Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Southwestern's Annual Entertainment Law Negotiation Competition Draws Teams From Around the Country September 19, 2013
Southwestern's Annual Entertainment Law Negotiation Competition Draws Teams From Around the Country

The first and only competition of its kind,
now in its fourth year

In a landscape where Moot Court and Trial Advocacy competitions abound, there are relatively few Negotiation competitions. Southwestern's Associate Dean Nyree Gray and Professor Cristina Knolton, co-advisors of the law school's Negotiation Honors Program, decided to enrich the competitive scene. In 2010, they established the Southwestern Entertainment Law Negotiation Competition, the first and only competition of its kind.

"There were no competitions that allowed students to experience negotiation dealing with entertainment law issues," Professor Knolton said. "Our hope was to expose students from across the nation to the legal issues facing entertainment lawyers today. The problems at the competition are typically based on actual legal dilemmas occurring in the entertainment industry. Thus, students have the opportunity to become familiar with the industry and have the chance to practice advocacy skills related to entertainment law."

Now in its fourth year, this national competition continues to grow. The 2013 competition, which will be held on campus during the weekend of October 5 and 6, will feature 28 teams (four more than the previous year) from 18 schools throughout California and the United States.

Nicolas Papajohn is the Chair of Southwestern's Negotiation Honor's Program. "It's great to host an entertainment law competition because it draws on Southwestern's nationally reputable entertainment law program," he said.

Papajohn and other members of the board have been heavily involved in planning the competition, from inviting the schools to participate to securing the 42 judges - a mix of professors, alumni, faculty and local attorneys - for the event. However, as host of this competition, Southwestern will not compete.

Teams from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Hastings, Pepperdine, Thomas Jefferson, Cal Western, University of Georgia, University of Mississippi, Texas Tech, Texas Wesleyan, La Verne, Liberty, Cardozo, Western State, Tulane, William and Mary, Chapman, and University of South Dakota will participate in this year's competition. Ten of the schools are sending two teams.
The competitors received two problems on September 13, giving them approximately three weeks to prepare for the competition. Teams selected for the final rounds will receive a third problem at the end of the first day of competition, which they will need to quickly prepare for the next day.

Tim Kuhl'12, an alumnus and former Chair of the Negotiation Honors Program board, has written the problems for the competition for the past three years. Of his contribution, Professor Knolton explained, "He is always able to base the problems on cutting edge issues in the entertainment industry and does a great job of making the problems challenging and realistic, yet appropriate for a law school negotiation competition."

For more information about the Southwestern Entertainment Law Negotiation Competition, visit