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ABA M&A Committee National Invitational

February 21, 2024

Penn Carey Law sign - Golkin entrance

Lex Brugger L’24 and Wendy Li L’24 placed second in the inaugural competition styled after the NCAA basketball tournament.

In advance of the NCAA basketball tournament, the American Bar Association (ABA) held its first annual ABA M&A Committee National Invitational, a bracket-style mock-negotiation contest.

headshot of Alexis Brugger L'24 Alexis Brugger L’24University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School students Lex Brugger L’24 and Wendy Li L’24 advanced to the championship round, where they placed second, netting them a prize of $1,500 each.

“I didn’t initially know a lot of what those M&A provisions were—sandbagging and indemnity baskets—and it was a cool way to learn about it because it was really engaging,” Brugger said.

Li agreed.

“We learned most of the M&A clauses and terms during the course of the competition, which was an amazing experience since it mirrors the dynamic nature of corporate legal practice,” she said.

The “Final Four” teams duked out the ultimate rounds at the Montage Laguna Beach resort. The Honorable Lori Will L’09, Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery, was present for the competition.

headshot of Wendy Li L'24 Wendy Li L’24“Wendy and Lex impressed everyone in attendance with their professionalism and skillful handling of complicated issues,” Will said. “Their success as finalists among a group of top-level students is a tribute to their talents. As a Penn Carey Law alum, I couldn’t have been prouder.”

Michael Knoll,Theodore K. Warner Professor of Law & Professor of Real Estate, and Elizabeth Pollman, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Institute for Law & Economics (ILE), worked with Brugger and Li as faculty advisors.

“We’re thrilled for Lex and Wendy and so proud of their outstanding work and stellar performance representing Penn Carey Law at the inaugural invitational,” the pair said of their advisees. “We’re grateful to all who contributed to their experience as well as the ABA M&A Committee for creating a meaningful opportunity for students to get real-world M&A and transactional experience.”

After graduating, Brugger plans to work in corporate law at Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s New York office, while Li will join Latham & Watkins LLP’s New York office for M&A.

The teammates said the competition provided invaluable real-world lessons and myriad opportunities for making connections in the field.

“We had a really awesome time,” Brugger said. “It was lot of fun and a great learning experience.”

Learn more about competitive opportunities for Penn Carey Law students to hone their skills.