Law 707 - Mediation

Elizabeth Scully

Elizabeth Scully

Lecturer in Law
B.A. Harvard University, 1993
J.D. UC Hastings College of the Law, 1996

Course Description:

Mediation is a central aspect  of lawyers' work in many contexts, including litigation, transactional, private and public sector.  This course combines a theoretical exploration of mediation as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, including its public policy and ethical implications, with practical training on (a) how to present various dispute resolution options to clients and obtain their informed consent; (b) how to represent clients effectively in mediation; and (c) how to serve as a neutral mediator.  Students will develop these skills via class exercises and discussion, weekly written assignments, participation in simulated role-plays and feedback sessions with the instructor.  The course will also feature guest lectures by prominent mediation professionals.  

Course Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand what mediation is, how it works and how it differs from traditional litigation and other dispute resolution processes;
  • Understand the roles of the mediator, the parties and the attorney in the mediation process; 
  • Gain insight into the public policy and ethical implications of mediation, especially regarding mediation confidentiality;
  • Identify and practice the basic lawyering skills needed to advise clients competently about the advantages and disadvantages of mediation, represent  clients effectively inside and outside of the mediation room, and appreciate how attorney advocacy differs in the mediation and litigation contexts;
  • Improve your ability to work with clients, ascertain client interests, balance legal and non-legal issues and come up with creative solutions for resolving disputes; 
  • Identify and practice basic conflict resolution skills needed to serve as a neutral mediator; and
  • Encourage constructive reflection on your unique voice as a professional and your personal approach to dispute resolution as a colleague, advocate and problem solver.