Startup LawMeet®

P.S. Registration for Startup LawMeet is now closed. 

The Startup LawMeet® is the premier interscholastic competition for students interested in a transactional practice involving entrepreneurial companies. The Startup LawMeet® forms a part of the LawMeet® family of educational competitions designed to give students a hands-on experience to develop their transactional lawyering skills. Participation in the Startup LawMeet® is open to any student pursuing a professional or graduate degree – JDs, MBAs, masters or doctorates in computer science, engineering, design – anyone interested in learning about the legal issues affecting entrepreneurial ventures.

We strongly encourage participation by teams from different disciplines and do not require that teams include a law student. In the startup world, it is often the non-lawyer entrepreneur or investor who leads the negotiation of a transaction. Serial entrepreneurs and investors are as conversant in the legal issues as lawyers. The best startup lawyers work shoulder to shoulder with their clients, developing highly collaborative relationships and a deep understanding of their clients’ businesses and aspirations. The Startup LawMeet® is designed to bring both lawyers and non-lawyers together to teach them about the legal issues they will face together.

The Startup LawMeet® consists of two rounds – the Qualifying Rounds and the National Championship Rounds. The National Championship Rounds will be held on Friday, March 24, 2017, at the offices of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto. The Qualifying Rounds will be held virtually over a twelve- week period beginning in December. Twelve teams will be selected in the Qualifying Rounds to advance to the National Championship Rounds.

The primary goal of the Startup LawMeet® is to provide each participant a meaningful and engaging simulation of working with a startup company and its legal issues. The challenges each team will face will require an understanding of the corporate, securities, tax and lawyering issues faced by an entrepreneurial venture.

Teams

Teams must consist of at least two, and no more than three, students. Students must be registered as students at an ABA-accredited law school or in a graduate or professional degree program at a university with an ABA-accredited law school. Teams from universities located outside the United States may also be

invited to participate. Members of a team must be students at the same university but need not be from the same department. We strongly encourage teams from different disciplines. While it is suggested, a team is NOT required to have a law school member. For this first year of the competition, we are limiting the number of teams that may participate in the Qualifying Rounds to fifty (50). Teams will be accepted on a “first come, first served” basis. To participate, teams must simply register here1 and pay the required registration fee here2.

From the teams participating in the Qualifying Rounds, twelve (12) will be selected to advance to the National Championship Rounds.

Logistics

Schedule

DATE TASK
December 2, 2016
  • Registration closes.
On or around

December 16, 2016

  • Client videos and related problem materials for ALL four Qualifying Round exercises are published.
January 20, 2017
  • Team responses to first Qualifying Round exercise are due.
  • Expert answer for first exercise is published.
January 27, 2017
  • Team responses to second Qualifying Round exercise are due.
  • Expert answer for second exercise is published.
  • Peer and expert scoring of first Qualifying Round is completed.
February 3, 2017
  • Team responses to third Qualifying Round exercise are due.
  • Expert answer for third exercise is published.
  • Peer and expert scoring of second Qualifying Round is completed
February 10, 2017
  • Team responses to final Qualifying Round exercise are due.
  • Expert answer for final exercise is published.
  • Peer and expert scoring of third Qualifying Round is completed
February 17, 2017
  • Peer and expert scoring of final Qualifying Round is completed
February 24, 2017
  • Finalists are announced.
On or before

March 10, 2017

  • Materials and problem for National Championship Rounds are published.
March 24, 2017
  • National Championship Rounds

 

Qualifying Rounds

The Qualifying Rounds will be conducted online, beginning in December. The rounds will consist of four, 3-step challenges. In the first step, all teams will be presented with a video recording of a meeting. In this recording, the participants will describe a problem or task that requires some form of legal solution. To complete the first step, each team will be required to submit a response to the problem or task presented. All team submissions will consist of a video recording of the team’s verbal response and may also require submission of a written work product. In step two, each team will be provided a “model response” and asked to review selected submissions by other teams. Submissions will be reviewed in pairs, and each team will be required to review a specified minimum number of pairs. In reviewing each pair, teams will be asked to provide feedback on the submissions they review and to indicate a preference for one submission among each pair they review. In step three, each team will review and evaluate the feedback they receive from other teams.

Each team will be ranked in each round based upon a composite of 1) the votes they receive for their submission, and 2) the quality of their evaluations of other teams’ submissions. The ten (10) most highly-ranked teams in each round will be recognized and their submissions will be made available for all teams to view. These submissions will also be submitted to a panel of experts. The panel of experts will select the five best submissions and will rank order the top five. They will also provide written feedback for all of the submissions they review. Points will be awarded to teams in each round of the Qualifying Rounds. The 12 teams that earn the most points in the Qualifying Rounds will advance to the National Championship Rounds.

 

National Championship Rounds

The National Championship Rounds will be held over a single day at the offices of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto. Each team will participate in two preliminary rounds in which they will conduct a meeting with one or more experts. The subject matter and background information for each of these meetings will have been given to the teams at least two weeks prior to the National Championship Rounds. At the conclusion of each meeting, teams will receive feedback from the experts. At the conclusion of the preliminary rounds, three teams will be selected to advance to the final rounds.

In the final rounds, teams will again conduct a meeting with a panel of experts. The subject matter and background information for this meeting will be given to the teams following the conclusion of the preliminary rounds, giving them 90 minutes to prepare for the final rounds. At the end of the final rounds, all teams will receive feedback regarding their performances and the first, second and third place teams will be announced.

Experts

A core value of participation in the Startup LawMeet® is the opportunity to engage with and learn from experts.

During the Qualifying Rounds, each participating team will be given access to an expert’s discussion of each of the four problems or tasks at the end of step one. This will allow each team to compare their own approach to that of an expert and to have an expert’s views in mind as they review and evaluate other teams’ submissions. In addition, at the end of each round of the Qualifying Rounds, all participating teams will be able to view the feedback given by a panel of experts who are judging the top team submissions.

During the National Championship Rounds, each team will have the opportunity to engage with experts who will be judging and providing feedback during each of the rounds, to watch a demonstration by a panel of experts, and to network with the experts during breaks and a reception.

 

Preparation

There are no pre-requisites for participation in the Startup LawMeet®. In fact, you don’t even need to be a lawyer! In the Startup world, many of the best “deal makers” aren’t lawyers, and most entrepreneurs have some command of the legal issues. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be prepared.
We offer two options.

We have partnered with our friends at Hotshot, a provider of modern learning to the legal industry, who will provide all of our teams and judges with free access to their Venture Financing topic. This topic includes short, practical videos and related materials focusing on the key legal and business issues and documents involved in fundraising for startups, as well as important “venture math” calculations. This access program will start soon but in the meantime you can register for trial access on their homepage at http://www.hotshotlegal.com.

In addition, we strongly recommend Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson’s book, Venture Deals.

Awards

In addition to the National Championship title, second and third place teams will be announced. In addition, the top-10 teams in each Qualifying Round and the 12 teams that advance to the National Championship Rounds will be recognized.

Travel

The National Rounds will be held at the Palo Alto offices of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati (650 Page Mill Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94304).

Teams and advisors can book their stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Palo Alto. The hotel is located at 4216 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, California  94306. The hotel is a 6 minute drive from the the Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati office. Guests can book the group rate by clicking on this link.

Group rate is $149, plus tax per night. This rate is available until March 9, 2017 and is subject to availability.

Particulars

For this first year of the competition, we are limiting registration to 50 teams.

Each team must pay a $199 non-refundable fee to participate in the Qualifying Rounds. Teams that are invited to participate in the National Championship Rounds will not be required to pay any additional fees but will be responsible for all travel and other out-of-pocket expenses of participating in the National Championship Rounds. To register to participate in this year’s Startup LawMeet®, follow this link.3 For your registration to be considered complete, you must have paid the non-refundable fee here.4 Teams must provide their own transportation and lodging for the National Championship Rounds. A reception as well as certain meals at the National Championship Rounds will be provided. Details regarding hotel arrangements and local transportation will be provided.

For further information, please reach us at contact@lawmeets.com and to register complete the form below or click here!

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