Pircher Hosts Seventh Annual Joint Venture Challenge for Law and Business Students at UCLA


Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP (Pircher) recently completed its seventh annual Real Estate Joint Venture (JV) Challenge at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on February 8, 2019. Pircher would like to congratulate all of the winning teams. First place went to D.J. Hsueh (MBA candidate), Bailey McQuain (J.D. candidate) and Kevin Pouldar (J.D. candidate). Scott Kaplan (J.D. candidate) and Will Swanson (J.D. candidate) were awarded second place, and Erin Farrel (J.D. candidate) and Naqi Jaffery (MBA candidate) received third place.

The JV Challenge provides students from the law and business schools at each participating university the opportunity to work alongside each other in a competitive environment to solve real estate joint venture issues that may be encountered after graduation. Students work in small teams to negotiate particular issues based on hypothetical facts and letter of intent provisions. Since 2013, Pircher has facilitated a JV Challenge at UCLA, and this year marks the third year in which the competition has included a mock negotiation.

For the UCLA JV Challenge, coaching was provided to teams beforehand by six Pircher attorneys: Danny Guggenheim, Rich MacCracken, Michael Ray, Ariel Robinson, Michael Scheinberg and Mike Soejoto. Pircher partner Steve Carey moderated the competition. The events concluded with a reception, where winners were announced and awarded cash prizes.

Pircher would like to extend a special thank you to the panel of distinguished industry professionals who judged each team’s performance, all of whom are clients or friends of Pircher: Phil Nichols, founding member and senior counsel, Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP; Bari Cooper Sherman, co-founder, Turner Impact Capital; Patricia Sinclair, senior advisor, special projects, Lincoln Property Company; and Mark Wiesenthal, principal, Platinum Equity. The Pircher team is grateful to the event’s prize sponsors, Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy and Ziman Center for Real Estate. The team would also like to thank its university liaisons from the UCLA Real Estate Law Association (RELA) who made this year’s challenge possible, Michael Polvi, president, and Vanessa King, vice president.

The annual JV Challenge event is a component of Pircher’s commitment to continuing education and mentoring, both within the firm and beyond. It provides the rare opportunity for law and business students to be exposed to the niche of complex real estate joint ventures prior to graduation, and allows them to obtain practical negotiating experience and network with and learn from industry professionals through interaction with coaches and immediate feedback from judges.

While most business schools nationwide are already implementing experience-oriented programs such as the JV Challenge, law students often lack the same opportunities to garner real world transactional skills. Many law schools across the country are beginning to offer this kind of experience to students, and Pircher is proud to have been a part of that movement for the last few years on the West Coast.

Over the next six weeks, Pircher will be hosting two more JV Challenges at University of Southern California (USC) on February 22, 2019 and at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) on March 22, 2019.