What Makes a Great Legal Negotiator?

25 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2010

See all articles by Charles B. Craver

Charles B. Craver

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: November 16, 2010


What factors are associated with successful legal negotiators? I have found no significant correlation between student GPAs and negotiating results achieved on course exercises. I have found no differences in the results achieved by race or gender. Negotiator styles influence bargaining success, with many skilled negotiators employing the hybrid Competitive/Problem-Solving approach where they explore the underlying interests of the parties and seek to expand the overall pie to be divided, but use subtle manipulation to claim a greater share of the joint surplus for themselves. Proficient negotiators are thoroughly prepared, they have realistic, but elevated aspirations,and they begin with elevated, but principled, opening positions recognizing the impact of anchoring. They use the Preparation Stage to develop confidence in their own positions, and they use the Preliminary Stage to establish rapport with opponents and positive negotiating environments. They are effective communicators and active listeners, and they have patience and perseverance.

Keywords: negotiating, bargaining success, relevant skills

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Craver, Charles B., What Makes a Great Legal Negotiator? (November 16, 2010). Loyola Law Review, New Orleans, Vol. 56, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1710168

Charles B. Craver (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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