Certificate(s): Public Interest and Social Justice Law
This course is a survey of various dispute resolution alternatives to the traditional trial process. The focus is on arbitration, negotiation, and mediation. Among the objectives for this course are that each student gain familiarity with these processes, with certain skills that might prove helpful in negotiating or mediating the resolution of a dispute, and with certain factors that might be relevant in selecting the most appropriate method or methods of dispute resolution for a client. The arbitration section of the course generally follows a traditional, case-dominated approach. During the negotiation and mediation sections of the course, students have the opportunity to participate in several mock negotiation and mediation exercises that are designed to enhance understanding of the assigned readings. Students also view and critique videotaped portions of one or more negotiations and mediations. The class utilizes extensive group discussion. Finally, each student is required to submit a paper on a topic of her or his choice relating to ADR and is required to present the paper to the class.
Class Notes:Professional Skills Course
This course is a survey of dispute resolution options, focusing particularly on those processes that provide alternatives to traditional litigation and trial. Students will consider negotiation, mediation, collaborative decision-making, with or without a facilitator, and binding and non-binding arbitration. The course will include consideration of the nature of conflict, its essential elements, how and why conflict arises, factors that cause it to escalate and de-escalate, circumstances under which it is likely to be resolved or persist, and the various situations in which conflict and the need to effectively resolve or manage it might arise in legal practice. Having explored the underpinnings of dispute resolution for lawyers, students will go on to gain familiarity with the various dispute resolution options available to them and the skills they will need to both help their clients select the right option and effectively represent their clients’ interests in a particular process. Students will participate in numerous simulations, extensive group discussion, and verbal and written critical analysis of their own performance and that of their classmates. In addition to providing students with an overview of the current array of dispute resolution tools available to attorneys and an opportunity to develop necessary skills, this course will provide a solid foundation for those students intending to delve deeper into one or more individual dispute resolution processes by taking courses like Negotiating or Mediation.
This course qualifies as a Professional Skills Course and meets the criteria for designation as a required experiential learning course. Class is limited to 20 students.