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Penn Law team wins IP LawMeet National Championship

November 16, 2015

On November 6, Penn Law students Adam Alperowicz L’17 and Nayha Zubair L’16 were named champions of the fifth annual Intellectual Property LawMeet, along with a team from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

The national championship round of the LawMeet was held at the Philadelphia offices of BakerHostetler LLP, and the firm hosted six finalist teams from around the country who had advanced from the regional rounds of competition.

During the national championship, the judges — all experienced legal practitioners — acted as the opponents for each negotiating team.

“It could have been an intimidating situation, but the students were well prepared and knew their facts, and kept their composure brilliantly,” said Cynthia Dahl, Practice Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Law School’s Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic. “I am so proud of how hard they worked this semester, and how much they learned in a very short period of time.”

In this year’s IP LawMeet, the teams represented either Callista Sparks, a fictional popular performer, or the Magnificent Football League in the negotiation of an agreement for Sparks’s appearance at the halftime show of the league’s annual championship game. Alperowicz and Zubair were recognized for the representation of the MFL, and the team from University of Missouri-Kansas City was honored for their representation of Sparks.

“Adam and I were required to think quickly on our feet to navigate the hurdles that were thrown at us,” said Zubair. “The challenging nature of this set-up taught me a lot about how negotiations work and for that I am tremendously thankful.”

“The national round was challenging; negotiating against skilled attorneys who not only had years of practice on us, but were also deliberately testing both our patience and our ability to react to adversarial opponents was hard,” said Alperowicz. “The experience has taught us beneficial lessons that I’m sure will pay off in the years to come as we leave law school and enter practice on our own.”

The team’s victory is Penn Law’s second in the past four years. In 2012, the Law School’s first year competing in the LawMeet, Christina Wong L’14 and Lauren Saltiel L’14 also took the top prize at the national competition.

“The IP LawMeet does a great service in that it lets the students try out theory in practice, and receive real-time, personalized feedback that they can apply immediately,” added Dahl. “I think the method really cements the learning. I am proud that our team won a national title, but there were many talented teams that deserved recognition, and I know they all came away with a great experience and valuable lessons.”