Arbitration and Negotiation Teams

  • Our Teams

    Arbitration Advocacy: MSU College of Law has participated in the American Bar Association (ABA) Student Division Regional and National Arbitration competition since 2005. In this competition, students in teams of four (two attorneys, two witnesses) prepare and present a case to a panel of arbitrators against an opposing party. Arbitration competitions are similar to trial competitions; students are scored on their opening statements, their examination and cross-examination of witnesses, closing statements, and their use of objections and evidence in the proceedings. The College of Law has a stellar record in the ABA competition, advancing to the regional semifinals in 2019 and 2020, and placing first in 2016 and 2018, and second in 2017. Anywhere from 4 to 8 students are selected annually depending on the number of returning competitors. Students who would like to be considered for an Arbitration Advocacy team must submit an Application by the Spring due date (usually in April).

    Negotiation Competition (Negotiation Advocacy): The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Regional and National Negotiation Competitions create opportunities for two-student attorney/attorney teams to compete in negotiation. The College of Law typically fields two teams (four students). In 2016 our Negotiation Team won the regional competition and advanced to semifinals in the National Competition. Every MSU Law student completes a negotiation during the first year contract negotiation course, and a number of first- and second-year students go on to compete in the Spring Intraschool Competition. Sixteen to twenty students are selected for the semi-final round with four to eight students competing in the finals. In the Spring, students who wish to compete in negotiation or arbitration the following year must submit an Application by the required deadline (usually in April). If selected, students must enroll in Negotiation Advocacy and Negotiation the following fall.

  • Why Compete?

    Learning how to communicate is a timeless and invaluable skill. While becoming a better attorney through reading and writing is undoubtedly translatable in other aspects of your life, learning how to manage yourself in a tense personal communication environment is a difficult skill to practice outside of real life situations. Arbitration and negotiation advocacy competitions alow you to navigate the arts of interpersonal communication, setting and keeping an agenda, and discussing difficult topics with an anticipated adversary- all while maintaining a professional demeanor. It's also an opportunity to truly collaborate with your fellow law students, working as teammates toward the same goal.