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BC Law Wins Negotiation Competition Regionals

11/08/0--The first-year team of Martha Kashickey and Benjamin Krohmal won the ABA Competition, hosted this year at Suffolk Law School.

11/08/07--Boston College Law School's first-year team of Martha Kashickey ('10) and Benjamin Krohmal ('10) won the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition, hosted at Suffolk Law School on November 3-4. The BC Law team defeated 24 other teams on Saturday and went on to sweep the final round against teams from Western New England Law, and Chapman Law School.

"This victory is a great start to what we hope will be another outstanding year for our Advocacy Teams," said Thomas Carey, Director of BC Law's Advocacy Programs. "The four first-year students who comprised our two teams were the finalists in our internal competition, which this year had one of the highest turnouts in school history. There is great interest in all aspects of our advocacy programs: from negotiation to client counseling, to trial practice, and appellate advocacy."

The Negotiation Competition allows students the opportunity to explore various negotiation styles, while honing their strategic and communication skills. Each round of competition requires two teams of two students each to work out a thorny issue on behalf of their hypothetical clients.

Over half the first-year class competed in the Law School's intramural negotiation competition.  Kashickey and Krohmal, as well as two other first year law students, Marie Hemmelgarn and Matthew Mauntel, went on to represent BC at the regionals.  This year's competition centered on the topic of family law, and the problem concerned parental decision-making surrounding non-emergency medical procedures, and the conflict of whether a custodial parent is legally able to move the children 400 miles away from the non-custodial parent.

While both teams performed superiorly, Kashickey and Krohmal swept through both rounds without a loss.

"Probably no one thinks they are going to win the competition when they start out, but we were absolutely shocked at our success," said Kashickey.  "Alan Minuskin and Paul Tremblay were fantastic coaches.  All of us - Alan, Paul, and our teammates Matt and Marie - just had a very relaxed approach to the competition.  This allowed us to be flexible with our strategy during rounds, and also kept in the spirit of negotiation.  Hopefully our success means that you don't have to be overly competitive to win at a competition - you just have to be prepared and have a lot of support from friends and faculty."

"In addition to outscoring the other teams, Martha and Ben truly out negotiated them," added Alan Minuskin, Associate Clinical Professor of Law and a team advisor.  "I observed all of their performances and was awed at how well they implemented their careful planning to negotiate with a principled, interest-focused strategy.  Their timing, delivery, questioning, careful listening, and spontaneity were stunning."

BC Law's victory in this competition is particularly impressive, as they were competing primarily against upperclassmen. Boston College Law School is one of the few teams in the New England region that allows first year students to compete. 

The team will represent the New England region in the national competition in February in Los Angeles.