Harvard Law School is pleased to announce that a $1 million gift from Ada Tse ’91 and James Yang through their family’s YangTse Foundation will expand and enhance the Law School’s signature Negotiation Workshop, an intensive course that combines theory and practice to improve students’ understanding of negotiation and their effectiveness as negotiators.

“The key to resolving conflicts between nations, to structuring winning business transactions, and to mending fractured relationships is to negotiate effectively,” said Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “This superb gift from Ada Tse and James Yang will enable many more HLS students to learn how to negotiate, how to bridge cultural, philosophic, professional, and interpersonal differences, and how to advance knowledge and understanding of conflict resolution.”

Tse and Yang’s gift will enable additional students to enroll in the Negotiation Workshop. The Workshop is among the most popular courses at Harvard Law School and often has a substantial waitlist.

“James and I are thrilled to support Harvard Law School’s outstanding negotiation curriculum, particularly the flagship Negotiation Workshop,” Tse said. “Now, more students can benefit from coursework in effective and creative problem-solving across cultural divides, and prepare to embark on successful careers advancing the rule of law, creating and directing enterprises, and even leading communities and nations.”

“An art and a science”

Students in the Negotiation Workshop are divided into working groups overseen by an experienced instructor and a teaching assistant. As negotiators and critical observers, Workshop participants use exercises and simulations to become more aware of their own behavior and determine what works—and what does not. The Workshop’s readings and lectures provide a framework for analyzing negotiations, as well as useful tools and concepts. Class sessions also involve simulations, in-class demonstrations, video recordings, personalized feedback, and self-reflection through weekly journals.

“We are grateful to Ada Tse and James Yang for their tremendous generosity to the Workshop and to the Law School’s negotiation teaching program,” said Robert C. Bordone ’97, Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program, who also teaches the Negotiation Workshop course. “Regardless of specialty, all lawyers need to be effective negotiators. In the Workshop, students immerse themselves in the theory and practice of negotiation. Through the use of challenging simulations, students grow in their ability be effective, problem-solving, and creative negotiators in both transactional and dispute resolution contexts.”

The Workshop is part of an array of offerings on negotiation and mediation at Harvard Law School. HLS is uniquely positioned in the field, as current faculty build on the legacy of the late Roger Fisher LL.B. ’48, a professor at the Law School for more than 40 years and a pioneer in the field of negotiation and conflict resolution. Today, the Law School’s dispute resolution program is consistently ranked in the top tier of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Schools rankings.

The Law School offers other negotiation-related courses through the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program, where students have the opportunity to work with clients on advanced projects related to conflict assessment, dispute systems design, and consensus building. Past clients of the clinic include Seeds of Peace, the Cleveland Indians, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Students must complete the Negotiation Workshop before they can enroll in the clinic, which also recently launched two new pilot programs related to facilitation and dialogue on campus. Founded in 2006 by Bordone, the clinic will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year with a gala on November 5th.

The Law School is also home to the Program on Negotiation (PON), a consortium program of Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Tufts University established in 1983. The founders of PON shared a guiding belief that “negotiation is an art and a science” and that it can be viewed through the lenses of law, business, government, psychology, economics, anthropology, the arts, and education.

Giving back

Tse is currently running her family’s YangTse Foundation after stepping back as President and CEO of PineBridge Investments Asia Limited, where she continues as Senior Advisor. The YangTse Foundation focuses on supporting education and arts initiatives that are often interdisciplinary, alternative, and cross-cultural. She previously worked at Morgan Stanley and Sullivan & Cromwell. Along with her JD from Harvard Law School, she holds a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from Harvard. Yang, Tse’s husband, is founder and chairman of the Evenstar and Geminis groups of companies. He attended Yale University for both his undergraduate and law degrees.

“The education I received at Harvard Law School has been invaluable for my career,” Tse said. “Now, as I mark my 25th Reunion year, I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to support a new generation of faculty and students in their pursuit of rigorous teaching and learning in negotiation, dispute resolution, and mediation on a global basis.”