Conflict Theory

Catalog No.: 665

Course Description:

This course focuses on conflict before resolution strategies are considered. It concentrates on the sources and nature of conflict, how and why it escalates, de-escalates or persists, and the conditions under which it can be constructive or destructive. The subject matter is explored from psychological, social, legal, communication, and cultural perspectives. The primary goal of the course is to provide prospective attorneys with the foundational and contextual knowledge that they will need in order to successfully recognize and evaluate the dynamics of conflict in a particular client’s situation. Only upon such strong underpinnings can an attorney hope to effectively construct sound and appropriate resolution strategies. Because the ultimate practice goal, once theory is mastered, is indeed the employment of appropriate conflict resolution strategies as part of effective client representation, students in this course will also be introduced to a variety of specific conflict resolution strategies, skills and processes. Awareness of their options will help students to make informed decisions about their future law school course selections and continuing education after graduation in this field of study. In addition to lecture and assigned reading, this course will use brief exercises and group discussions to clarify and reinforce theoretical points and to provide experiential learning and skills development opportunities.