Pircher Hosts Fifth Annual Joint Venture Challenge for Law and Business Students at UC Berkeley

March 2019

Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP recently completed its fifth annual Real Estate Joint Venture (JV) Challenge at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) on March 22, 2019. Pircher would like to congratulate all of the winning teams. First place was awarded to Harsh Jain (MRED+D candidate), Kurt Kurzenhauser (J.D. candidate), Anna Maria Mazzoni (LL.M. candidate) and Kourosh Mostashari (MBA candidate). Second place went to Harold Gong (LL.M. candidate), Amanda (AJ) Jaramillo (J.D. candidate), Ian Leatherbury (MBA candidate) and Daniel Potter (MBA candidate), while Pormpong Denchock (LL.M. candidate), Ziyi Guo (MRED+D candidate), Kamran Johnson (MBA candidate) and Matthew Saverin (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 teams to negotiate particular issues based on hypothetical facts and letter of intent provisions.

For the UC Berkeley JV Challenge, coaching was provided to teams beforehand by six Pircher attorneys: Alexis Alonzo, Danny Guggenheim, Bill Jackson, Rich MacCracken, 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 friends of Pircher: Cathy Greenwold, senior advisor, TMG Partners; Dan Hirsch, principal, KRDH Holdings; Awais Mughal, former partner, Harvest Properties, Inc.; and Marc Perrin, managing partner, The Roxborough Group, LLC. The Pircher team is also grateful to its co-sponsor, Berkeley Center for Law and Business. Additionally, the team would like to thank its school liaison, Alexandra Faye Diamant, program coordinator, Berkeley Center for Law and Business, for all her help in organizing and coordinating the competition.

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.

Last month, Pircher hosted JV Challenges at UCLA on February 8, 2019 and USC on February 22, 2019.