Law 793:  Negotiation Skills and Strategies

Students will develop a theoretical and practical understanding of the four phases of the negotiation process and apply that understanding to scenarios involving transactional and disputed matters. Through assigned readings, lectures, simulations, and critical self-analysis of simulation results, students will explore what constitutes a client-satisfactory agreement and why negotiations often result in impasse.

Instruction methodology:  Classes will be conducted in a hybrid format consisting of physical presence and remote (Zoom) conferencing. Typically, classes consist of announcements pertinent to the class, lectures, simulations, and post-simulation debriefings. In class physical presence will be used for class announcements, lectures, and post-simulation debriefings. All class announcements, lectures and debriefings will be broadcast on Zoom when one or more students are unable to be physically present in class. Students will be divided up into simulation groups that will be disbursed among four classrooms. For simulation purposes, there will be no more than two negotiation groups in a classroom with one group located toward the back of the classroom and the other located toward the front of the classroom in order to maintain proper social distancing. Each group will use a Zoom conference link that it sets up to conduct the simulation. Students who are not able to attend in-person class due to COVID-19 positivity testing or symptoms will be able to participate in the simulation through the Zoom conference link set up by the negotiation group to which the student has been assigned.

Sequence and Prerequisites: None

Evaluation: Your grade will be based on the following components:

  1. Class participation (20%). This will be based on 1) your prompt and full attendance in each class, 2) your careful preparation for and execution of each simulation exercise, and 3) the quality of your contributions to class discussions including debriefings of the simulations. During class discussions, you are expected to share your experience in the negotiation simulations as well as incorporate ideas from lectures and from the readings. As described above, missing two or more classes will result in a one-half letter grade deduction from your final course grade, for each class (after one absence) missed.
  2. You will be required to submit a memorandum (50%) which details your preparation for a simulation involving the negotiation of a resolution to a complex dispute. The memorandum will require you to 1) prepare for an attorney-client conference; 2) prepare for the negotiation using the tools and strategies developed in the class; and 3) undertake and apply legal research on assigned relevant issues which will have a significant impact on each side’s position in the negotiation. Half the students will be assigned opposing client parts and the other half will be assigned opposing attorney parts with each of the four parts containing unique information for each respective part.  The simulation will be conducted over four class periods with one class devoted to an attorney-client conference, one class devoted to the negotiation, and two classes devoted to a detailed debriefing of both parts of the simulation.
  3. You will be required to submit a critical self-analysis (30%) of your preparation for and participation in the above-referenced attorney-client conference and the substantive negotiation. You will discuss how your preparation for the two parts of the simulation impacted your attorney-client conference and the negotiation. You will also discuss how your attorney-client conference impacted the negotiation and why the outcome reached (agreement or impasse) occurred.

Course Classification:  Experiential

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