SWLAW Blog | Awards & Honors

Ashley Miller and Nicole Pronk take Second Place at National Basketball Negotiation Competition

April 17, 2017

Negotiation Team Takes Second Place

At the recent National Basketball Negotiation Competition, hosted by the Fordham Sports Law Forum in New York, Southwestern’s team of Ashley Miller and Nicole Pronk performed exceptionally well, defeating teams from William and Mary, George Washington, U.C. Hastings, Cardozo and Pepperdine. They advanced all the way to the final round and finished the competition in Second Place out of the 34 teams that represented 22 law schools.

The team negotiated five different problems. They had three weeks to prepare the first two problems. When they advanced beyond the preliminary rounds, they had one night to prepare the third problem. After advancing again they were given 45 minutes to prepare for the fourth round. And finally, they were given 90 minutes to prepare for the finals.

No matter how stringent the time limits, Pronk said being ready was key to the team’s accomplishment. “I think our extensive preparation allowed us to anticipate and respond to whatever arguments our opponents raised,” she said. “The preparation allowed us to be quick on our feet and leverage terms to get great outcomes for our clients.”

Miller attributes the team’s success to their synergy, saying, “We had really great teamwork between us. Often we were thinking the same thing, and one of us would vocalize it with the other there to back up the point made. It showed the judges that we were united in our partnership and styles.”

In the first problem the team represented the Knicks in a trade deal with the Clippers. In the second problem, the team represented HBO in a negotiation to bring on Isaiah Thomas in a marketing campaign for Game of Thrones. After moving past the preliminary rounds, the team negotiated three deals on Saturday. The third problem was a copyright problem, the fourth problem was a player contract between Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards. In their final negotiation, they represented Head and Shoulders, and were looking to bring on Gordon Hayward as the NBA face of the product.