Legal Negotiation in Theory and Practice

Course content

The main objective of the course is to provide the participants with theoretical knowledge and practical training in different negotiation techniques including preparations ahead of meetings, the negotiation process, and the subsequent post-negotiation analysis. Emphasis will be placed on the understanding of the multiple factors that contribute to negotiation effectiveness, considerations regarding the tactical choices and strategic decisions available and the ability to devise viable agreements. Settlement of conflicts by court is often time as well as money consuming, and litigation might complicate ongoing relations between the parties. For these reason only a small part of conflicts whether between individuals, organizations, between individuals and organizations or the state, end up in court. Knowledge and skills in negotiation and legal negotiation is useful to all practicing lawyers and business people everywhere, as it is the most common way to reconcile differences.

 

A thorough pre-planning is a decisive qualification in reaching a satisfactory result as a negotiator. The pre-planning must deal with definition of the parties’ mandates, agenda setting, the possibility of coalitions, possible difficulties in keeping loyalty, the identification and framing of issues and interests involved, power resources, possible alternatives to an agreement (risk assessment), how to select negotiation strategies and tactics appropriate for negotiating various types of situations. Further, the lawyers’ role in legal negotiation in various fora, client representation, negotiation stages, on-line negotiation, multi-party negotiations as well as gender and reflections on one’s own strengths and weaknesses as a negotiator will be part of the course.

 

This course requires that the students are able to fluently read, understand and speak English. All course materials will be in English, role-plays and all class discussions will be conducted in English.

 

The course builds on basic knowledge of the legal system and concepts of law. Insight into contract law is beneficial but not required. For students interested in combining this negotiation course with a course in mediation, the insights into negotiation theory as well as the de facto negotiation skills obtained through this course are beneficial. Likewise, knowledge of mediation is beneficial to this course.

Learning outcome

Knowledge:

  • The concept of negotiation and how it relates to dispute resolution processes
  • Basic negotiation concepts such as interest-based vs. distributive negotiation and position and needs
  • Behavioural biases and nudges which influence the negotiation process
  • The different phases in negotiation
  • The lawyer’s role as a representative in negotiation

 

Skills:

  • Manage a negotiation process
  • Effective communication in negotiation
  • Able to analyze a negotiation situation and make strategic decisions and tactical choices concerning an upcoming negotiation.
  • Critically reflect upon conducted negotiation,
  • Advise clients prior to, during, and post legal negotiation,

 

Competences:

  • Advise clients about negotiations
  • Make recommendations as to when negotiation is relevant
  • Represent clients in negotiation
  • Critically reflect on the role of negotiation in law

- problembased role plays
- discussion in groups
- discussions in plenum
- presentations and feed-back from teacher
- presentations and feed-back from students
- individual reflection on negotiations, post-negotiation analysis

Excerpts from William Ury, Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations, edition revised, Random House Publishing Group 2007

Excerpts from Donald Gifford, Legal Negotiation: Theory and Practice, 3rd revised edition, Foundation Press 2017

+ selected research articles

Participants should be able to read, understand and speak English. In addition, basic analytical skills and ability to work in groups are required.

Related subjects (any related courses or related subject areas):
Mediation in a Legal Context (7.5 ECTS) and Konfliktmægling (mediation) 15 ECTS.

Oral
Collective
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Feedback from teacher and peers in role-plays.

ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min.
Oral exam with preparation, 20 minutes
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 178,25
  • Seminar
  • 28
  • English
  • 206,25