Sixteenth Annual Robson Hall Negotiation Competition a (Virtual) Success
Competition teaches law students critical negotiation skills
Sixteen teams of Faculty of Law students competed in the sixteenth annual Robson Hall Negotiation Competition on the evening of October 19th, 2021, in a virtual format. These third-year students were selected for having excelled in the Legal Negotiation course they took in their second year of law school. The main purpose of the competition is to develop superb negotiating skills in Robson Hall graduates. All legal training and professional expertise is directed toward one key objective—solving a client’s problems. Negotiation is a primary tool for accomplishing precisely that.
The competition is structured such that two teams of two students, each representing opposing parties to a fictitious dispute or potential deal, meet in an attempt to reach a resolution with each team possessing confidential details about client circumstances and settlement preferences.
This year the teams negotiated the creation of a fictitious partnership between a cosmetics company and an organic food vendor with the goal of creating a line of organic cosmetics. All of this took place under the scrutiny of judges, who scored each team’s negotiation skills. At the end of each session, the judges provided detailed feedback to each team about what they did well and potential areas for improvement.
As was the case last year, the competition was conducted using videoconferencing software, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of ten very dedicated student volunteers, any logistical challenges posed by the remote nature of the competition were overcome flawlessly.
The event was generously sponsored by Fillmore Riley LLP, which has been supporting the competition for over a decade. In addition to covering the competition costs and supplying prizes, lawyers from the firm volunteered to judge the students. These judges were Donald Baker, Alexander Favreau, Ari Hanson, Iain McDonald, Ranish Raveendrabose, Emily Rempel, Keith Senden, Alexa Smith, David Thiessen, Brynne Thordarson, Sarah Thurmeier, and Kelsey Yakimoski.
These judges were tremendously impressed with the caliber of the students’ negotiations, and were faced with the unenviable task of selecting a winner. Due to their stellar performance, the negotiating team of Allison Kilgour and Anna Siemens were awarded first place. The runners up, who also did a tremendous job, were Alexander Barnes, and Alexandra Broggy.
Both teams are now eligible to represent Robson Hall and compete in the Canadian National Negotiation Competition, which will also be conducted virtually, in early March of 2022. Robson Hall students have a long history of success in inter-school competitions: the winner of the 2014 Robson Hall competition even went on to win the 2015 International Negotiation Competition in Dublin, Ireland.
A sincere thanks to Fillmore Riley, LLP for its generous sponsorship of the competition.
Congratulations Allison, Anna, Alex and Alexandra!