Photograph: Eagle statue outside law school.

ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition Team

The Negotiation Competition is intended to serve as a teaching tool to give law students the opportunity to develop legal negotiation skills. During the competition negotiation sessions teams of two students attempt to work with two student lawyers on the other team to craft a negotiated settlement and agreed resolution to the problems and issues raised in the problem scenario. Problems provide general information known to both sides and then a packet of confidential information known only to each side including settlement issues, authority and priorities identified by each client. The confidential information explains the general goals, solutions or scenarios that each client would be willing to settle with and those become the general issues and areas student teams must address in the negotiation session.

Washburn Law annually selects and fields two teams in the regional competition held at a different central law school each year.

What are the benefits of participating in the Competition?

A win in an ABA/LSD lawyering skills competition is always a conversation opener when you go to interview with any firm or organization for employment. Many employers want to see this kind of evidence that law students are involved in educating themselves and developing skills necessary in the practice of law. Members of the top team from the Washburn Competition also qualify to enroll in the Negotiation Competition course for one hour of credit with the only additional requirement being the drafting of a memorandum regarding the competition. So instead of taking extra time out of your schedule, you may actually be able to run the effort into another credit toward your degree.

How does one become a member?

Try-outs and selections for the teams are held early each Fall generally in September through an in school competition process. Information on the specific date and process to try-out is sent out via e-mail to all students in advance of the try-out competition date.

How much time will participation require?

All students who participate on our competition teams will prepare for their competition with multiple practices each week in the month or months leading up to the particular competition. The time and energy required varies, depending on each individual's preparation and work habits during the practice sessions. Practices are scheduled to work with multiple student obligations and to students to successfully balance membership on the competition team with other demanding law school activities and outside obligations.

For more information on the ABA/LSD Client Negotiation Competition at Washburn Law, contact us at:

Washburn University School of Law
Coach Shawn Leisinger
1700 SW College Avenue
Topeka, KS 66621
(785) 670-2464


Adjunct Coach
Photograph: Shawn Leisinger.
Shawn Leisinger
Executive Director,
Centers for Excellence
Faculty Member
Photograph: Joseph Mastrosimone.

Joseph Mastrosimone
Associate Professor of Law

Washburn Law students who compete on negotiation competition teams are eligible to enroll in one hour of credit.