Pircher Hosts Joint Venture Challenge Competition between UC Berkeley and UCLA
Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP (Pircher) recently completed its annual Real Estate Joint Venture Challenge (JV Challenge), hosted for the second time as a competition between two California universities. The event brought together law and business students from University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in a virtual format on Friday, March 5, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
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 worked in small teams to negotiate particular issues based on hypothetical facts and letter of intent provisions, with the UC Berkeley students playing the role of the operating partner and the UCLA students playing the role of the capital partner in the potential JV. The events concluded with a virtual reception, where winners were announced and awarded cash prizes.
Both schools had outstanding performances: UC Berkeley had the highest scoring team of the day, and UCLA won the school competition with the highest total score. UCLA earned a grand total of 176 points among its competing teams; and UC Berkeley finished the day with 167 points. First place went to the UC Berkeley team comprising Rio Fafen Ciptaswara (LLM candidate), Elizabeth Doctorov (J.D. candidate), Melissa Jeng (MBA candidate) and Andrew Johnson (MBA candidate). Two teams from UCLA tied for second place: one of which included David Gallop (J.D. candidate), Charles Lee (MBA candidate), Paarth Shah (J.D. candidate) and Tanner Wilson (MBA candidate); and the other included Brian Fleischli (MBA candidate), Nicole Patolai (J.D. candidate), Will Schoettle (MLS candidate) and Hannah Wosskow (MBA candidate).
This year, coaching was provided to the teams from both schools beforehand by five Pircher attorneys: Bill Jackson, Richard MacCracken, Ariel Robinson, Michael Scheinberg and Jennifer White. Pircher attorney Steve Carey moderated the competition.
Pircher extends 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: George Carras, Managing Principal, Carras Partners; Sarah Sparks Herron, Assistant General Counsel, Western & Southern Financial Group; Marc Perrin, Founder and Managing Partner, The Roxborough Group; and Patti Sinclair, Senior Advisor, Special Projects, Lincoln Property Company.
The Pircher team also recognizes and thanks:
- The event’s sponsors, Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy, Ziman Center for Real Estate and Berkeley Center for Law and Business, for their support of the program;
- Its school liaisons, Alexandra Faye Diamant, Program Coordinator, Berkeley Center for Law and Business and Kevin Pouldar, President, UCLA Real Estate Law Association (RELA) as well as Mary Ramzy, Vice President, UCLA RELA, for all their help in organizing and coordinating the competition; and
- Its IT Department members, Ros Sok and Bill Santoro, who helped to ensure the first virtual iteration of the JV Challenge ran as smoothly as possible.
The JV Challenge is an integral component of Pircher’s commitment to continuing education and mentorship. Since 2013, Pircher has hosted the JV Challenge at UCLA, and this year marked the sixth year Pircher has led a program for UC Berkeley students. The program continues to provide the unique opportunity for law and business students to be exposed to the niche of complex real estate joint ventures prior to graduation. The JV Challenge allows students to obtain practical negotiating experience as well as network with and learn from industry professionals through interaction with coaches and immediate feedback from judges. Particularly during a time of virtual learning and internships as a result of COVID-19, this kind of real-world experience has become all the more valuable to students across the country.