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McGeorge team places 3rd in nation in ABA Negotiation Competition

Feb 21, 2020

Ian Cumings ’21, Claudia Wrazel and Yahir Barragan ’20

University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law students Ian Cumings ’21 and Yahir Barragan ’20 placed third in the 2020 ABA Negotiation Competition National Finals, the second time in three years that a McGeorge team has been in the top three in the nation.

“To qualify for the national competition for the second time in three years, and to finish with such a high rank against the best teams in the country, is a tremendous source of pride for McGeorge, our team members and for me personally,” said McGeorge adjunct professor Claudia Wrazel, who coaches the team. “What I like best about our team, though, is how hard they work and how much fun they are to get to know. It’s a great pleasure to work with these fine students.”

It was only two years ago that McGeorge’s ABA Negotiation Team won the National ABA Negotiation Competition and went on to win the International Competition in Wales, taking the title of the best law school negotiation team in the world.

The Southwestern Law School team won this year’s competition and Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law earned second place. In all, 20 teams from 17 law schools were in the national competition held Feb. 7–8 in Chicago, Illinois.

Cumings and Barragan moved through the ABA Negotiations Competitions regional competitions in which more than 180 teams vied for a place in the national finals to face the top 20 teams in the nation. They outlasted teams from Ohio State, UC Davis, University of Oregon, Stetson and others to make it to the semifinals. 

Law students on the McGeorge Negotiation Team learn how to work with opponents to solve mutual problems. They develop skills for settlement discussions, contract negotiations and even international diplomacy through strategy sessions, practice negotiations and contests, such as the 2020 ABA Negotiation Competition.

The competition helps law students hone and improve negotiation skills they will need in practice. Law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal problems during simulated negotiations. The teams work from a common set of facts all negotiators know and confidential information known only to a particular side. The simulations deal with the same general topic, but the situation varies with each round and competition level.

This is the latest success highlighting McGeorge’s work in advocacy. U.S. News and World Report ranked McGeorge No. 7 for trial advocacy in its 2019 Best Graduate Schools Guide and the law school will send two teams to the National Trial Competition Finals in Fort Worth, Texas.

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