Negotiation Honors Program


Southwestern formally established the Negotiation Honors Program in 2009 for students interested in either transactional or litigation practice. Through the program, students hone negotiating techniques and other alternative dispute resolution skills that they will use in practice. Learning these skills also helps students develop the confidence necessary to become effective advocates. Each team member receives three units for the year and participates in at least one competition. Southwestern’s Negotiation Honors program has been highly successful and has placed as one of the top teams in the country each year since it’s inception.

"Each member of the Negotiation Honors Program sparred with us and/or watched our practice and gave us constructive feedback [before the National Competition]. The team as a whole is unbelievably dedicated."

~Timothy Sutton, Evening Program

The official establishment of the Negotiation Honors Program coincided with the launch of Southwestern's Three-Track Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills (LAWS) program. First-year students, in any track, can compete in an intramural competition, with top performing students earning invitations to interview for the Negotiation Honors Program. A board of governors made up of experienced Negotiation team members coordinates both the intramural competition as well as the team’s competitions against other law schools throughout the country. Professor Cristina Knolton and Adjunct Professor April Macaraeg serve as Co-Directors.

  1. Negotiation Intramural Competition

    The Negotiation Honors Program's intramural competition is open to all first-year day, evening, PLEAS, and part-time day students who have completed the requirements of their LAWS II course and other students who will graduate after (rather than before) December of the year of the competition. The Negotiation Honors Program's intramural competition is not based on the same case file as used in the LAWS II Negotiation track and is not connected to the mandatory LAWS round. The intramural competition consists of five rounds of competition after the mandatory LAWS advocacy round has concluded:

    • Intramural Round One (for all competitors)
      Octa-finals: top 16 teams
    • Quarter-finals: top 8 teams
    • Semi-finals: top 4 teams, 8 advocates
    • Finals: top 2 teams, 4 advocates

    In the first rounds of the intramural competition, advocates negotiate as two-person teams. At the conclusion of the first round, the top sixteen teams (thirty-two advocates) are invited to compete in single elimination rounds. The top sixteen teams are chosen on the basis of score totals from the first intramural round. Only first-year students are selected to compete in the single elimination rounds. Sixteen students receive awards in recognition of their accomplishments in the competition: the eight semi-finalists and eight additional students selected from the quarter-final round.

  2. Current Members


    2021-2022 Board Members

    • Nolan Nardecchia - Chair of the Board
    • Mouna Kezbar - Advocates Chair
    • Jacob Lee - Communications Chair
    • Charles Danscuk - Strategists Chair

    2021-2022 Fellows

    • TBD

    2021-2022 Members

    • Matthew Behboud 
    • Iniah Clark 
    • Daniel Cox
    • Cheryl Cruz 
    • Desiree Ruiz-Alfaro
    • Dave Fischer
    • Drew Frey
    • Chase Gardella 
    • Ivan Garcia
    • Evelyn Ghazarian 
    • Robert Gissubel 
    • Brian Infante
    • Keith Lollis
    • Ani Manvelyan 
    • Isamar Negrete 
    • Mandonna Razi
    • Fernando Samayoa 
    • Paulina Silva 
    • Jessica Smith
    • Max Sonnenberg
    • Alexis Stoker
    • Ellen Zakharian



    • Professor Cristina Knolton
    • Adjunct Professor April Macaraeg '15