The Community Mediation Clinic offers 2Ls and 3Ls the opportunity to learn from mediation practitioners and participate as civil mediators in community and court cases, to serve as facilitators in restorative justice conferences and to create and present trainings in community conflict resolution education programs. The U is one of only a handful of the nation’s top law schools presently offering this type of clinical program. Conflict Resolution Center (CRC), one of Minnesota's oldest non-profit mediation organizations, offers a comprehensive mediation clinic. Students who successfully complete the Fall course will be eligible for the Minnesota Rule 114 Roster of Qualified Neutrals and enroll in the Spring clinic.
This course features classroom instruction and interactive exercises. It emphasizes the facilitative model of mediation while providing a survey of other mediation styles and models. Topics covered include: conflict theory, styles of conflict resolution, statutes and rules governing mediation, ethical considerations, cultural considerations in mediation and the applicability of facilitative mediation in housing, family, and harassment courts, schools, businesses, and employment work. Classroom time is split between lecture, discussion and interactive role plays and exercises with coach/instructor feedback.
During the Spring semester, students spend 4-6 hours per week on site at the Conflict Resolution Center in Minneapolis. Students choose their own mediation related legal research project which they work on throughout the semester. Students observe and then participate in CRC community and court mediations, restorative justice conferences and community outreach programs. Students will mediate or observe an average of 6 cases during the spring. Additionally, students journal their experiences role-playing, observing and mediating.
- Brief weekly status meetings with the student director are required during the first semester.
- Observe and/or co-mediate cases in Hennepin County Housing and Harassment Courts, Anoka
County Conciliation Court, Ramsey County Conciliation and Housing Court, and at CRC.
What to expect when working on cases and with clients: CRC’s mediation clients are primarily low income individuals. Students’ interaction with clients varies with the observation and mediation opportunities they participate in. CRC manages client intake procedures for mediations and restorative justice conferences. During observations, students’ interaction with clients is limited. When students co-mediate cases, facilitate restorative justice conferences, and participate in case intake and development, they work directly with clients.
NOTE: This course requires certification pursuant to the student practice rule and is open to JD students only.