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B771 is taught by J. O'Connor, C. Stafford, A. applegate


This class explores mediation as a method of dispute resolution and teaches negotiation and advocacy skills. We will consider mediation in many civil practice areas from the perspective of the client, the advocacy attorney, and the mediator. We will discuss whether and when to mediate, how to prepare the client, and how to draft mediated agreements. This course will cover relevant authority and rules governing mediation and will include frequent discussions on legal ethics in the mediation setting.

Written work will consist of five assignments: two Confidential Mediation Statements, and three Mediated Agreements. These written assignments will count for 80% of the course grade, with the remaining 20% of the course grade based on role playing exercises. There will be no end of the semester course examination. Frequent role-playing will explore and reinforce mediation skills.

This course will be limited to 20 participants. Satisfactory completion of this course will enable the new lawyer to understand the role of mediation in the justice system and prepare the lawyer to represent a client in a mediation session.


This Mediation Course is geared to students interested in 1) learning the basics of how to mediate, the most utilized form of alternative dispute resolution in virtually all fields of law; 2) improving and enhancing communication skills that will be useful in many legal contexts; and 3) understanding general ethical requirements for mediators and how these can differ from ethical requirements for attorneys.

Class sessions will consist of discussions, problem-solving and other skill-based exercises, and simulated mediation role-playing exercises that build from the assignments in advance of class, including readings and recordings.

The text for the course is Douglas N. Frankel and James H. Stark, The Practice of Mediation: A Video-Integrated Text, 3rd Edition. There will be some supplemental materials in addition to the textbook.

Grading in the course will be based on (1) class attendance and the quality of preparation and participation in the class, including written assignments (counting for 50% of the course grade); and (2) performance as mediators (teams of 2 students will mediate 2 other students acting as parties) in a one hour videotaped simulated mediation (with these mediations counting for 50% of the course grade). The simulated mediations will take place during the reading period after classes end but before final exams start. Each student will serve as a mediator for 1 hour and as a mediation party for 1 hour. There will be no written final examination.

This course will be limited to 20 participants. This course is expected to teach law students the basic skills and ethics of serving as mediators.

(Contact Information: Students with questions about the course should contact Professor Amy Applegate by e-mail (