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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Negotiation Theory and Application (Spring 2018)

  • Course Number: LAW-712
  • Class Number: 03393
  • Instructor: Barry Kaye

Course Description

Negotiation Theory & Application is premised on the reality that the practice of law often requires the use of negotiation as a tool to advocate on behalf of clients, resolve disputes, and settlelegal claims.  This course introduces students to the process of negotiation, explores the theoretical approaches underlying various systems of negotiating, and cultivates students’ advocacy skills to become effective negotiators. Students will learn each of the major bargaining theories, explore the practical application of each theory in context, and better understand strategic movements in negotiating.  Through simulated exercises and reflective discussions, students will also develop skills and confidence as negotiators both as individuals and as client representatives. 

Course Objectives

Through classroom discussion and completion of the assigned readings, students willunderstand negotiation theory and appreciate the psychological, emotional, legal, and ethical components comprising the process of negotiating.  Students will also comprehend the competitive, collaborative, and collective approaches to negotiating and discern opportunities to employ various aspects of each approach in different contexts.  By participating in simulated exercises, students will develop skills and confidence to better represent both themselves and clients in negotiations.

Grading Criteria

Small Group Exercises and Classroom Discussion (20%)

Students will be required to participate in simulated negotiation exercises and engage in classroom discussion reflecting on concepts drawn from the readings.

Midterm Paper (30%)

Students will participate in an extensive multi-party negotiation wherein they will take on the positions of one of the actual actors in the current healthcare debate.  This exercise will take place over two classes.  Students will be expected to be reasonably well versed in the positions of the actual actor that they are playing and will need to incorporate various aspects of the course material in order to attempt to achieve their negotiation objectives.  Students will then write an 8-10 page paper addressing why they believe their actor was or was not successful in achieving its goals in the class exercise. 

Final Paper (50%)

Students will research and write a 16 – 20 page paper on a well documented successful negotiation; such as the 1978 meetings at Camp David that led to the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, BP’s multi-forum negotiations surrounding the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, or the 1995 Dayton Agreement ending the war in Bosnia.  This list is not to be construed as exhaustive – other well documented negotiations are acceptable as well.  The paper should briefly detail the historical background underlying the conflict/issues and then analyze the participants’ stated (and possibly unstated) objectives, their negotiation strategies, their relative successes and failures in achieving their respective goals and their positions after an agreement was reached.  This paper should be written with an emphasis on the procedure, mechanics and techniques learned in the class and course material.  The paper should specifically address ways in which the parties and the facilitators followed the course materials and ways in which they did not.


Course Details

  • Unit Value: 3
  • Grading Options: Numerical or CR/D/F
  • Schedule: M 2:00 pm - 4:50 pm
  • Room Number: Room 130
  • Exam: Mid-term and final paper
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: yes
  • Participation: Required