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"This experience has been invaluable in demonstrating team work, hard work and success."

Getting real-world experience is invaluable for any student, shining at an international level is even more of an advantage.

Deakin Law School students Daniel Fahey and James Dickie have done just that, taking out second place at an international negotiation competition in Delhi, India recently.

The first competition of its kind in India, the NLU Delhi – Herbert Smith Freehills International Negotiation Competition seeks to introduce students of top law schools across the globe to international negotiations and to offer them opportunities to hone their skills, with simulations being as close as possible to actual international environment.

Comprising one of the 23 competing teams from around the globe, James and Daniel were invited to represent Deakin after winning the Deakin Law Student's Society Herbert Smith Freehills Deals Competition 2015.

‘The opportunity to experience law in an international environment in an emerging and important area of dispute resolution was invaluable experience towards my law degree.

‘James and I are incredibly proud of progressing to the grand final and being given the opportunity to represent Deakin on the international stage,’ says Daniel.  

The exercises in the competition included a common set of facts known to all participants and confidential information known to only the participants representing a particular side.

James says they prepared for the competition by extensively analysing and discussing the general and confidential facts of the preliminary rounds, which they received a few months in advance. 

‘We were then required to prepare and submit a formal negotiation plan for both of the preliminary rounds, which outlined our innovative solutions and commercial negotiation plan. 

‘During the preparation phase I travelled through Europe for seven weeks, but despite this we maintained solid and effective communication and ensured we were both entirely familiar with every detail within the given facts,’ he says.

Daniel adds that the opportunity to experience law in an international environment in an emerging and important area of dispute resolution was invaluable experience towards his law degree.

‘Having to seek a “commercially minded” solution was integral to our success and competing against and meeting students from universities across Australia, India and the rest of the world was a fantastic experience,’ he says.

Deakin Law School’s Dr Benjamin Hayward explains that events like the International Negotiation Competition are wonderful ways in which to develop the kind of practical skills that lawyers use in their professional life on a daily basis.

‘Daniel and James’ results, coming a close second after Cambridge University, are a wonderful reflection of their preparation, capabilities, and engagement with what has been a wonderful opportunity to represent Deakin Law School on the international stage.

‘We congratulate Daniel and James on their excellent result, and their commitment to organising their involvement in this international event,’ he says.

Both Daniel and James will finish their commerce and law degrees next year and are confident that this experience will assist with the pursuit of their career aspirations.

‘I am currently applying for seasonal clerkship positions and interviewing at law firms throughout Melbourne and this experience has been invaluable in demonstrating team work, hard work and success as well as depicting oral advocacy skills and memorandum drafting abilities.

‘Interviewers have seemingly been impressed by me simply being a participant in an event such as this and the strong result has been an added bonus,’ says Daniel.

James adds that they both hope their achievement in this competition will help bolster their legal careers. ‘Negotiating can be quite a daunting task, and competing in this competition in front of an audience, and being judged by some high profile lawyers and judges arguably makes the experience more difficult,’ he says.