Preparations are underway for the UK final of the 2016 National Student Negotiation Competition being hosted this year on Kent’s Canterbury campus.
The honour of hosting the national final was given to Kent after law students Tomi Popoola and Sean Wells won the title of best student negotiators in the country in 2015.
Hoping to emulate Tomi and Sean’s success this year will be final-year Law LLB students Kojin Mirzayi and Claudio Storelli, one of 12 teams from across the UK who have made it through to the final of the annual competition to be held in Woolf College on Saturday 19 March.
Teams are required to prove their skills in three rounds, negotiating either a transaction or the resolution of a dispute. Two rounds consist of a 50 minute negotiation session with an opposing team of two students, followed by a period of self-analysis. A third round includes a three-way negotiation. All rounds are conducted before a panel of three judges. The day will conclude with an awards dinner to be held at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge and the announcement of the winning team. The winners will be awarded a travel grant to enable them to represent England and Wales in the International Negotiation Competition to be held in Switzerland in July.
The competition, open to all law schools in England and Wales, is sponsored each year by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) with support from the College of Law, London. Now in its fifteenth year, it’s designed to foster the skills of negotiation in the next generation of lawyers. In advance of the final, the 12 participating teams were invited to attend a professional negotiation skills training day delivered by CEDR specialists in London on Saturday 5 March.
Kent Negotiation module convenor Janie Clement-Walker (an accredited CEDR negotiator) said: ‘We’re very much looking forward to welcoming the teams from all over the UK to this prestigious competition and are excited to be showing off our beautiful Canterbury campus. This competition offers law students an excellent opportunity to test their negotiation skills. These skills are increasingly important for legal practice amongst future lawyers, enabling legal disputes to be resolved without recourse to litigation. Both the Bar Professional Training Course for barristers and the Legal Practice Course for solicitors include elements on negotiation.’
Taking an extra-curricular module in Negotiation is one of several options open to students at Kent Law School who wish to develop practical legal skills; other options include taking a module in Mediation, getting involved with the work of Kent Law Clinic, mooting, client interviewing and participation in mock trials.
(L-R) Osiyemi Osipitan, Kristin Wilson, Adrienne Zaya, Janie Clement-Walker, Mutinta Chinganya, Kojin Mirzayi and Claudio Storelli pictured at the regional heat of the National Negotiation Competition held in London in February