A team of the law school’s finest tested their mediation talents in a global competition held in Paris, France. Joseph R. Lavoie ’17 and Charles J. Cook ’17 represented UB School of Law in the International Commercial Mediation Competition, a six-day competition held February 3-8, 2017.
Organized by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), sixty-six mediation teams from around the world are selected each year to participate. Teams are comprised of students from multiple disciplines, although each team must include at least one law student to act as counsel.
“The Competition was the pinnacle of my law school experience,” says Lavoie. “At the table, the Competition consisted of my partner and me sitting across from Oxford law students while we insisted they were interpreting our contract's warranty provision incorrectly. Outside the negotiations, the Competition consisted of discussions with Cornell, Georgetown, and Cardozo law students about various negotiation tactics and strategies.”
Lavoie and Cook established the law school as a strong competitor, earning recognition as the best team from a university attending for the first time. Sixteen universities in total were first time participants.
Members of the first-place team are awarded an internship position at an international dispute resolution center. For all of the participants, the event allows students an opportunity to put theory into practice, earning valuable skills that they will take with them as they transition from student to practitioner.
"Competing was such a valuable learning experience and great way to cap off my law school career," says Cook. "After preparing for months, we were able to negotiate transactions and settle disputes in a mediation setting against law students from Russia, Netherlands, England, and Canada. Following each round, we received valuable feedback from professionals and scholars in the ADR field from around the world, providing insight and perspective we would not normally obtain in a classroom or in a domestic competition. "
“There is no doubt that I will be a more effective advocate for my future clients because of this experience,” adds Lavoie. “I am now confident in my ability to sit across from another advocate and calmly disagree."