernsen '12, Joshua C. Pearson, Lacy J Lodes '08, David B. Gibbs '12, Jeremy M. Evans '11 and TJSL Adjunct Professor Danielle Barger, who teaches in the Solo Practice Concentration.
“This panel was very important because most students are not sure exactly what it means to be a transactional attorney,” said BLS President Jeremy Elias (3L). “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.
“So much of business today incorporates intellectual property,” said IPLA Vice President Stephanie Ferguson (3L). “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.”
“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,” said BLS Vice President Alexander Green (3L). “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.”
“This panel provided insight into how to get oriented on a career in Transactional Law,” said BLS Member Shabnam Jafari (1L). “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!”
"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,” said BLS Treasurer Conor Leedom (2L), “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.”