Whittier Team Performs Well at National Sports Law Negotiation Competition

Whittier Law School students Katrina Nicha and Tiffany Larson
Gavril Gabriel, Katrina Nicha, Tiffany Larson and Brett Scott

Whittier Law School’s Alternative Dispute Resolution organization sent the team of Tiffany Larson and Katrina Nicha to compete at the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition in September. This is an annual event hosted by Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. The team came in 9th overall among the 40 teams competing, losing by a mere point overall in the second round and besting teams from Hastings, Georgetown, Pepperdine, Fordham and other law schools. They were coached by alumni Gavril Gabriel, Brett Scott and JayJay Ding, all of whom previously competed in the competition. The team’s faculty advisory is Professor Erez Aloni.

In the first round, the problem required participants to negotiate a contract between a women’s roller derby team, the Derby Dolls, and Red Bull concerning sponsorship, leasing a facility for practices and matches, and tenancy terms. The second round problem involved representing the Women’s Sports Foundation in a negotiation concerning a U.S. soccer Olympian. “They had the problems structured so you get two very different situations for you to negotiate, which requires you to strategize different approaches, which in turn provides you a lot of useful practical real-life experience,” said Tiffany.

Both participants found the experience invaluable. “Not only did it help with the strategizing of negotiating techniques, but it helped with more general skills such as public speaking, actively listening, and being able to think on your feet,” said Katrina. “I’m proud of how we placed, especially since this was the first external competition for the both of us.”

“I personally want to go into the entertainment industry, so this competition helped me to strengthen my negotiation skills in a real-world manner,” said Tiffany. “One judge also complimented Katrina and me on how well we worked together, so I hope that we get the opportunity to compete again next semester. I believe that if we are able to compete again together, that not only will we continue to learn and grow as partners, but we will further illustrate how invaluable ADR is in gaining practical experience we can call upon once we are practicing attorneys.”

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