Fall 2022 Course Schedule

Lawyer Bargaining (LAW-651-001)
Melanie Mfume

Meets: 06:00 PM - 08:50 PM (W)

Enrolled: 18 / Limit: 21

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This course is about the theory, process, skills, and ethics of negotiation. Through exercises, role plays and discussions, you will learn to negotiate using various bargaining strategies and styles and negotiation skills, tactics and techniques. The role plays will provide practical, hands-on negotiation experience in a variety of settings. The goal is for the students to gain experience and confidence managing difficult or stubborn opponents, developing effective themes and strategies to get better results for your clients, and becoming a more persuasive, ethical negotiator.

This course is premised on the belief that there are principles, models and theories of lawyer negotiation that are critical to an understanding of negotiating skills. The readings and discussions in this course will expose you to this body of knowledge. However, the best way to understand the theories and skills is to actually practice them, so in this course each student will be given the opportunity to practice these skills by negotiating simulated cases against and/or with other students in the course. Most of the role plays will take place during class. However, some role plays, and/or role play preparation or debriefing, may be assigned to be performed outside of class

Please let yourself get into the roles, prepare and take them seriously. Role plays provide an opportunity to experience the process, experiment and receive feedback. Because participating in the role plays is essential, attendance is required.

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.

Lawyer Negotiation 3rd, Folberg and Golann; Aspen Publishers (2016)

Getting to Yes, 3rd, Fisher, Ury and Patton; Penguin (2011)

Other Required Resources (these will be uploaded to MyWCL):

A. Radiolab Podcasts available at https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab

1. Apologetical (December 21, 2018): How do you fix a word that's broken? A word we need when we bump into someone on the street, or break someone's heart. In our increasingly disconnected secular world, "sorry" has been stretched and twisted, and in some cases weaponized. But it's also one of the only ways we have to piece together a sense of shared values and beliefs. Through today's sea of sorry-not-sorries, empty apologies, and just straight up non-apologies, we wonder what it looks like to make amends. This episode was reported by Annie McEwen and was produced by Annie McEwen and Simon Adler. Special thanks to Mark Bressler, Nancy Kielty, and Patty Walters. 58:29.

2. Tit for Tat (September 17, 2019): In the early 60s, Robert Axelrod was a math major messing around with refrigerator-sized computers. Then a dramatic global crisis made him wonder about the space between a rock and a hard place, and whether being good may be a good strategy. With help from Andrew Zolli and Steve Strogatz, we tackle the prisoner's dilemma, a classic thought experiment, and learn about a simple strategy to navigate the waters of cooperation and betrayal. Then Axelrod, along with Stanley Weintraub, takes us back to the trenches of World War I, to the winter of 1914, and an unlikely Christmas party along the Western Front. 28:44)

  • B. DC Bar Rules of Professional Conduct: (available at: https://www.dcbar.org)
  • a. Rule 2.4: Lawyer Serving as Third Party Neutral)
  • b. Rule 3.3: Candor to Tribunal)
  • c. Rule 4.1: Truthfulness in Statements to Others
  • C. MOVIE: Description from IMDB.com)
  • 1. Bridge of Spies (2015): During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers. (2:22)
  • First Class Readings

    Not available at this time.


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