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Winter 2021 Course

Negotiation Workshop

This course is co-taught by Sheila Heen, Deborah Goldstein, Alonzo Emery, Gillien Todd, and Lisa Dicker.

Note: This course is restricted to first-year J.D. students only.

The drop deadline for 1L January Experiential Term (JET) classes is December 4, 2020. Students may not drop a course if they do not have an offer to enroll in a different JET course.

Successful completion of the Negotiation Workshop will satisfy pre-requisite requirements for upper-level courses and clinics.

1L JET courses are intensive learning courses. Class attendance is required in each course every day of the term, beginning Tuesday, January 5th. Students should plans accordingly and should not take on other work commitments during the term.

Exam Type: No Exam

Most lawyers, irrespective of their specialty, must negotiate. Litigators resolve far more disputes through negotiation than by trials. Business lawyers — whether putting together a start-up company, arranging venture financing, or preparing an initial public offering — are called upon to negotiate on behalf of their clients. Public interest lawyers, in-house counsel, government attorneys, criminal lawyers, tort lawyers, and commercial litigators all share the need to be effective negotiators.

This Workshop, by combining theory and practice, aims to improve both the participants understanding of negotiation and their effectiveness as negotiators. Drawing on work from a variety of research perspectives, the readings and lectures will provide students with a framework for analyzing negotiations and tools and concepts useful in negotiating more effectively. Participants will spend much of their time in a series of negotiation exercises and simulations, whereas negotiators and critical observers, they will become more aware of their own behavior as negotiators and learn to analyze what works, what does not work, and why.

The Workshop is intensive and time-consuming. Participants should have no other work commitments during the winter term. Class attendance is essential and required at all sessions including the first and last days of the workshop.

Remote learning note: The workshop’s emphasis on small group negotiations and classroom discussion means that you will get to know your classmates and teaching team quickly. In designing the course for remote learning, we have worked to retain the interactive nature of the course, while taking advantage of some things that are actually easier to do by zoom, like self-record your negotiations for analysis. 

When taught in person, the workshop runs 9am-5pm daily. Because we will be teaching and learning remotely, we will be recording the lectures so that you can watch them asynchronously before the next class, and we will spend most classroom hours in smaller Working Groups, with a faculty member and a teaching fellow. Classroom zoom hours will generally run 10am-12pm and 1pm – 3:30pm. Additionally, after enrollment, students will be assigned to sections—for which timing is currently TBD—and you should expect that you will spend additional hours debriefing 1-on-1 with classmates, writing your analyses, and preparing to negotiate the next day.

The Workshop will be limited to 96 students who will be divided into four working groups of 24 each. In addition to participating in the daily activities, students will be expected to keep a journal and write a short paper.

Note: There may be days throughout the winter term that require attendance beyond the scheduled times. Please refer to the course syllabus and page for more information.

The course was originally created by Michael Moffitt, Alonzo Emery and Gillien Todd.