Lawyering Skills

The Law Librarian Blog has a recent post citing former Brooklyn Law School Adjunct Professor Steven C. Bennett’s article When Will Law School Change? 89 Neb. L. Rev. 87 (2010), discussing ways to integrate neglected fundamental professional legal skills into the law school curriculum. In the article, Bennett states “Students should also get some experience as clients themselves, perhaps in role-playing exercises, to help them recognize the needs of those they may come to serve. Training in interviewing skills, counseling and negotiating—all among the most basic and transferable skills for use in practice—can help students develop a sense of the elements of lawyering that extend beyond pure legal reasoning and analysis.”

Brooklyn Law School includes in its curriculum experiences and training he advocates. Professor Gary Schultze teaches a Negotiation Seminare where students study the theories and skills of negotiation, read and discuss writings on negotiation and work with outside participants such as practicing attorneys and psychologists. There is extensive use of videotaping and group analysis of various negotiation techniques. In the upcoming spring 2011 semester, Princeton University Professor John Darley will be visiting Brooklyn Law School to teach an Intensive Negotiation Workshop. Darley, a Professor of Public Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs and a pioneer of social psychology, is known for his work on altruism, bystander intervention, deviation and conformity, attribution, moral judgment, and psychology and law.

For several years, Brooklyn Law School Associate Professor of Clinical Law Karen Van Ingen, whose expertise includes Alternative Dispute Resolution: Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration, has directed the Investor Rights Clinic and taught a seminar in arbitrating investor rights. To teach mediation and negotiating skills to her students, Prof. Van Ingen has looked to the BLS Library audio visual collection for such items as Saving the Last Dance: Mediation through Understanding (Call #KF9084 .S27 2001) and Negotiation in the Practice of Law: a Video Companion (Call #KF9084.Z9 N435 1998). These are two items in the BLS Library’s AV collection. Maria Okonska, BLS Library Manager of Bibliographic Operations, states that there are 523 videos in the library’s AV collection in Room 111 on the first floor of the library.

The library has in its print collection The Lawyer’s Guide to Negotiation by X.M. Frascogna and H. Hetherington (Call #KF300 .F75 2009). Chapters in this item are: Law practice is negotiation — Power of leverage — Personal negotiating style: how leverage is used — Preparation: the essential ingredient for success — Opening moves: how to seize control of the negotiation — Maintaining control at every stage of the negotiation — Tactical negotiating ploys that can improve your bargaining position — Fallback strategy: a systematic approach to dealing with setbacks — Closing — Deal making: guidelines for successful business negotiation — Negotiating lawsuit settlements.