Pircher Hosts Second Annual Joint Venture Challenge for Law and Business Students at USC


Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP recently completed its second annual Real Estate Joint Venture (JV) Challenge at University of Southern California (USC) on February 22, 2019. The Pircher team would like to congratulate all of the winning teams. First place was awarded to Dennis Lowe (MBA candidate) and Lorraine Wang (J.D. candidate). Second place went to Kelly Manson (MBA candidate) and Matt Saria (J.D. candidate), and Garrett Gomez (MBA candidate) and James Bennett (J.D. 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 pairs to negotiate particular issues based on hypothetical facts and letter of intent provisions.

For the USC JV Challenge, coaching was provided to teams beforehand by four Pircher partners: Alexis Alonzo, Danny Guggenheim, Michael Ray 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: Sarah Sparks Herron, senior counsel, Western & Southern Financial Group; Jennifer McElyea, senior managing partner, Watt Investment Partners; Neville Rhone, co-founder and managing partner, Arc Capital Partners; and Tyler Rothenberg, managing director, Cerberus Real Estate Capital Management. The Pircher team is also grateful to USC Gould School of Law and USC Marshall School of Business for their support of the program.

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.

In four weeks, Pircher will be hosting its final JV Challenge of the year at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) on March 22, 2019.