ABA Negotiations

Prof. Malin Johnson

ABA Negotiation Competition

Teams from the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana have competed in the American Bar Association-sponsored Negotiation Competition for more than 25 years. During that time, Blewett School of Law teams have advanced to the final round of regional competition 16 times. Seven teams have participated in national competitions and 2 at international competition. The 2017 Team ranked second in the nation.

Negotiation Competition encourages interest-based negotiation as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism. Team members are selected annually during an intraschool competitive process in the fall of each academic year. Qualifying team members practice dozens of simulated scenarios in preparation for northwest regional competition in early November. Top-ranked teams advance to national competition held in conjunction with ABA Mid-Winter Meeting in February.

Several weeks before competition, teams are provided with a set of general facts and another set of confidential facts pertaining only to their client. Regional Competition "rounds" consist of two teams from different Law Schools negotiating on behalf of a client before a judging panel of three attorneys. 

Learning negotiation skills is the prime objective of the School fo Law Negotiation Team. A "learn by doing" approach is conducted in a supportive atmosphere with abundant opportunity to gain negotiation experience and learn new concepts.  During practice sessions, team members acquire negotiation skills in planning, flexibility, teamwork, and self-analysis.

Team Members must also be members of the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association to be eligible to compete.  Blewett School of Law students may receive academic credit for participation on the Negotiation Team.

2018 Negotiations Team Regional and National CompetitionFord-McQuillan.JPG

Sean McQuillan and Haley Ford represented the University of Montana at the National Negotiation Competition as National Semifinalists (tied for third place in the

nation). More than 190 teams from 64 law schools competed in regional competitions. Haley and Sean emerged as regional co-champions in our region. The top twenty teams nationally traveled to Chicago for the National Competition. After the first day of competition, the field of twenty was narrowed to eight, and Montana was announced as one of the top eight teams. Haley and Sean went on to win their quarterfinal contest. They ultimately lost only to Texas Tech, which ultimately emerged as national champion. Second Place was Fordham University, and UM tied with University of Houston for third. 

2017 Negotiations Team Earns Third Place in International Competition

Blewett School of Law students Frans Andersson and Kirsi Luther recently took third place at the International Negotiation Competition held in Oslo, Norway.

The competition, which was hosted by the University of Oslo, invited 32 teams from 28 countries worldwide to negotiate simulated oil drilling agreements between various entities. The third round included a unique four-way multilateral scenario. Read the full story.

2017 Negotiations Team Finishes Second in the Nation

Frans Andersson and Kirsi Luther finished second nationallyl Blewett School of Law ABA Negotiation Competition Team advanced to the final round of the American Bar Association National Negotiation Competition in Chicago, Illinois.

Frans Andersson '17 and Kirsi Luther '19, faced Mitchell Hamline School of Law in the final round Saturday afternoon. To make the final round, the Luther/Andersson duo needed to compete well in three previous rounds over the two-day event. The University of Montana team finished in second place.

Twenty teams from throughout the country competed at the national competition held at the ABA headquarters in Chicago. Luther and Andersson faced three other teams to reach the final round. Read the full story.

2016 Negotiation Team Wins Regionals for Fourth Consecutive Year

Blewett III School of Law ABA Negotiation Competition Team returned from Chicago, Illinois with the best overall finish for all three teams in a decade. Frans Andersson '17 and Kirsi Luther '19 finished in first place at ABA-sponsored Regional Negotiation Competition held November 12 and 13. Chicago's John Marshall Law School hosted the regional event, bringing together twenty-four teams from law schools throughout the Midwest and mountain states.

The Blewett School of Law ABA Negotiation Team wins Regionals.

Besides returning with first place honors, the Andersson/Luther appearance in the quarterfinal round sets two new records. The UM team has now advanced to the quarterfinals at regional competition in five consecutive years. The Andersson/Luther entry to national competition is the fourth consecutive appearance for a UM team at nationals, another team record. Read the full story.

2015 Negotiations Team Places First

The Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana's ABA Negotiation Competition Team returned from Calgary, Alberta, with a first place finish in the ABA-sponsored Law School Regional Negotiation Competition held November 7, 2015. The University of Calgary Faculty of Law hosted this year's regional event for the twenty competing teams. UM's region includes law schools from throughout the northwest and Canada, with additional entries this year from Wyoming and California. Read the full story.

2015 ABA Negotiation Team Competes at Nationals

The VandenBos/Thane team advanced to the national competition by winning First Place in the Regional Competition.The University of Montana School of Law ABA Negotiation Competition Team traveled to Houston to participate in the ABA sponsored National Negotiation Competition. The national competition is held each year in conjunction with the ABA Mid-Winter meeting.

Nick VandenBos and Lindsay Thane faced teams from around the US and Canada in this 2-day event. VandenBos and Thane met the team from St. Mary's University School of Law in the first round, followed by the team from Washington and Lee Law School. The VandenBos/Thane team advanced to the national competition by winning First Place in the Regional Competition in November. Read the full story.

2012 Negotiation Team2012 UM Negotiation Team Competes In Final Round In Oregon

School of Law team advanced to the final round during the American Bar Association-sponsored Law School Regional Negotiation Competition on Nov. 3-4 in Eugene, Ore. University of Oregon School of Law hosted the region-10 event, which included law students from schools throughout the Northwest and western Canada. Three California schools also competed this year. After earning the best score in the opening sessions, UM team members Covey Morris, a third-year law student from Salt Lake City, Utah, and Clare Hansen, a two-year law student from Tofte, Minn., advanced to a final-round appearance.

UM School of Law negotiation competition team members (left to right): Elizabeth Musick, Klaus Sitte, Samir Aarab, Covey Morris, Clare Hansen, Christine Brauer and Paul Adam.

All three 2007 Negotiation Teams advance to final round of Regional Competition; one team competes at national level.

2007 Region 10 Champions

2007 Region 10 Champions
Thad Seegmiller, Nicole Baratta, and Coach Klaus Sitte 

In 2006, the team of Stephen Adamson and Tara Keller won the Regional Competition.


2002 Negotiations TeamThe 2002 Team won the Regional Competition and placed second in the nation.

The 1998 Team placed third in the nation.