1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Negotiation Skills

Negotiation Skills (LAWS70468)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70468
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Irrespective of their speciality, lawyers must negotiate. Litigators resolve far more disputes through negotiation than by trial. Business lawyers in every domain negotiate on behalf of their clients. Public interest lawyers, in-house counsel, government lawyers, criminal lawyers, tort lawyers and commercial litigators all share the need to be effective negotiators. However few lawyers have any systematic understanding of why negotiations often fail or have suboptimal results, the dilemmas inherent in negotiations, or the characteristics of effective negotiators.

By combining theory and practice, this subject should improve students’ understanding of negotiation and effectiveness as negotiators. This subject should improve their ability to prepare for a negotiation, to engage others in joint problem-solving, and to select appropriate strategies when negotiations don’t go well. Above all, this subject will equip students to continue refining their skills as they gain more experience.

Florrie Darwin has taught negotiation skills to students, as well as a broad range of professionals, around the world.

Principal topics include:

  • Introduction to negotiation principles
  • Basic framework for preparing, conducting and reviewing a negotiation
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Creating value in negotiations
  • The challenge of distribution
  • Effective listening
  • Managing interpersonal differences
  • Negotiating via email
  • Effective responses to difficult negotiation tactics
  • Dealing with structural complexity in negotiation/multi-party negotiations.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the complexity of negotiation and the principles relevant to effective negotiation;
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse and interpret the behaviour of parties to a negotiation;
  • Have significantly enhanced his or her negotiation skills and developed a broader and more sophisticated repertoire of negotiation strategies;
  • Have an expanded capacity to deal efficiently with differences and conflicts that arise in the context of negotiation;
  • Have significantly improved his or her ability to develop and maintain working relationships with others, particularly in relation to interpersonal, communication and feedback skills;
  • Have a set of tools with which to make better deals and agreements;
  • Have an advanced capacity to learn effectively from his or her own negotiation experience; and
  • Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in relation to negotiation.

Last updated: 30 August 2019