Conflict Resolution Institute & Clinic
Develop Practice-Ready Skills Mediating Actual Disputes
Students in this clinical program mediate actual disputes, represent clients in mediations and arbitrations, design and deliver outreach presentations, and support mediation centers and programs in the Chicago area. Through hands-on practice, students move from having a basic understanding of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) principles toward mastering essential skills. Students may work toward attaining a highly regarded mediation certification; a valuable tool in legal practice. After certification, students mediate in the courthouse and may continue to do so after the semester ends. Cases are referred by small claims and criminal courts or by other John Marshall clinical programs and typically involve neighbors, victims and offenders, landlords and tenants, or involve disputes in contractual matters.
Students may also represent clients in ADR proceedings. Most typically, Conflict Resolution Institute (CRI) students represent clients in mortgage foreclosure mediations. Students are trained in the basics mediation/arbitration advocacy and in the substantive area of law, then represent clients in the proceeding under the supervision of a licensed attorney.
CRI students receive 2 credit hours for completing 120 hours of Institute work in addition to attending a bi-weekly skills-training seminar in which students practice, discuss and build on concepts they’ve learned during mediations or arbitrations.
Students may elect to pursue one of two curricular tracks:
Mediation: Students in the mediation certification track are trained to become certified mediators then develop their skills through mediating actual disputes. For these students, the course begins with a mandatory, intensive, skills-training conducted in collaboration with the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR). After completing the skills-training portion of the course and after meeting all of CCR’s certification requirements, students mediate live cases though the court system and may continue to do so after the semester ends.
ADR Advocacy: Students selecting the ADR Advocacy track must have a 711 license. Advocacy track students begin by attending a workshop in advocacy and in an area of substantive law, typically mortgage foreclosure. Students are assigned cases, and then work under the supervision of a staff attorney to prepare their clients for the mediation or arbitration. Students meet with the client and ultimately represent the client during the mediation or arbitration.
Both certification and advocacy students must also participate in mediation outreach, research or support projects. Students may select project/s based on their training, interest and availability of the student or project.