Negotiations is a competition in which two parties intend to reach a settlement between themselves that is beneficial for their client, without the need of having to resort to litigation. In teams of two you are given a fictional scenario and information specified by the client as confidential which should not be released to the other party. Do not worry if you do not have a partner to sign up with, the Officers will pair you up with someone that you can enter with so that you can still compete.
Once you have received the scenario, you must work together to unpick it, decipher the clients ideal outcome and the minimum deal that they would accept. As a team, you will need to identify elements of the client's situation that may be beneficial or detrimental to their position during negotiations. It is important to then prepare for the different deals that your client would be happy with. By doing so, you will avoid being blindsided by the other party and as a result, should be less likely to accept an unsatisfactory deal unknowingly.
By participating in this competition you can practice and improve on a number of skills that are highly valued by various professional fields. As most disputes are no longer taken to Court, negotiations is a vital tool for resolving disputes outside the judiciary system. Taking part in this competition will allow you to gain a real insight into the practice of law as you experience the method hands on. It is without question, a great addition to your CV.
2019/2020 Negotiations Winners - Debbie Kumar-Benjamin and Laura Keith with Runners Up James Portman and Rhys McCarthy
Skills you will develop :
Experiences of the Competition before Covid-19 "Having such a diverse range of opportunities provided through the UPLS has been vital in my journey as an aspiring barrister. Along with being on the committee for three years, I have taken part in several of the competitions. I was privileged to take part and win the internal competitions 2019/20, as well as represent the University at the CEDR External Competitions, with my partner and upcoming Negotiation Officer Laura Keith. Although negotiations are often seen as a competition for ‘aspiring solicitors’, I was asked about this aspect in the Inner Temple Scholarship Interview, as this showed I could use feedback and develop my ability to adapt as well reflect on my performance. The concept of negotiations tests your critical thinking, which is invaluable to a career in law. The Negotiation Officers provide carefully thought feedback which really shows the depth of knowledge they bring. Having a partner to work with, and supportive officers makes the competition easier with the opportunity to enjoy a challenge." - Debbie Kumar-Benjamin, MSc Criminology Student. "In my first year I knew I needed to improve on my verbal communication skills and self confidence. With this in mind, I signed up to the negotiations competition with the law society. I learnt a lot from the two rounds that I participated in but unfortunately me and my partner were eliminated early on. Working with the Negotiations Officers I identified many of my own flaws, some of which I was unaware of. The following year I entered the competition again, this time getting to the very end of the competition. With the continuous support of the society I grew stronger and more confident after each and every round, I definitely noticed an improvement in myself. I was also lucky enough to represent the University at the external competition. This was also a great experience that I would never have got to experience without the UPLS!" - Rhys McCarthy, 2nd Year LLB Law Student. Experiences of the Competition during Covid-19 "The community created by UPLS has allowed me to develop my skill set and achieve my goals this year. I entered the competition with no negotiation experience but succeeded in winning the internal competition. I was also chosen to represent the University at the CEDR External Competition alongside my partner Chloe Collard. Our success in the competition is a true testament to the Negotiation Officers and guest judges, who consistently provided in-depth feedback with both supportive comments and notes of constructive criticism. Although it can be hard work alongside other commitments, it is one of the most rewarding competitions to participate in. It helped develop my confidence, motivation, and self-belief. I truly enjoyed competing and I look forward to using all I have learnt from the competition in the future." - Hannah Dymond, 3rd Year LLB Law Student.
To view the 'UPLS Negotiations' Facebook page, click here.