MACON – Mercer University School of Law third-year students Michael Downing and Bryce Everett won the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Division Negotiation Competition. This is the first time Mercer Law School has won the national competition.

Downing and Everett advanced to nationals after winning the Regional Negotiation Competition in November.

The competition simulates legal negotiations in which law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal problems. The simulations consist of a common set of facts known by all participants and confidential information known only to the participants representing a particular side. All of the simulations deal with the same general topic, but the negotiation situation varies with each round and level of the competition.

“Mercer Law is committed to supporting students from law school admission to bar admission,” said Interim Dean Karen J. Sneddon. “Our renewed and strategic focus on the advocacy program reinforces this commitment and develops and refines a range of lawyering skills. This competition success is a result of hours of dedication from the strong competitors, the supportive coaches and an innovative director of advocacy.”

“I’m thrilled Michael and I could achieve this win for Mercer,” said Everett. “Virtually competing five different times in a span of 48 hours, with a new problem set each time, was challenging to say the least. However, our coaches and teammates did an amazing job supporting us throughout the competition.”

Mercer Law alumni Christopher Steele, ’11, and Brandon Rosenstein, ’20, have coached the national championship-winning team since August 2021.

“It was such an honor to be able to work with my teammate, Bryce, and represent our team, coaches and school in such a tremendous way,” said Downing. “It was such a pleasure to pay off all the time and effort our team dedicated to learning and growing as negotiators. It has been an incredible honor to work with everyone and represent Mercer.”

“Michael and Bryce continue to demonstrate what it means to produce practice ready attorneys,” added director of advocacy Katie Powers. “Their dominant performance is really a credit to their preparation throughout the past year. We are so proud of each one of them, their teammates and their coaches.”