Lawyering Skills shine through for a win at UK Sport Law Negotiation Competition

Two KLS students represented Kent at the recent Gateley’s competition

Tianna Wong (a final stage Senior Status Law LLB student) and Claudia Laforty (Stage 2 Law LLB student) represented the University of Kent in the UK Sports Law Negotiation Competition last month. The competition was held at King Power Stadium, home to Leicester City Football Club and hosted by Gateley Legal Group.  As part of the competition the students also received a ‘masterclass’ in key components of negotiation techniques from Dominic Wilford, a consultant from specialists in negotiation development Bridge] [ability.

Students from universities across the UK competed in teams of two, in two negotiations and were tested on their ability to think on their feet about the commercial implications when faced with fictitious topical legal problems within the sports industry.  Panels of judges were made up of professionals from across the sports industry including lawyers, sports consultants, sports agents, and academics and provided invaluable feedback after the negotiations.

Tianna and Claudia were accompanied by the Law School’s Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law and Lawyering Skills, Johanne Thompson, who teaches negotiation and is heavily involved with client interviewing as co-Chair for the Client Interviewing Competition for England and Wales.  “This win is an incredible achievement for Tianna and Claudia – they have worked extremely hard throughout the year, working on their studies, participating in various co-curricular activities which included competing in internal competitions.  This is a testament to their hard work and diligence preparing for these competitions, I’m thrilled this has paid off in a very competitive field.”

Law students at Kent can choose to participate in the Lawyering Skills programme as co-curricular and allows students to take modules Mooting, Mock Trial Advocacy, Mediation, Negotiation and Client Interviewing.  Darren Weir, Director of Lawyering Skills at Kent Law School explains how the module introduces skills required as lawyers and “gives students the opportunity to enhance their confidence ‘by doing’.

Tianna Wong: “Competing in the Gateley competition was an invaluable experience to use practical lawyering skills in real-life scenarios. I learnt that negotiations can be truly amicable and non-competitive, and still achieve each party’s goals. I also learned the importance of employing creative solutions and the impact that commercial knowledge can have on executing a successful strategy. Throughout the day we met friendly, kind colleagues and judges who gave us positive and practical feedback. Overall, we thank Gateley for putting on this competition for students as it is a wonderful opportunity to prepare students for their future careers.”

Claudia Laforty: I know I speak for both of us when I express the utmost gratitude towards the Lawyering Skills programme here at Kent. Taking part in the co-curricular Negotiation Module gave us a solid foundation for the day. In our feedback after both sessions, we were asked if we had ever negotiated before. I think we projected a confidence and level of teamwork that only comes from the practical experience that the Lawyering Skills programme gave us. As part of that, we would also like to thank Johanne Thompson, who provided us with the opportunity to compete at the event. My ultimate goal is to work in sports law, so the day only reinforced my desire to do so. To me, it also shows the importance of practical learning in developing the skills needed for future professional success. In 5-10 years, I hope to be in those same board rooms negotiating those sorts of agreements in real time. This experience gave me the confidence to believe I could be there.