Nov 12, 2009    #135
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

UMKC School of Law Negotiating Team places first and third at regional competition

Group continues strong 23-year track record of regional and national placement

Movies depict them as stubborn and argumentative, but a large part of the legal profession involves negotiation skills. At the Region 5 (Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri law schools) American Bar Association Law Student Negotiation Competition in early November, the UMKC School of Law’s Negotiating Team placed in the top four of 20 teams. UMKC’s Negotiating Team consists of two two-person teams, with one team that placed first and another that placed third. The competition took place at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Ill.

The competition simulates legal negotiations in which law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal problems. The simulations consist of a common set of facts known by all participants and confidential information known only to the participants representing a particular side. All simulations deal with the same general topic, but the negotiation situation varies with each round and level of competition.

“It really shows students at their best, working out win-win solutions that avoid unnecessary conflicts,” said School of Law Professor Robert Downs. “It is a great privilege to work with UMKC law students. Janelle Tanganyika and Sam Burnett, who won the competition, and Jennifer Kolbusz and Janet Martinez, who placed third, are representative of the fine young people who compete for UMKC in ABA competitions.”

For 23 years, Professor Downs (with either Professor Pat Randolph or Professor Tony Luppino) has coached UMKC’s Negotiating Team to success at regional and national competitions. The team has placed first or second in the regional competition 15 times and has advanced to the national competition 17 times. At the national competition, the team has placed third twice and fourth twice.

In addition to faculty support, the team benefits from the mentorship of two UMKC School of Law alumni – Jeff Maloney and Brent Lagergren – who once competed on the Negotiation Team, finishing third in the nation. The two alumni devote hours of their time to compete against UMKC’s Negotiation Team in practice rounds.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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