Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

May 05, 2009
Southwestern Launches New Negotiation Honors Program

Southwestern has established a new Honors Program through which students can hone their negotiation skills. Professors Cristina Knolton and Nyree Gray will serve as faculty advisors for the Negotiation Honors Program, which will commence with the Fall 2009 semester. The program will expand Southwestern's current competitive programs, which include the Moot Court Honors Program and the Trial Advocacy Honors Program (TAHP), to provide an opportunity not only to students interested in litigation, but also to those who wish to delve deeper into transactional practice. "The creation of this program confirms the place of negotiation as one of the most vital legal skills of a successful legal practitioner," Dean Bryant Garth said.

Although the formal creation of a Negotiation Honors Program is new, the program is intended to enhance what is actually already in place. In recent years, Southwestern has sent teams to the ABA Mediation Competition and the ABA Client Counseling Competition, and recently won First Place at the ABA Negotiation Competition. Through the new program, participants will receive three units for the year and team members will take part in at least four different competitions.

An Intramural Negotiation Competition was held on campus in April, from which the faculty advisors will interview the top performers and then choose the team members for the 2009-2010 academic year. To be eligible for membership, students must also have completed the number of units equivalent to the first year day program and must be in good academic standing. Board members for 2009-2010 have been selected and include Kyle Marks (Chair), Joanna Allen and Alan Harris.

"Professor Gray and I are thrilled with the new Negotiation Honors Program because it provides students a new and exciting opportunity to build skills that they will use every day in practice," Professor Knolton said. "Those skills will help students understand important negotiation techniques and develop the confidence necessary to become effective advocates. The Negotiation Honors Program is another avenue to display the talent of the Southwestern student body. The law school has an exceptional appellate advocacy and trial advocacy presence across the nation and the new negotiation program will demonstrate that Southwestern students are just as effective outside the courtroom."

The official establishment of the Negotiation Honors Program coincides with Southwestern's new Three-Track Legal Analysis Writing and Skills (LAWS) program, which will give first-year students a choice of developing advocacy skills in the traditional appellate program, trial advocacy or negotiation.