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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Let’s Make a Deal

Let's Make a DealNegotiation is a skill that every attorney needs to have in his or her tool box, but it is not a required course in any law school of which I am aware.  As one who is certified in ADR from one of the best programs in the country, I can honestly say that I use these techniques on a daily basis – on and off the clock.  Although this topic is non-doctrinal and is not tested on any bar exam, it is a skill that every law student should learn before entering practice.  Should it be a required third-year course?  Why or why not?

Posted by Kelly Anders on December 16, 2014 at 10:05 AM in Teaching Law | Permalink


What Ray Campbell said. I learned a ton about negotiation...in my ADR class. But I negotiated (and still do even in academia) much more often than I engage in ADR.

Posted by: Michael Risch | Dec 17, 2014 9:34:55 AM

Negotiation is not ADR. One of the disservices schools do to students is bury negotiation in ADR courses, which will appeal mainly to those who think of themselves as on a litigation track, whereas every lawyer negotiates, and certainly transactional lawyers as much as anyone.
I think every law student should take a negotiation course, because it is such a core skill of actual practice and because if the course is done right the student will emerge with a methodology and skill set that can be used in all kinds of settings. Whether it should be required is a different matter, and really gets to the issue of to what degree schools should be enabling students to make choices or making choices for them.

Posted by: Ray Campbell | Dec 16, 2014 7:50:51 PM

While I think the usefulness of a class on Negotiation, technique-focused as it may be, will vary based on the disposition, aptitude, and background of the student, and so should probably remain elective, awareness of ADR mechanisms and processes in general: i.e., awareness of the existence of mediation, arbitration, med-arb, et cetera, and how they function, should probably be a required course. The likelihood, whether in criminal or civil, state or federal contexts, that students will eventually encounter cases in their practice that have touched upon, or even passed through, some form of ADR seems quite high, particularly with the growth ADR has experienced in recent decades.

Posted by: Vinminen | Dec 16, 2014 3:28:54 PM

"Required"? Why not let the students decide, in their own best interest, if they want to take it? The schools could then ensure that student demand is satisfied with adequate offerings.

Posted by: John Steele | Dec 16, 2014 10:29:46 AM

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