Southwestern Continues Winning Streak at NBLSA Negotiation Competition
The Southwestern contingent once again dominated the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) International Negotiation Competition in March. The law school's team of Dana Branen and Jonathan Evans won the annual competition, which was held during the NBLSA conference in Washington, D.C. This is the fourth consecutive year that Southwestern's BLSA chapter has won, an especially marvelous feat for a competition that is only six years old.
The team argued problems based on real-life international issues, including issues surrounding the Greek financial bailout, an Israel-Lebanon maritime border dispute, and a Brazilian mining conglomerate's new investment in Mozambique. Twenty teams participated in the competition. In the semifinals, Branen and Evans defeated a team from the University of Oklahoma before facing off with a team from Ohio State in the final round. Gerri Marshall, a fellow student and member of last year's NBLSA champion team, coached Brenan and Evans.
"What helped us prepare was extensive research coupled with real-world experience," Evans explained. "Both Dana and I have worked in demanding clerkships, and we did our best to think like attorneys throughout the competition. We strived to put ourselves in the shoes of the lawyers who would be actually working on these problems. We approached the problems like true, high-stakes negotiations, and it helped us successfully deal with very prepared competitors."
It has been a particularly eventful semester for Evans, who was also a member of the Negotiation Honors Program team that recently took Second Place at the Lewis and Clark National Environmental Negotiation Competition in Oregon (finishing behind another team from Southwestern). He was also a finalist in the Grammy Foundation ELI Writing Competition.