Jayashri Srikanthiah (Stanford) and Jan Martinez (Stanford) recently published an article entitled Applying Negotiations Pedagogy to Clinical Teaching: Tools for Institutional Client Representation in Law School Clinics. It can be found at 21 Clinical L. Rev. 283 (2014), but it is not online just yet. It should be appearing here soon.
Law clinics across the country in a range of subject areas are increasingly engaging in advocacy work on behalf of and alongside institutional clients such as nonprofits, coalitions, tribes, and a range of formal and informal organizations. This article explores how clinicians may employ tools from negotiations pedagogy to teach students how to diagnose and address the complex problems that institutional clients bring to clinics. The article posits that, to effectively represent an institutional client, students must navigate relationships with external players as well as within the institutional client itself. Negotiations pedagogy provides a framework for teaching students how to understand and engage with the relationships that an institutional client—for instance a nonprofit—may have with external players such as governmental regulators, local governments, foundations, other nonprofits, constituents, allies, and opponents. The article examines tools from negotiations pedagogy that assist in teaching students to handle these external relationships as well as relationships within the institutional client, such as with a board of directors, an executive director, and other staff.