Students Excel in Regional Negotiation Competition

November 10, 2006

Liberty University School of Law third-year students Allison Landrum and Mark Stewart recently participated in the 2006-2007 ABA Regional Negotiation Competition. The competition, sponsored by the American Bar Association Law Student Division, included 24 teams from 12 ABA accredited law schools and was held at The University of Baltimore School of Law.

The Liberty duo of Ms. Landrum and Mr. Stewart participated in two rounds of negotiations against teams from The Catholic University of America and Georgetown University Law Center. Liberty University School of Law Professor David Gilbert commented, “Our students proved themselves formidable negotiators and were a credit to Liberty University School of Law.” The team’s overall rank was 14 out of 24 teams that competed.

The competition was based on a hypothetical windmill project. Competitors were given public information about the project, including the relevant law and confidential information about their clients’ positions. Positions were crafted such that creativity and compromise were required for the parties to reach an agreement.

The competition’s initial phase consisted of two rounds of negotiations. In the first round versus Georgetown, Liberty students represented a developer who was hoping to lease property from a hypothetical town. The students were tasked with negotiating lease terms that met the developer’s requirements. In the second round versus Catholic University, Liberty students represented a group of citizens who had sued the town in protest over the proposed windpark development. Their task was to get concrete concessions from the town in consideration for withdrawal of their suit. In each round, students negotiated for 50 minutes, and then offered a critique of their own team’s performance. After both teams had met separately with the judges, the teams jointly received the judges’ overall comments.

Mr. Stewart commented, "It is a testament to the credentials of this university to send students to an ABA-sponsored competition against established law schools such as Georgetown and Catholic University.”

Ms. Landrum agreed, “We really appreciate the support we had from the faculty in pursuing this competition. Our coaches, Professors Gilbert and Hesch, were supportive and really helped us to be successful despite our limited experience in Alternative Dispute Resolution. The competition was intense, but a lot of fun, and a great learning experience. I will be a better attorney because of this opportunity.”

For more information about Liberty University School of Law, please write law@liberty.edu or call 434-592-5300.