Are You Ready for the Negotiation Table?
The first approach to the negotiation table is not one to be taken lightly. In most cases, if you are negotiating for a client, the outcome is extremely serious to them—and could perhaps impact their personal or business life substantially. As the negotiator, your reputation and credibility are on the line too, every time you enter into such a process; in fact, you may be negotiating with another party represented by another attorney that you will work opposite—or in some cases further down the road, even alongside—and hopefully, you will learn to work together well and even respect each other over the years. If you live and work in a smaller town, this is very likely.
The first rule of heading into negotiations is to be ready. That may be easier said than done if you have a tight schedule, but research can be delegated. The key is to interview the client thoroughly and understand why they have come to you for help. Get the facts so you know why they need the negotiation to go their way, whether this should be expected to be easy or difficult depending on the background and know how they envision the best (or worst-case) scenario.
Next comes research on the other side. Your client may be chock full of information, all to be noted, and added to with your own research regarding their personal and business dealings, finances, any criminal background, and some guesswork on what they hope to get from the negotiation. If they are experts at negotiating themselves, aside from the assistance they will receive from their attorney, you could have a major challenge to deal with. In the end, however, the outcome depends mainly on what the clients want. Like a mediation, you and the other attorney are there to negotiate for what the other parties want, but if no one seems motivated to come to an agreement, you may have to suggest other action like litigation—or in some cases, just taking a long break before coming back to the table.
Are you interested in becoming a skilled lawyer and negotiator? Our mission at CDTA College of Law is to educate, train, and develop extraordinary legal advocates. Your legal education will be comprised of bar-tested academic subjects, skills training, and values reinforcement. Upon completion of your 4-year course of study you will be fully qualified to take and pass the California Bar examination. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.