Third-year students Tom Harvey and Michael Logan are representing Campbell Law School in the American Bar Association (ABA) Regional Negotiation Competition on Nov. 13-14. The team is coached by Assistant Dean of Student Life and Pro Bono Opportunities Evin Grant ’16. Like the majority of competitions this year, the Negotiations Competition will be held virtually due to COVID-19.
“I always find the negotiations competition fascinating because it forces students to be creative and flexible,” Grant explained. “It requires a delicate balance of advocating for the needs of your client, being empathetic to the requests of opposing counsel, and being self-aware of the emotions you and your teammate are projecting – all while staying on top of time limits. As a former competitor, this is not an easy task. I commend every student who steps up to the challenge.”
The ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition is designed to promote interest among law students in legal negotiation, while providing a forum to improve negotiating skills through simulations of a series of legal problems. This year’s topic is sports law, according to the website.
A team consists of two JD candidates attending the same ABA-approved law school negotiating on behalf of their client to resolve a dispute or negotiate an agreement. At the regional competitions, each team will compete in two preliminary rounds and the top four teams will advance to the final round. The first place team from each regional competition will advance to the National Finals.
The simulations include a common set of facts for all students to work from as well as confidential information known only to the students representing a particular side of the negotiation. As students advance in the competition, the negotiation situation varies at each round, meaning no two negotiations are the same. Students must negotiate under time constraints and in an area of law in which they may not be familiar. The competition promotes development of the student’s communication skills and ability to quickly assess the needs and interests of their client and adversary.