This seminar is an interactive course designed to teach the practice and principles of mediation. The course will explore the mediation process from multiple perspectives, including disputants, advocates and mediators. Particular emphasis will be placed on how to be an effective advocate during the mediation process. The course is designed to allow students to develop proficiency in mediation, both from a strategic and behavioral perspective. The effect of culture, power, and individual attitudes toward conflict will be explored. The class will address practical and ethical questions which surround the use of mediation as a dispute resolution mechanism. Hybrid mediation processes and current issues in mediation will also be explored.
Students will be expected to read, write, discuss, critique and participate in simulated disputes. The simulations are designed to familiarize students with the mediation process, to determine when mediation is appropriate, to plan and prepare for a mediation, to participate effectively as both a disputant and advocate in a mediation, to overcome impasse and deal with difficult situations, and to raise practical and ethical issues. Simulations are taken from a variety of practice areas, including community, commercial, environmental, international, litigation and transactional disputes.
The class will meet one Friday afternoon and four weekend days; attendance at all class sessions is required to fulfill class commitment and students must attend the first class to be enrolled. Grades will be based on class participation including discussions and simulations, the quality of the student's five-page journal analyzing and comparing two simulations from the class, and a 15-page mediation advocacy plan on an issue of the student's choice.