Williston Competition

Sign up for the 61st Annual Williston Negotiation Competition!

What is the Williston Competition? The Williston Competition is Harvard’s annual negotiating exercise for 1Ls hosted by the Harvard Negotiators and the Board of Student Advisers. Teams of two, representing one side in a complex contract negotiation, work with another team of two representing the other side. At the end of the competition, both teams submit a contract and each team submits a private memo to its client explaining why the client should agree to the contract.

Why should I participate?

Experience: Lawyers negotiate as a routine part of their work. Whether they are negotiating a merger or acquisition, a settlement between a landlord and tenant, or an investigation with the government, developing effective negotiation skills is critical to success. The Williston Competition is a realistic contract negotiation simulation that will allow you to practice and refine your negotiation and drafting skills. A panel of expert judges will review each contract, so the competition is a great opportunity to get feedback from professionals in the field.

Glory: Each year’s winners have their names immortalized on a plaque in Langdell Library.

Prizes: Winners also receive cash prizes.

When is it? 

This year’s competition will start with a mandatory introductory meeting at noon on Monday, February 24th in Austin West. Competition materials will be distributed on Monday, March 3rd at 8:00 a.m.  You, your partner, and the other team will have a week to negotiate a deal and draft both the contract and the memo. Completed contracts and memos will be due by e-mail at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 10th. Teams usually spend as little as 10 and as much as 20 hours over the course of the entire week. You determine when you negotiate and draft.

Who can participate?

All 1Ls can participate. You can sign up with a partner or as an individual to be partnered up with another student. You do not need to have taken the Negotiation Workshop, and many winners in previous years had not taken the course.

How do I sign up? 

To participate, you must register (sign up once per team) by completing this online form.  The deadline for registration is February 17th.

Do I need a partner in order to register?

No.  While you are welcome to register as a team of two, if you do not have a partner you will be assigned a partner.

For more information on a previous year’s competition, please visit this webpage.

m4s0n501

Leave a Reply