Negotiation Skills

Subject LAWS70468 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

Irrespective of their specialty, lawyers must negotiate. Litigators resolve far more disputes through negotiation than by trial. Business lawyers in every domain negotiate on behalf of their clients. Public interest lawyers, in-house counsel, government attorneys, criminal lawyers, tort lawyers, and commercial litigators all share the need to be effective negotiators. Yet few attorneys have any systematic understanding of why negotiations often fail or have suboptimal results, the dilemmas inherent in negotiations, or the characteristics of effective negotiators.

By combining theory and practice, this subject should improve students’ understanding of negotiation and effectiveness as negotiators. The subject should improve their ability to prepare for a negotiation, to engage others in joint problem-solving, and to select appropriate strategies when negotiations don’t go well. Above all, the subject will equip students to continue refining their skills as they gain more experience.

Florence Darwin teaches the flagship negotiation course at Harvard Law School and has taught negotiation skills to students as well as a broad range of professionals around the world.

Principal topics will include:

  • Introduction to negotiation principles
  • Basic elements for preparing and conducting a negotiation
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Creating value in negotiations
  • The challenge of distribution
  • Effective listening and assertion
  • Dealing with difficult negotiation tactics
  • Dealing with structural complexity in negotiation/group process.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Increasing awareness about the complexity of negotiation
  • Becoming a better analyst of negotiation behaviour: your own and your counterparts’
  • Enhancing negotiation skills and broadening repertoire of strategies
  • Learning to deal more efficiently with differences and conflicts
  • Improving working relationships with others
  • Learning how to make better deals and agreements
  • Learning how to learn effectively from one's own experience.
  • Class participation (40%)
  • Written assignments, including daily journals (20%)
  • 4,000 word research paper (40%) (14 July) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator
Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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