The Negotiation Competition, held each fall, is an opportunity for first-year students to explore a variety of negotiation styles and to hone their strategic and communication skills by simulating legal negotiations. In each round of competition, teams of two students compete head-to-head to reach a settlement on behalf of theoretical clients. The teams compete under tight time constraints and are tested at their ability to quickly assess the interests of their client and adversary as well as showcase effective communication. The two winning teams of the intramural competition are go on to represent the school at the annual ABA Regional Negotiations Competition, held at a different law school each year in October.
In advance of each round, the teams are provided with a memo outlining the background of the situation, the key facts on their side of the issue, and the negotiating authority granted by their clients. Teams negotiate with each other for 40 minutes, during which either side may request the opportunity to confer privately for up to five minutes. There are a series of weekly elimination rounds, culminating in a final round of four teams, two of which go on to the regional competition.
Attorney-judges observe two one-hour rounds of competition in an evening, providing feedback to the teams, ranking them on elements of their performances, and ultimately choosing a winning pair to move on to the next round.
Teams are evaluated on their ability to elicit information from the other side, to overcome obstacles to mutual agreement, to propose creative solutions to the problem, and to work together as a team.
For more information, email the current chairs of the Client Counseling competition at: