Reading groups at Harvard Law School, consisting of 2Ls and 3Ls, present faculty and students with opportunities to study with one another in a less formal setting. Additionally, students are encouraged and are able to gain an in-depth knowledge of the particular reading group’s subject matter.
In a recent article for the Harvard Law Bulletin‘s Summer 2012 issue, Katie Bacon describes Program on Negotiation Chair Robert Mnookin’s reading group, focused on U.S.-Cuba relations.
The reading group has allowed Professor Mnookin to explore his scholarly interests with regard to negotiations between the United States and Cuba in an environment that encourages dialogue between students.
Initially started as a means to explore a scholarly interest, Professor Mnookin says he is, “…getting even more out of (the reading group) than I anticipated.”
In a discussion straight from the classroom, a student points out that the United States’ lifting of the embargo from Cuba could result in a weakened position for the United States by giving hope to other nations it has placed embargoes upon that they, too, can hold out long enough to overcome the U.S.’s policy.
Citing negotiation strategy, Mnookin explains that “it’s a matter of framing things differently – you need to help each side figure out the story they can tell themselves to make compromise seem worthwhile.”