Excel in All Negotiation Stages
You may enjoy arguing, debating, and all aspects of the negotiation stages, and this may have been a talent you have enjoyed since you were young, thus pushing you forward to pursue a career in law. The good news is that if you worry you don’t have strong negotiation skills, there are plenty of ways to shore up your techniques—and especially if you are just entering law school. And if you are already strong in that area, then negotiation training as a law student will probably come easily to you and be very enjoyable as coursework.
There is so much to know, and learn, as a negotiator, and there can be so many variables. The course of action, and all the challenges within, will be based on your client and the other side, the backgrounds of each party, what they want, and why. As a strong negotiator, you should be well-armed with information before you even get to the table, along with following these tips:
- Research the other party comprehensively, learning as much about them as possible, whether personal or pertaining to their business.
- Understand the motivation behind the legal dispute. While you should interview your own client extensively to understand what they hope to achieve in negotiations, having a firm grasp on the other party’s background and possible motivations may not only help you understand what to offer in terms of a settlement, but such information can also invoke sympathy/empathy that will assist you in creating a win for everyone involved.
- Discuss with your client what their absolute bottom line is for walking away, and whether they would like you to be the one to put the first offer out there. Often, this is the smartest move, creating an anchor that the other party will unconsciously feel compelled to work around, even if they do not accept the first agreement.
- Know how to handle a serious impasse. In some cases, this may mean walking away for a few hours to cool off, or your client—and the other side—may need as much as a week or so away from the deal to think the process through. If it seems like there is little room for compromise, it is time to speak with your client about whether there may be anything else at all they could offer. Sometimes they may have a small item they could offer that may be of great value to the other party. Even if it does not end up being part of the settlement, it may shift gears enough that the impasse is over and negotiations begin again, with everyone refreshed and motivated to finish the process once and for all.
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.