Hello family and friends … sorry, I typed this up in a Word document and forgot to post it! This was written last weekend:
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Wow, February sure went by quickly, didn’t it?
Since I last posted, my buddy Colton and his wife Bethany had their first child, Payton William … it seemed like it was just yesterday that we were interns together in North Carolina back in 2012. So much can change in just a few short years!
We also got a ton of snow … there’s still a good amount outside still, as the temperatures have remained below freezing for the most part. One of my classmates slipped and fell on his way to class and ended up breaking two of the vertebrae in his back … fortunately, he’s fine and not in too much pain, but he’ll have to wear a back brace for a few weeks or months.
This past week, I also participated in an in-house negotiations tournament – it involved mainly 1L (what they called first-year students), but there was one 2L (second-year student) team who won the entire tournament. There were 16 teams that competed in the tournament with two preliminary rounds Wednesday and Friday and a final round on Saturday.
I partnered up with a fellow classmate, Nick, and we did well enough to move with five other teams to the final round on Saturday! The way they worked the final round is that there were three negotiation rounds and the judges ranked each of the teams that moved on, from 1-6. We ended up taking the sixth spot, but it was great to get in another round of experience and it was a neat opportunity to do the round in the “Supreme Courtroom” in front of a panel of three judges.
So, a negotiations tournament essentially involves two teams “negotiating” with the other team to get a best “deal” for their team. There’s a common set of facts that each team receives before the round (it’s a new fact pattern every round) that sets the general framework for the round and each team also receives a separate set of facts that typically sets the maximum amount that your client can offer, the minimum amount that they can accept, rationales, etc. Sometimes, these “secret facts” can take you by surprise, which makes the rounds always interesting. You try your best to anticipate what the other team is hoping to get, but we in both of our preliminary rounds, we were caught off-guard by a few things the other team said.
The final round didn’t go as well as we had hoped, but that’s alright – in every round, after the judges gave us oral feedback, we were able to take away something that we could improve on. Being able to do those three rounds certainly provided invaluable experience as we’ll have to do this for a grade next semester.
I really enjoyed the experience, as it was our first time to get some actual “hands-on” experience … in two weeks, we’ll get another chance to do just that at the moot court tournament. I’m looking forward to that, although it’s certainly going to take a lot of work.