"As a student in the mediation practicum, I actually work in the courts. I get the opportunity to interact directly with people who have filed suit in court. It's an incredible experience to take the ideas I learned in the first negotiations class and facilitate a negotiation between two parties who in some cases have had a really tough past. For me, every mediation is about working to find where interests intersect and trying to get people to understand that they can help meet one another's needs. My first mediation in the courts was a landlord-tenant issue. They had family history, but walked in to that mediation certain that they wouldn't be able to settle with each other. Thirty minutes later we had an agreement. I hope that somewhere they're having a cup of coffee together, talking about their grandchildren. I don't think that would have been possible if they had just gone to court."
-- Katherine Hayes
"The opportunity for collaboration between centers in the Bluhm Clinic and with other parts of the law school is a highlight of the Center on Negotiation and Mediation," says director Lynn Cohn. "For instance, we had the privilege of working with a client from the Center on Wrongful Convictions, who had been released from prison and was reintegrating with his family after 16 years of incarceration. We facilitated a 'peace circle' mediation, whereby our students worked with him and his family, giving them the chance to navigate and resolve issues and conflicts. It was an exceptionally rewarding collaboration and opportunity for our students."
This intra-school competition, offered each fall, is open to any Northwestern Law student who is either currently enrolled in a Negotiation class or who has taken a Negotiation class at Northwestern Law in the past. The two top teams from the Northwestern Law Negotiation Competition compete in the ABA Negotiation Regional Competition. The top two teams from the ABA Negotiation Regional Competition compete in the ABA Negotiation National Competition.
Mackenzie Drutowski (JD ’16) won the 2016 National Negotiation Competition with her partner Jeffrey Wysong (JD ’16) and recently published a blog post sharing tips and insights on the competition. You can read her blog post here: http://abaforlawstudents.com/2017/01/05/three-tips-on-the-aba-negotiation-competition/.
The Program on Negotiation and Mediation provides students with the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant for the Negotiation Workshop. TAs are selected by the professor based on their mastery of negotiation and their ability to interact with their peers. TAs provide an additional layer of feedback, allowing students to receive feedback from the professor, other students, or the teaching assistant. In addition, teaching assistants are able to share their experiences from taking the Negotiation Workshop and to relate these experiences to the current class activity. Each section of Negotiation has two TAs.
Lawyer as a Problem-Solver Student Leaders
Students are given the opportunity to serve as student leaders for the Lawyer as Problem Solver Program.