Students Finish as Semi-Finalists in ABA National Negotiation Finals

Third-year FIU Law students Natalie Marcell and Bryan Belenson recently finished as semi-finalists in the American Bar Association (ABA) National Negotiation Finals in Dallas. As in prior years, the competition involved over 200 teams from over 110 law schools from the United States and Canada.

Coached by Amanda Braun, Marcell and Belenson earned their trip to the national finals by winning the ABA Southeast Regional Negotiation Competition in November 2012. The top three teams from the Southeast Region (Florida International University College of Law, University of Georgia School of Law, and Stetson University College of Law) were all invited to the national finals.

This year’s finals challenged teams to resolve a small business ventures dispute and negotiate an agreement based on the facts about the situation and their client’s confidential information.

Marcell and Belenson faced Stetson Law and the Michigan State University College of Law in the preliminary rounds, coming away with a victory over the Stetson team and a close loss to the Michigan State team.  All three teams advanced to the Semi-Final Round, with Michigan State eventually finishing second overall in the competition.

“It was an absolute privilege to represent FIU Law.  Bryan and I spent a lot of long hours preparing with our student coaches and Professor David Walter, and the hard work paid off. Our victory at regionals and achievement here at nationals was the result of a real team effort,” said Marcell.

This was the 7th time in 9 years that FIU Law has sent a team to the ABA National Negotiation Finals, and the 6th time FIU Law has finished as a Semi-Finalist or Finalist.

“The competition was a great opportunity to compete against law students from across the country. I would like to thank my partner Natalie and everyone else who helped and supported us in preparation for the competition,” said Belenson.

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