In conversation with Jay Finkelstein

Building Capacity to Negotiate Government Contracts in East Africa
In conversion with Jay Finkelstein

1. What inspired you during the project?

In a word: IMPACT. Through this New Perimeter program, I have been teaching negotiation skills in East Africa for over a decade. The New Perimeter partnership with EADB to provide training in negotiation skills to government lawyers meets an urgent need. The lawyers we train represent their countries in negotiating major agreements on behalf of their respective governments. Some of these agreements involve leasing and development for key natural resources that involve contracts that will span decades. However, most of these lawyers, even though they have been representing their governments for many years, have had little or no training in negotiations. The class we teach creates a framework by which to understand, analyze, plan, and strategize about negotiations and provides an opportunity to practice these skills by participating in a complex simulation of an international transaction. DLA Piper lawyers provide guidance and insights throughout the intensive, immersive, experiential training, and we can witness the participants developing new confidence in their abilities. The New Perimeter training provides a much-needed model for approaching negotiations and improving results. Through these trainings we are enabling these lawyers to understand how to achieve better agreements that will benefit their countries.

2. What was the most fulfilling aspect of the work?

The most fulfilling aspect has been leading teams of outstanding DLA Piper lawyers that are committed to the goals of New Perimeter and this program. Each training involves five to eight lawyers from across the DLA Piper offices (domestic and international) who come together to train the participants and guide them through the simulation. The lawyers get to know the participants and also learn significantly about the work they do. The lawyers also build bonds among themselves and get to know colleagues that they may not have met otherwise. We teach, but we also learn, which is the wonder of teaching! This experience is very rewarding.

3. What one word describes your involvement?


Full bio

"We teach, but we also learn, which is the wonder of teaching."