Georgia Law dominates Energy Law Negotiation Competition


Georgia Law dominates Energy Law Negotiation Competition

Monday, March 27, 2017

UGA law school teams win two national negotiation competitions

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Law recently won top honors in two national negotiation competitions.

Third-year student Benjamin M. “Ben” Hill and second-year student Steven D. Zavodnick Jr. were named national champions at the Transactional LawMeet in New York. A second law school team comprised of third-year students Molly H. Cash and Hannah R. Coleman also competed at the event. Both teams represented the buyer in a complex asset purchase transaction.

The two teams earned their spots at the national competition after winning regional LawMeet rounds in Dallas and Denver, respectively. Law school graduates Robert C. Davis, Amanda R. Norcross and Rhys T. Wilson helped the teams prepare. Clinical Professor and Business Law and Ethics Program Director Carol Morgan serves as the adviser to the law school’s negotiation team.

“These students put an extraordinary amount of effort into this competition, and all had outstanding performances,” Morgan said. “The Transactional LawMeet is unique in that students both draft and mark up a transactional document and negotiate the terms of the document. Competitions like this provide a valuable opportunity for students to learn about new areas of the law and to hone their skills while actually practicing what they’ve learned.”

Additionally, two law school teams recently captured both first and second place at the Energy Law Negotiation Competition held at the South Texas College of Law. Notably, it was the first time UGA has participated in the tournament.

Third-year law students Blake A. McLemore and L. Joe Potente captured first place, and second-year students Ryan J. Mumper and S. Chase Parker were second place winners.

“The students initiated the idea of participating in this national negotiation competition,” Morgan said. “They were extremely motivated and committed to learning about energy law, and when it came time to compete, they were knowledgeable, prepared and professional in the representation of their clients at the negotiation table.”

The teams competed against Southern Methodist University and Tulane University law schools in their final rounds. They were assisted in preparation by law school graduate Reginald R. “Reggie” Smith, who practices energy law in Houston, along with law school professors Lisa Milot and Daniel J. “Dan” King, who served as guest judges while the teams practiced before the competition.

“Georgia Law is committed to preparing its students with a legal education that will allow them to graduate from law school with the skills and experiences needed to become leaders in both the legal profession and the world,” Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said. “We do this through several ways, one of which is by ensuring that our students have the opportunity to receive world-class practice preparation through our co-curricular programs. As evidenced by these victories, our students graduate from law school with the tools to be successful. I am proud of all of these teams and am deeply appreciative of our faculty members and graduates who assisted in readying them for competition.”


Writer: Lona Panter, 706-542-5172, Contact: Carol Morgan, 706-542-2003,

Note to editors: Photos of the winners are online.

Transactional LawMeet champions Steven Zavodnick and Ben Hill:

Energy Law Negotiation Competition champions Joe Potente and Blake McLemore:

This release is online at

UGA School of Law Consistently regarded as one of the nation’s top public law schools, Georgia Law was established in 1859. Its accomplished faculty includes authors of some of the country’s leading legal scholarship. The school offers three degrees – the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law – and is home to the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Georgia Law is proud of its long-standing commitment of providing first-rate legal training for future leaders who will serve state and nation in both the public and private sectors. For more information, see