Frequently Asked Questions
What is the American College of Bankruptcy LawMeet?
The American College of Bankruptcy LawMeet is the premier negotiation competition for students interested in bankruptcy and insolvency matters. The ACB LawMeet is a joint project of LawMeets – the pioneering and preeminent sponsor of live, interactive, educational competitions designed to give law students a hands-on experience in developing and honing transactional lawyering skills – and the prestigious American College of Bankruptcy (see below).
What is the American College of Bankruptcy?
The American College of Bankruptcy is an honorary public service association of bankruptcy and insolvency professionals who are invited to join as Fellows based on a proven record of the highest standards of professionalism plus service to the profession and their communities. Together with its affiliated Foundation, the College is the largest financial supporter of bankruptcy and insolvency-related pro bono legal service programs in the United States. Among its many activities, the College conducts advanced educational programs; sponsors the publication of scholarly reports; and maintains the National Bankruptcy Archives at the University of Pennsylvania.
When and where will the LawMeet be held?
The 2017 ACB LawMeet will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2017, at the UCLA School of Law. Please refer to our Travel Page for more information.
How many members are on a team?
Each team will have at least two and no more than three JD or LLM candidates participating in the LawMeet. Up to 12 teams, each consisting of 2-3 members, can participate in the ACB LawMeet. If the competition is oversubscribed, participation may be limited to a single team per school. Preference will be given to teams that register first and to law schools located in the Ninth Circuit. Each team must be sanctioned by a faculty advisor at an ABA-approved law school.
As a law student, how can I participate?
Each team must be sanctioned by a faculty advisor at an ABA approved law school. Members of teams are generally selected by a faculty advisor at each law school. How a faculty advisor selects team members varies from school to school. If you would like to know who the faculty advisor is at your school or if you would like to register a team, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. While some schools select teams through a faculty advisor, other schools select teams through student organizations. Similar to Moot Court Boards, many schools are creating LawMeets Boards to facilitate practical learning experiences for students interested in a transactional practice. To learn more email us at email@example.com.
How do teams prepare for the LawMeet?
All teams will be working on a common bankruptcy problem. Each team will be provided with a case study narrative that sets out the factual background for the problem and introduces the parties to the transactions. Additionally, all teams will be provided confidential facts and a financial package for the parties each team represents, but not for the opposing parties. Some research guidance will be provided, and teams may consult their respective coaches and other advisors (subject to limitations stated in the Instructions and Standards for Judging and Coaching the Negotiation Competition). Generally, teams will be left on their own to figure out and find the resources they require.
Bloomberg BNA, a sponsor of the ACB LawMeet, has also generously provided a Bankruptcy Resource as well as a Transactional Law Resource in order to help teams prepare for the LawMeet. RESOURCES COMING SOON.
Are there restrictions on the resources we can use to prepare? How much help can we get?
It is expected that teams will work primarily on their own to draft the term sheets and prepare for the LawMeet. Teams must decide whether they will have two or three team members negotiate during the round. Generally, teams are expected to use and rely on their own, independent work product. Keeping this general principle in mind, there are no restrictions on the outside resources, including outside experts such as practitioners and law professors, that a team may consult in developing its independent work, subject to the limitations stated in the Instructions and Standards for Judging and Coaching the Negotiation Competition. Each team is encouraged to have a coach, who may be either a faculty member or a practicing insolvency attorney. Fellows of the American College of Bankruptcy will volunteer to serve as coaches for teams that request them. Coaches and faculty or other advisors may not be active participants in, or communicate with the team members during the LawMeet negotiation rounds.
As noted in the Negotiation Competition Rules and Procedures, teams will have access to financial advisors if needed. Below is the contact information from advisors at FTI Consulting: COMING SOON
How much work is involved? Can I receive course credit?
The time commitment is a decision you and your teammates must make. Past LawMeets teams have reported spending “hundreds of hours” preparing for the LawMeet. Many schools offer course credit to participants in the LawMeet (similar to moot court teams). This is a decision of each individual law school and should be discussed with the faculty advisor.
- More than 50% of schools that participated in past LawMeets awarded credit to their teams for their participation.
- More than 90% of law schools that participated in past LawMeets covered all team expenses.
Are there any prerequisites or recommended prior course work for participating in the LawMeet?
Generally, we assume that team members will have completed their 1L year (although 1L students are free to participate) and have taken a basic bankruptcy law course, but there are no express prerequisites. The ACB LawMeet is open to any interested student that is enrolled as a JD or LLM candidate at a US ABA-accredited law school.
Can LLM students participate on a team?
LLM students are not precluded from participating. Law schools are encouraged to give preference to students who are likely to use their degree to practice in the insolvency field.
What exactly will teams be required to do and by when?
Each team will be required to submit its term sheets no later than January 10, 2017. Shortly afterward, each team will receive term sheets from the opposing sides. The competing term sheets will be the starting points for the negotiation in the first and second round at the ACB LawMeet on January 28, 2017.
For further information, please see the 2017 ACB LawMeet Rules and Procedures.
What happens at the LawMeet?
Teams participate in two “rounds” of negotiation, each approximately one hour in length. During each round, teams come together to attempt to resolve the open issues and reach an agreement for the benefit of their respective clients. Each negotiation round is conducted before a panel of three Fellows of the American College of Bankruptcy who will judge each team’s performance. After each “negotiation session” is completed, the judges will meet with each team separately for the team’s self evaluation and to provide oral feedback on the team’s performance.
For a more detailed overview of the evaluation criteria, please refer to the Instructions and Standards for Judging and Coaching the Negotiation Competition.
The case statement for this year’s LawMeet will be provided on or shortly before October 31, 2016. Prior to that date, all registered teams will receive access to a team-only website. There you will find complete team instructions. In the meantime, if you have any questions please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.