Putting Yourself Out There: Negotiation Competition

BU Law hosts an intramural negotiation competition each year. As a 1L, you may hear the call to compete in October and think, “Too soon. No skills.” The beauty of the negotiation competition is that you can succeed while knowing very little law. You are simply challenged to work effectively with your teammate to achieve the best outcome for your “client” in a fictitious scenario. Many students come to BU with years of interesting work experiencefundraising, teaching, social services, financethat can be easy to forget when buried in doctrinal coursework. The competition is a great way to remind yourself of all the skills you carry, even when classes have you down.

Maris & Ainsley in NYC

Maris & Ainsley in NYC

Ainsley Tucker and I were randomly partnered by the competition directors, an awesome crew of 2L and 3L students. Complete strangers, we puzzled over the confidential facts we knew about our client, brainstorming our negotiation strategy. And you know what? We had fun! Overall, the time commitment was low, and the time spent was worthwhile to meet talented BU students and receive personalized feedback on essential lawyering skills. Not to mention that after BU’s intramural competition, we got to travel to the great, great New York City to 1) compete against students from other law schools and 2) window shop.

This weekend, Ainsley and I had the chance to compete at nationals in Chicago. I was so thankful to hear critiques from seasoned litigators, arbitrators, and transactional lawyers: calling me out on bad habits, challenging me to think in new ways about problem solving, and otherwise encouraging me to keep practicing. 

Standing alone, BU Law’s intramural competitions, including client counseling in the spring semester, are a great way to put yourself out there and try something new. What’s the worst that will happen? You’ll get a few hours of critical thinking, oral presentation, and professionalism practice. Not bad. 

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