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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Topics in Corporate Law: Negotiation Skills (Spring 2017)

  • Course Number: LAW-720
  • Class Number: 03409
  • Instructor: Stephan Ray

Course Description

As a lawyer, you will probably negotiate more than you do anything else.  You will negotiate not just over cases, but nearly any time that you need something that you cannot get alone.  You will negotiate with your boss, your co-workers, your clients, your paralegals and your assistants.  You will negotiate with all of their counterparts (including the lawyers and clients) on the other side.  You will negotiate with “the system” whether it is the court, the government, the structure of society, or the law.  You will also negotiate with your family, your friends and even yourself. 


This course is designed to: (1) develop your understanding of negotiation, and your awareness of yourself as a negotiator; (2) give you some tools and concepts for preparing for and analyzing negotiations; (3) enhance your negotiating skills through frequent (weekly) role plays, reflection and feedback; and (4) teach you how to keep learning from your own negotiating experience.  In addition to negotiation skills and theory, you will be introduced to issues of legal representation, ethics, and the place of negotiation in our legal system.  This is an interactive and experiential course designed to help you learn negotiating skills by doing readings outside of class, participating in weekly in-class simulation exercises, and preparing occasional short written assignments (usually about 2 pages, except for a concluding term paper which may be up to 10 pages in length).  Basically, you will learn by reading about negotiation theories and by applying them in simulations, figuring out with the rest of the class what works and what does not, and then trying again.  Because participation in the simulations is central to the course, attendance at all classes is required (unless excused for good cause in advance).  Since we will begin our simulation exercises on the first day of class, all students who are interested in taking the course need to be present for the first class.  (Students who are not present will be dropped from the class or wait list unless they have made previous arrangements with the instructor.)


This course is based upon (and is similar to) the basic negotiations course developed and taught at Stanford Law School, where the instructor (Steve Ray) also teaches a course on Corporate Reorganization.  In the Spring Semester 2017, this course will meet every Thursday from 4:00 – 7:00 pm for nine or ten weeks beginning on January 12, 2017 and ending on either March 9 or 23, 2017.   


If you have questions about the course, please feel free to contact Steve Ray at 

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 2
  • Grading Options: Numerical or CR/D/F
  • Schedule: Th 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Room Number: Room 106
  • Exam: Paper
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: yes
  • Participation: Required and graded
  • Enrollment Limitation: 24 students