Rocky Lagudi and Mitchell Patel

Competing in the Novice LSS Negotiations Competition was our first experience in trying any sort of practical law competition. Without a doubt, participating was one of the best decisions we made, and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

Negotiations was such a fun and challenging competition, and one that has allowed us to improve a variety of communication skills. What we enjoyed most was the art of balancing our client’s aims against those of the other side, so as to ultimately come out of the negotiation having achieved closer to our client’s desires than the other side. One thing that we certainly could never underestimate was the importance of probing questions, or having a well-timed break – something that we used in every negotiation throughout the whole competition, and which was vital to our success.

Throughout the competition, we learnt the importance of setting out an agenda, while also tempering this with the need to be flexible and composed as the negotiation inevitably took its own direction. Determining the best approach to take was always interesting, with interest-based negotiating really resonating with us. We made sure that prior to every negotiation we set out a best case and worst-case outcome for each aspect. This gave us the freedom and flexibility during the negotiation to find the balance in outcomes as we saw fit. Each round, we were faced with quite different facts and clients, so it was important to be open-minded and aware that the confidential facts from the other side always have the potential to throw a spanner in the works. It was also important to remember that we were representing the client and their aims, and as such, needed to keep emotions aside.

We are absolutely stoked to have won the Novice LSS Negotiations Competition, and look forward to trying our hand at the Senior level next year.

We would absolutely recommend having a go at any of the LSS Competitions. They are a great opportunity to hone your communication and legal skills in a very practical and realistic context!

Rocky is a second year Commerce/Law student. He is currently a Careers Director on the LSS, lives at Fenner Hall and DJs at Mooseheads. Mitchell is a third year Finance/Law student.