Fall 2012 Course Schedule

Lawyer Bargaining (LAW-651-001)

Meets: 10:00 AM - 12:40 PM (F) - Room 528

Enrolled: 22 / Limit: 26

Administrator Access


There are no notices at this time.


This course is about the theory, process, skills, and ethics of negotiation. The ability to negotiate is central to success in the practice of law. This is so because nearly every matter handled by lawyers on behalf of clients involves the negotiation process in some way. Indeed, in many situations negotiating a solution to a client's problem may be the only action required.

Lawyers negotiate on behalf of clients in a number of contexts. More than 90% of all of the cases filed in court (over 95% in U.S. District Courts – according to a recent ABA study and report) are settled prior to trial, and in many of the cases that do go to trial there have been attempts to negotiate a settlement. Many more disputes are negotiated to conclusion prior to any litigation. Moreover, it is not only in the context of disputes that negotiation by lawyers occurs. Many clients who consult lawyers do so for help in consummating a transaction or engaging in a planning process. In these situations, lawyers conduct negotiations such as bargaining for the sale or purchase of a commodity or service, or negotiating with a government agency to take or withhold an action that would affect a client.

Given the centrality of negotiation to the work of lawyers it is surprising that formal instruction in bargaining is relatively new to the legal profession. It is only in the past thirty-five (35) years that courses such as this one began to develop. Previously, most of what passed for wisdom about the negotiation process was anecdotal. Part of what clinical legal education has contributed to the curriculum of law schools is more systematic study and knowledge about various components of the lawyering process, the skills that are required to be an effective lawyer and several new methods of teaching them. Courses in interviewing and counseling, as well as this one, are part of that legacy.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

Bastress and Harbaugh, Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiating: Skills For Effective Representation (Little Brown)

Fisher, Ury and Patton, Getting to Yes, 2nd Ed. (Penguin).

First Class Readings

The required course readings are set out in the course syllabus and students are expected to read and be familiar with the assigned materials for purposes of class discussion and for fulfilling the journal requirement.

For the first class on Friday, August 24, 2012, please read Fisher, Ury & Patton, GETTING TO YES (2nd Ed.) (entire book).


Use your MyAU username and password to access the syllabus in the following format(s):