Celebrating Joe Ward’s Legacy with the Transactional Law Team

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As Joe Ward ‘03 steps down from his position coaching the Transactional Law Team at Maryland Carey Law, we take this opportunity to celebrate his remarkable contributions and the lasting impact he has had on our students and the broader legal community. 

Ward’s connection with Maryland Carey Law began as a student when he founded the Business Law Society, was a key member of the National Trial Team, and served as the Managing Editor of The Business Lawyer (now the Journal of Business & Technology Law). His dedication to the school continued as he took on roles as an adjunct professor, working with the Transactional Law Team and lecturing at the Business Law Boot Camp. 

The Transactional Law Team was derived from the vision of the Business Law Program co-directors Michelle Harner and Rob Rhee. Maryland Carey Law sent its first team to a LawMeet competition in 2011. Shortly after, Michelle Harner, currently a Fourth Circuit U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, identified Ward as the ideal coach due to his extensive experience. Ward’s professional accomplishments as a Principal at Miles & Stockbridge provided the perfect expertise for coaching and teaching. His practice includes corporate and securities matters, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, and private capital markets transactions. His proficiency in these areas allowed him to offer invaluable insights to students, preparing them for the complexities of real-world legal practice. 

Since 2012, his commitment to the team has been unwavering, providing students with hands-on learning experiences that goes beyond theoretical knowledge. Under Ward’s mentorship, students learned to prioritize client needs, anticipate issues, collaborate effectively, and draft precise legal documents. His dedication extended to accompanying teams to competitions, ensuring they had support and guidance throughout their competitions. The Maryland Carey Law team placed year after year in various competitions. What started as an extra-curricular opportunity became a credited course under Ward’s engagement.  

Hilary Hansen, former Manager of the Business Law Program who assisted Ward with the team, commented, “I had the privilege and pleasure of watching Joe work with the Transactional Law Team throughout nine competition seasons, and it was one of the highlights of my time with the Business Law Program. I know many students felt the same way. I often heard from graduating team members say how grateful they were to have participated on the team and learned from Coach Ward.”   

Ward’s leadership with the Transactional Law Team has been nothing short of extraordinary. Since he started coaching, our teams have consistently excelled, winning numerous awards. Under his guidance, Maryland Carey Law teams have secured numerous awards. The team’s history of wins over the last decade speaks for the influence Coach Ward has had: 

2013: Best Draft at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Transactional LawMeet; Third place honors in the negotiation portion of the competition 
2015 First Place for drafted agreement in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Transactional LawMeet 
2017: First Place in both drafting and negotiation at the Mid-Atlantic Regional LawMeet at Drexel University School; Second Place honors in the 8th Annual National Transactional LawMeet 
2019: First Place in both drafting and negotiation at Duke Transactional Law Competition  
2020: Third Place overall at the Duke Transactional Law Competition 
2021: Second Place overall at the Duke Transactional Law Competition. 
2022: Overall Second Place as well as Second Place in Drafting at Duke Transactional Law Competition 
2023:  First Place in “Buyer’s Category” overall at the Duke Transactional Law Competition. 
2024:  Second Place overall at the Duke Transactional Law Competition 

As we celebrate Joe Ward’s legacy, we also look to the future, building on the strong foundation he has established. His contributions have not only brought accolades to Maryland Carey Law but have also equipped our students with skills that will serve them throughout their careers. We extend our deepest gratitude to Joe Ward for his years of dedication and his profound impact on the Transactional Law Team.