South Carolina law school students collaborate and practice law

The Business Law Society at Charleston School of Law and the University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law held the first Transactional Law Derby, a student-led competition.

The Overall Winners for Negotiations and Draft components of the competition were Charleston Law students Mason McCormick and Madison Blanton. the “Best Negotiator” Award went to Nicole Whiting from the University of South Carolina Rice School of Law.

The winners of the drafting portion of the competition resulted in a tie between two Charleston Law teams: the team of Victoria Marks and Sam Lipton and the team of Ansley Youst, Kiana Barber and Brittney Beyere.

A total of 10 teams competed in the Derby. Each team competed twice throughout the day. The teams were made up of Charleston School of Law students and University of South Carolina Rice Law School students who are members of their respective Business Law Societies.

“I was thrilled to help provide an opportunity to law students to hone their skills in drafting and negotiating contracts,” said Quin Foster, a member of the Business Law Society and event organizer. “For me, personally, I was able to sit in, listen and watch the event and that was invaluable experience.”

Representatives of both South Carolina law schools agree that shared experiential opportunities are a wonderful way to engage students in practical skills training with this competition focusing on both written drafting skills and oral negotiation skills. The law schools are eager to continue to work together and create more collaborative events in the future.

“The opportunities for students to practice and merge the doctrinal skills that students learn in the classroom play a primary role in the negotiation process,” said Professor of Law Jean Steadman. “All of the students rose to the challenge of researching and drafting both binding and non-binding provisions and then prioritizing the provisions that were most important for their prospective clients during the negotiations. I, personally, am looking forward to building the relationship between the two South Carolina law schools in creating opportunities for all our students to interact, practice their transactional legal skills and enjoy these unique and fun experiences.”

“The students who participated received a boost in self-confidence from the Transactional Law Derby,” added Benjamin Means, Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina Rice Law School. “The students, both at USC and Charleston Law, were able to take the skills they learned in the classroom and put them into practice. I was very impressed with Professor Steadman’s leadership and the Charleston School of Law students who mentored and organized the event.”

The judges for the negotiations consisted of Charleston Law Professors Jean SteadmanJon MarcantelDylan Malagrino, adjunct professor and local attorney, Ben Pogue (’09) , and former TLT member, Christopher Clemens (’21). The remaining judges consisted of third year Transactional Law team members and Virginia Carroll, President of the Business Legal Society at USC.

The University of South Carolina School of Law was represented by past Business Law Society President, Steven Murray, and current President, Virginia Carroll and student participant Nicole Whiting. Professor of Law Benjamin Means and John T. Campbell Chair of Business and Professional Ethics accompanied the University of South Carolina team.


About Us: Charleston School of Law Center for Business and Transactional Law

The Charleston School of Law Center for Business and Transactional Law was formed in Fall 2023 with the purpose of providing increased business, commercial law and contract law opportunities to law students and all stakeholders in the Lowcountry.

The Center for Business and Transactional Law also includes the Charleston School of Law Transactional Law Team and Business Law Society. The Business Law Society is student-run organization that has grown into one of the largest student organizations on campus.

The Business Law Society offered student members many opportunities to network with local business and commercial law attorneys, held engaging speaking events and small lunch and learn events that focused on transactional law topics.

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