[From L to R: Abena Ampofo LAW ’25, Aaron Bach LAW ’24, Tristan Duarte LAW ’24, Victor Ficarra LAW ’24, Philip Galanaugh LAW ’23, and Cole White LAW ’25]
A group of law students participated in a professional contract negotiation competition hosted by the Sports Law Institute at Villanova Law School over Temple Law’s spring break. The Villanova Professional Football Negotiation Competition included 20 law school teams from across the country, including the host school Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, University of Michigan Law School, Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law, William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), University at Buffalo School of Law, Boston College Law School, and the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Temple Law students Abena Ampofo LAW ’25, Aaron Bach LAW ’24, Tristan Duarte LAW ’24, Victor Ficarra LAW ’24, Philip Galanaugh LAW ’23, and Cole White LAW ’25 demonstrated exceptional negotiation skills and hard work throughout the competition. Temple faced UNLV in the championship round, narrowly missing victory. Ficarra, Galanaugh, and Bach were named “Best Orators” of the competition and Duarte placed second in the oral presentations.
The competition was a unique opportunity for law students to gain exposure to sports law and transactional law. The competition required students to work collaboratively with their peers and strengthen their oral advocacy skills, all while working with content that was academically rigorous and tied to their personal and professional passions.
“As a 1L, I’m trying to gain exposure to as many areas of law as I can to know what interests me the most,” said White. “Like many, I started law school with a preconception of what legal career path I’d like to pursue, but the school experience itself broadens one’s perspective on what practice areas are available beyond an initial preference. This competition was helpful to understand what a career in sports law and transactional law might be like.”
“Villanova’s Professional Football Negotiation competition provided an awesome experience where we collaborated with our peers and strengthened our oral advocacy skills all while working with content that’s both academically rigorous and tied to our personal and professional passions,” said Ficarra.
“I was really taken aback with the quality of competition, the attention to detail, and the advanced nature of the negotiation processes I took part in,” said Duarte. “It was amazing to see so many fellow law students as engaged, prepared, and excited about Sports Law as I am. Sending teams to Sports Law Negotiation tournaments is a new thing for Temple Law, and I am so proud to be a part of the student body that is not only participating in these events but excelling. I hope to help grow the Sports Law Negotiation Team here at Temple Law and leave a legacy behind of hard work, determination, and success in this field.”
The competition format included head-to-head contract negotiations against other schools, followed by oral presentations to a panel of three judges on proposed contract terms for a real professional football player whose identity was revealed only the night before. The students worked throughout the night compiling and analyzing data and preparing PowerPoint presentations on proposed contract terms for that player.
“We worked incredibly hard to prepare for the competition,” said Galanaugh. “Through our hard work and experience, we learned so much about the intricacies of NFL contracts and the utilization of different negotiation tactics along the way. In the end, I am proud of the work we did and how we finished. Temple Law has a bright future ahead when it comes to competing in sports law competitions and I cannot wait to see where the future takes us.”
Bach, named one of the competition’s “Best Orators,” echoed his teammates. “The competition was a lot of fun, especially working with and learning from Victor Ficarra, Phil Galanaugh, and Sam Finkel,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough for their help and teamwork. Learning more about the NFL salary cap and how to come to a deal that worked for both the team and the player was exciting and rewarding. Coming out on top in these deals and being named best orators with Victor and Phil is a great accomplishment. I look forward to competing in competitions like this in the future.”
Abena Ampofo credits Temple Law’s Introduction to Transactional Skills (ITS) program, a two-week intensive course for first year law students that develops strategic thinking, interviewing, negotiating, and drafting skills, for inspiring her curiosity in transactional law.
“My first experience with transactional law was during my fall semester with ITS and I truly enjoyed the experience,” she said. “Participating in the Villanova Competition opened my eyes to the background work, and I am thankful to have had a wonderful team teaching me the ropes and making this a truly memorable experience.”
Alongside the Temple teams were Professor Ken Jacobsen and law students Sam Finkel and Bri Quinn, who also set aside substantial time to help the teams prepare for the competition. “All of these students deserve recognition for their hard work and excellent performances,” said Jacobsen.