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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Negotiations Skills (Fall 2019)

  • Course Number: LAW-845
  • Class Number: 03613
  • Instructor: Stephan Ray

Course Description

In the last analysis, you cannot learn negotiation from a book.  You must actually negotiate.  – James C. Freund

As a lawyer, you will probably negotiate more than you do anything else.  You will negotiate not just over cases, but nearly any time you need something that you cannot get alone.  You will negotiate with lawyers and principals on the other side, clients and their representatives on your side, and third parties.  You will negotiate with your boss, your co-workers, providers of goods or services, the government, and the court.  And, of course, you will negotiate with your family and friends, and even yourself.

We begin the course at the beginning – assessing your default negotiation style(s), discussing prior experiences with and beliefs about negotiations, and setting class norms.  We quickly move to applied learning, using simulated negotiations to tease out principles, styles and strategies, with the goal of allowing you to explore what is most effective for you.

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 developing negotiation skills and studying 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, preparing short written assignments (usually 2-4 pages) in advance of approximately half of the classes, and writing a concluding term paper (which may be up to 12 pages in length).  Essentially, 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

We will do at least one, and sometimes two, negotiation simulation exercises during each class session.  Please arrive on time, because we often begin immediately with the assigned negotiation exercise.

Because participation in the simulations is central to the course, attendance at all classes is required (unless excused for good cause in advance).

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 3
  • Grading Options: Numerical or CR/D/F
  • Exam: None
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: Yes
  • Participation: Required and graded
  • Enrollment Limitation: 24 students