Negotiation Sensations Vault Berkeley Law to Celestial Heights


hese days, the law school negotiation stars seem to shine brightest in Berkeley. Last semester, two student trios from Berkeley Law’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Team won major negotiation competitions — one national and one international.

Brandon Dailey ’24 and Kavya Dasari ’23 planned to visit Athens for The Negotiation Challenge, a prestigious annual competition among top law and business schools worldwide. When COVID-19 quashed that plan, they used the setback as motivational fuel and won the 50-team competition on Zoom.

“I hoped to learn and get exposed to different kinds of negotiation styles, and the competition did not disappoint,” Dasari says.

Nilam Faqhir, Miles Jasper, and Andrea Zachrich
SLAM DUNK: Nilam Faqhir ’23, Miles Jasper ’23, and Andrea Zachrich ’22 won this year’s Tulane Professional Basketball Negotiation Competition in New Orleans. Photo by Hattie McKinney
Over six rounds against schools from Australia, China, Canada, and India, Berkeley Law’s team threaded the needle — gaining key concessions for their clients while compromising and negotiating tactfully.

Among the team’s various tasks: representing industrialized countries in creating an agenda to address climate change, and helping an Egyptian merchant trade her goods.

Noting how people are all influenced by the communities they come from and the pedagogy of the materials they spend time learning, the students say it was quite refreshing to negotiate with those who approached the same issues differently.

Students also learned about fostering a professional dynamic.

“Winning the biggest package in terms of finances can come at a huge cost if you don’t maintain a strong relationship with the other side,” Dailey explains.

Also in the spring, Nilam Faqhir ’23, Miles Jasper ’23, and Andrea Zachrich ’22 won the Tulane Professional Basketball Negotiation Competition. They bested 43 other teams at the annual event in New Orleans — a simulated free agency negotiation of real NBA players — and Jasper was named best advocate.

“Winning best oral advocate was great, but I loved sharing the moment of a team win more with Andy and Nilam,” says Jasper, a former intern with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.

Participants were judged by experts from 14 teams and the league office — as well as agents, writers, and representatives from the National Basketball Players’ Association — and also got to network with them.

“After each round, our judges provided us with helpful suggestions,” Faqhir says. “We incorporated their feedback into our next rounds and noticed a drastic improvement.”

The team pitched a rookie player’s contract extension, acted as general manager for Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole, then negotiated a different player’s contract and alternated between representing the player or his team. At every turn, the students researched different aspects of the given contract and the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“It was so rewarding to showcase how much we learned,” Zachrich says. “This competition required a lot of specialized knowledge, and we put in a lot of work to succeed.”

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Team competes each year in tournaments involving diverse areas of law, including intellectual property, business, entertainment, environmental, and sports. — Andrew Cohen