by Rachel Vicario and Darian Wilkom, Negotiator Team of the University of Buffalo School of Law
After six months of waiting, three months of preparing, two months of planning, and one week of hyperventilating, we found ourselves in Toronto, boarding our flight and finally bound for Vienna. The fifth annual Consensual Dispute Resolution Centre’s (CDRC) Mediation and Negotiation Competition opened on July 5, 2019 and came to a close on July 11, 2019. The competition, held at the University of Vienna in Austria, is co-sponsored by the International Bar Association and the Vienna International Arbitral Centre.
We are rising third year law students at the University at Buffalo School of Law. We had the honor of representing our University, along with our distinguished coaches, adjunct mediation law professor Steven Sugarman of Pusatier, Sherman, Abbot & Sugarman, and Judith Gerber of the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, at this year’s competition. Not only did we have the opportunity to sharpen our negotiation skills, hone our advocacy skills, and expand our mediation skills, we also found ourselves immersed in a once in a lifetime experience, meeting students, mediators, and attorneys from all over the world.
I will not be exaggerating in saying that IBA-VIAC CDRC Vienna is one of the most vibrant, exciting and unique mediation and negotiation competitions out there. This is an event where learning, practicing skills and having fun takes place all at the same time. Upon entering this wonderful competition, you become part of a big and loving mediation family. That is why I feel proud and lucky to have participated in the 3rd edition of CDRC Vienna as a mediator representing New Vision University.
If you are competing as a negotiator, you will probably find plenty of resources on negotiation skills, techniques and advice. However, not so much readily available resources can be found for mediators. With the 5th edition of CDRC on the horizon, I will try to share some tips from my own experience that have helped me prepare for the competition as a mediator, hoping that other student mediators find this information useful as well.
This is a window into the experience of a 2015 participant who was wondering if attending CDRC 2017 was a déjà-vu or an all-new experience.
In the first edition of CDRC in 2015, I was a member of the University of Bonn Team. Together we placed second in Negotiation and won the awards for Best Mediator and Best Team. In the 2017 edition, the University of Bonn placed second in Negotiation and won the award for Best Mediator again.
Same same, but different? read more »
Anastasia Zhemchugova is a second year Master student in International Law at Wuhan University, P.R. China. Previously she participated at the 10th ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition, 23rd Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot and also competed as a mediator in the 1st edition of the CDRC Vienna IBA-VIAC Mediation & Negotiation Competition, she used to be an active member of many organizations, such as Ukrainian Law Students association, AIESEC, the EYP. Currently, Anastasia is working as an intern in Fujian branch of the leading law firm in China.
Greg Hoffman is a third-year law student in the evening program at Rutgers Law School. He is the sitting vice president of the school’s Student Bar Association as well as the social media chair for the ADR Society. Greg has competed in several ADR competitions including the Judith S. Kaye Arbitration competition, organized by the New York State Bar Association, and the St. John’s School of Law FINRA Securities Dispute Resolution Triathlon. He competed as a negotiator in CDRC Vienna, 2017. In addition to his studies, Greg works as an investigator for the Office of the Public Defender, NJ.
I participated in the first edition of CDRC Vienna when I was in my third year of Law School at Saint Joseph University, Lebanon. My colleague Omar Karam and I won the first prize for negotiation. In this article, I will first list some do’s and don’ts that will hopefully help you reach as far as possible in the competition. After that, I will share my journey at CDRC Vienna and how I benefited from this experience. Remember though, do your best to win but believe me when I say that the fact that you will get to be in Vienna and participate in the competition already means that you are a winner. read more »
I myself had the great privilege of participating in the first edition of CDRC Vienna as a mediator. Because of the tremendous and unforgettable experience I had in Vienna, I decided to continue participating in the competition by coaching a team that will compete in this year´s edition. Since I have experience as both a participant and a coach, I would like to share a few tips that can enhance your experience of the competition. read more »
Being a part of CDRC means stepping into the world of one of the most vibrant, intense and cultivating competitions. In a business-driven society, we all want to make sure that we possess the ability to effectively lead a negotiation or mediation in order to achieve more or less mutual gains. Therefore, the participation in CDRC is at first (at least in most cases) caused by the sheer desire to gain necessary skills and to achieve a resounding success. However, the first thing that you learn in Vienna is that this competition is not only a place of intense training and workshops in the mediation field. What you realise is that you become a part of a fully international community which allows you to establish contacts with people from completely different places and to confront yourself with ideas, perceptions and values through a cross-cultural platform. This amazing experience will give you enough adrenaline and motivation to perform at your best. Nevertheless, in addition to the social and cultural aspects, another main element reigns; the one of competitiveness.
Throughout this article, I am hoping to provide you with a few hints on how to prepare and participate in CDRC so as to get the most out of it.
This article is actually in continuation of an interview the Young Global Ambassadors Programme conducted (see here). Cezary is an Accredited Mediator and an Attorney at Law (Adwokat), Krakow, Poland. Cezary also happened to be part of the 2016 Edition of the IBA-VIAC CDRC Vienna. So, here’s his list of “Please don’t be afraid…” (hints that he frequently gives to participating students)!
July is coming. What does it mean? It means that the greatest experience of your life is only a few months away from now. The Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC) Vienna, organised by the International Bar Association (IBA) and the Vienna International Arbitral Center (VIAC) will provide you with a new professional perspective. And the city in which the event is hosted will give you a new meaning of life. read more »
Article by Georgi Todorov Elenkov (Bulgaria) and Jasmin Rosita Zareie (Austria)
The Young Global Ambassador Program of IBA-VIAC CDRC Vienna recently surveyed former participants in the competition from Kenya, Austria, Germany, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, the UK, the USA, Brazil, India, Singapore, Turkey and Lebanon about their experience. The lessons learned and the advice they could render to future negotiation and mediation teams are summarised in this article. Two Young Global Ambassadors of the IBA-VIAC CDRC Vienna – Jasmin Rosita Zareie from Austria and Georgi Todorov Elenkov from Bulgaria – share their perspectives over the answers that YGAP received.