Clinical Legal Education

Mediation Clinic

The increasingly vital craft of conflict resolution is the focus of the School of Law’s Mediation Clinic. Working on cases referred by local courts or other mediation agencies, students help resolve disputes in family law, small claims and the community.

Mediation is becoming an extensively utilized dispute resolution tool as Federal and State Courts establish mediation referral programs and as clients are increasingly hiring private sector mediators to avoid costly court battles and to maximize results. It is vital that new lawyers are cognizant of what mediation is all about, whether they want to possibly make mediation part of their future law practices, or simply know enough to effectively advise and assist their clients at mediation sessions. The best way to understand mediation is to actually be in the mediator’s chair with real parties.

Student Engagement:

The Mediation Clinic is a three-credit course that allows students to hone their mediation skills to an advanced level by mediating disputes with actual parties in disputes. Students will observe and conduct mediations of family law, small claims, community and/or other disputes referred by local courts and/or other community mediation resources. The students will be supervised and, periodically, videotaped to maximize their skill development and understanding of the process. The course will also involve observations of various alternative dispute resolution processes both in and out of court, centering primarily on mediation.

Students meet weekly as a class, during which students will conduct mediation role-plays, work on skill building, mediate real cases at Small Claims Court and/or share experiences and discuss the issues arising in their mediations and other course experiences.