Mercer Law Students Place in Top 10 at ABA National Negotiation Competition


Mercer Law students TaMisha Cooke and Donita Morris advanced to the semifinal round and placed ninth in the American Bar Association's National Negotiation Competition on Feb. 6-7 in Houston, Texas. The pair qualified for the national competition by winning first place at regionals last November. The competition included 199 teams from 104 different law schools. 

Third-year students Mary Kate Silloway and Stephen Swinson and second-year students Jessica Canedo and Patricia DeJaynes also competed in the regional competition and helped Cooke and Morris prepare for the nationals. The team was coached by Mercer Law School alumni Christopher Steele ('11) and Bryant Culpepper ('72).

“The entire team represented the school admirably,” said Steele. “Despite the great competition, Donita and TaMisha advanced to the semifinals where the team won its round and gave one of the best performances I have ever seen at this competition. During the self-analysis, they had the judges hanging on their every word.”

The ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition promotes greater interest among law students in legal negotiation and provides a means for them to practice and improve their negotiating skills. The competition stimulates 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 competition.