Feb. 08, 2023 — Competing with law students from across the country, University of Houston Law Center 3L William Cowan won the invitation-only transactional law event, The Closer.
“This win highlights UH Law Center’s strong ADR program and the Blakely Advocacy Institute,” said Cowan, who was a first-time competitor in the annual Baylor Law event in Waco, Texas.
According to Baylor, The Closer competition is open to “law schools whose programming demonstrates a commitment to excellence in practical transactional law training.”
"This is the first time that we have been admitted to The Closer competition and we are thrilled that Will Cowan, one of our UHLC ADR Team Board Members, was able to take home 1st Place and the Professionalism Award. It is truly an honor, and we hope to return in the future," said Megan Daic, UH Law Center’s ADR Competition Team Director.
To prepare for the competition, Cowan worked on best practices for term sheets, redlining documents and negotiations with James Dorough-Lewis, a Corporate Associate with Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, who volunteers as a coach for the UH Law Center ADR team.
“Because it’s a transactional law competition, The Closer fills a critical gap in preparing law students for a transition into practice, and by design, it’s as much practical training as a test of skill. I couldn’t be happier with Will’s success at The Closer, as it’s an indicator of much more than winning the competition,” said Dorough-Lewis.
Cowan was also recognized with the competition’s Professionalism Award.
“It was quite a surprise,” he said on the recognition, “I think just being social with the other students may have helped get my name out there.”
“It was great meeting other students from all across the country. The other students were also very nice and genuine,” Cowan said. “There were teams from BYU, Ohio State, Oregon, San Diego, Wisconsin and more.”
Baylor has hosted The Closer competition since 2017 with two grand prizes awarded to the top student on each side of the hypothetical negotiation. The winner on the other side of this year’s contest was University of Denver Sturm College of Law student Ryann Connell.
As part of the competition, students took a tour of Waco locations noted in the fictional case, including the Cottonland Castle, Union Hall and the Magnolia Market at the Silos.
“This is by far one of the best-run competitions I've competed in. Baylor Law did an amazing job hosting this competition,” said Cowan the small details “made the competition top-notch.”
Currently, Cowan is helping other UH Law Center ADR teams prepare for upcoming competitions by sparring during Saturday practices.
To learn more about UH Law Center’s ADR Teams and the Blakely Advocacy Institute, visit https://www.law.uh.edu/blakely/.
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