Mediation Competition

Future practitioners in the growing field of legal mediation can hone their skills in competition.

As an increasing number of civil legal cases are referred to mediation, it is vital that the lawyer accompanying his or her client to the mediation table has the knowledge and skill-set necessary to maximize a client’s results in this context. The interaction of lawyer and client and the use of interest-based problem solving is the focus of the Representation in Mediation Competition.

Who can participate: Participation is limited to 2nd and 3rd year law students. First year students are encouraged to contact the student Alternative Dispute Resolution Society (ADR) officers if they want to help run the Competition. There is no requirement that students have any education or background in mediation or negotiation to participate in the Competition.

The Competition: Law students form attorney-client teams and are given two different dispute fact scenarios distributed to law schools by the Dispute Resolution Section of the American Bar Association (ABA). Together the team strategizes and prepares to negotiate at a mediation session.

On the day of the Competition, using the two different legal disputes in a morning and afternoon round, the team engages in negotiations with an opposing attorney-client team with a professional mediator from the community at the table to facilitate. A lawyer or other professional with mediation advocacy knowledge will also be present to score and give feedback to the teams.

Students are judged on:

  • preparation
  • teamwork
  • how well the interests of the client are represented
  • how well opportunities in the mediation process are used to promote those interests
  • other elements of effective advocacy in mediation

Regionals and beyond: The two winning teams will be sent to represent our law school at the ABA-sponsored Regional Representation in Mediation Competition during a weekend in late February or early March (location and date to be determined by the ABA). If one of our teams wins the Regionals, that team will go on to the ABA National Competition.