Polsinelli Transactional Law Center
The Polsinelli Transactional Law Center creates unique opportunities at KU Law by combining the resources, attorneys and client base of a national law firm with the rigor of a Tier 1 research university.
The Center serves as the umbrella for transactional law courses, symposia and programming related to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, financing, real estate and other business transactions — arming students with the practical skills necessary for successful careers.
Among other initiatives, the Center:
- Houses professional skills courses for students interested in transactional practice
- Hosts speakers and networking events on topics related to transactional law
The Center was established in 2016 with generous support from KU Law alumni and friends employed by Polsinelli. The law firm employs more than 800 attorneys in 20 offices, serving corporations, other institutions and entrepreneurs nationally. The firm counts among its partners and associates many KU Law graduates.
Since offering its first course in 2016, the Polsinelli Transactional Law Center has expanded its offerings to provide students with hands-on experience in transactional law.
Veteran attorneys join KU Law professors to teach two skills simulation courses: Due Diligence in Business Transactions and Deals. The Center also supports students competing in national transactional law competitions.
The Due Diligence in Business Transactions workshop exposes students to the due diligence process that is critical to every business transaction. The experiential course teaches students why due diligence matters and how to properly conduct due diligence review in a simulated acquisition, using hands-on document review and insights from Polsinelli attorneys. The course puts students in the shoes of junior associates working on a deal and gives them a chance to develop practical and professional skills.
In a realistic due diligence setting, students:
- Learn the fundamental scope and goals of the process
- Identify typical issues that must be analyzed
- Practice using a framework for systematically accumulating information
- Understand how that information may affect the structure of the transaction and the content of the agreement that memorializes it
KU Law faculty and experienced transactional attorneys teach the course.
During the Deals course, students walk through the life of a deal, working on drafting, negotiation and client interview skills based on a simulated fact pattern and deal documents. Polsinelli attorneys join KU Law faculty to share their insights, model best practices and train students on the nuts and bolts of deal practice.
Deals is offered as a simulation and professional writing course. It is an optional lab component for students who are concurrently enrolled in Mergers and Acquisitions or who have previously completed it.
Contract Drafting is an intensive skills course designed to teach the principles of contemporary commercial drafting. Students learn how to:
- Translate a business deal into contract concepts
- Draft each part of a contract
- Draft with clarity and without ambiguity
- Add value to a deal
- Work through the drafting process
- Review and comment on a contract
KU Law students regularly compete in national transactional law competitions. The Transactional Law Meet course is part of a national competition, the goal of which is to provide participants with a meaningful and realistic simulation of transactional practice.
The competition involves regional rounds followed by a national round of regional winners. Each round consists of three distinct phases.
- First, students work in teams of two or three to prepare a proposed draft agreement on behalf of one of the two parties to a business transaction.
- Second, each team prepares mark-ups to draft agreements prepared by the opposing teams they will encounter at the regional or national site.
- Finally, the teams meet to negotiate the final contours of the deal.
KU Law students also regularly compete in several other national transactional law competitions.
Alex I. Platt
Director, Polsinelli Transactional Law Center