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Mediation Clinic

Variable Credit(s)
Fall: 600 19 | Spring: 601 16

Academic Year Only


Mediation Clinic
Law School Clinic Suite
Community Dispute Resolution Center

Supervising Attorneys:  Amy Lord, Dave Lord

Clinic Director:
Adjunct Professor Klaus Sitte
406.243.4670
klaus.sitte@umontana.edu

Pre- or Co-requisites: 

  • Professional Responsibility (effective for all classes entering Fall 2011 and thereafter)
  • Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR 614)
  • Negotiations

Areas of law: Family Law; Housing Law; Consumer Law; Criminal Law; Contract Law; Contract-drafting; Pre-trial practice; Professional Responsibility

Lawyering skills: Interviewing and counseling; research and writing; negotiation; ADR/mediation, transactional work

Sample Projects:  Report on the appellate mediation program of the Montana Supreme Court; design of District Court procedure regarding mediation of cases involving domestic violence; review of Justice Court mediation forms; participate in annual state-wide mediation conference; attend mediation/alternative dispute resolution CLEs; participate in school district peer mediation training.

The Mediation Clinic at The University of Montana School of Law trains students to intervene and resolve disputes out-of-court. In addition, the Mediation Clinic studies the fields of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), problem-solving, and conflict management from a multidisciplinary perspective, and pursues a range of projects related to these fields. Using actual cases and disputes, the Mediation Clinic teaches students to be skilled, professional neutrals and advocates in non-litigation settings. In the process, students provide a valuable community service and gain a deeper understanding of relevant areas of law, including family and landlord and tenant law, and professional responsibility.

Clinical interns are required to take or have taken Negotiations and Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR 614), a three-credit course which includes a 40-hour training on mediation basics. Interns begin the clinic by observing and debriefing four mediations. Interns then co-facilitate four mediations with an experienced mediator and thereafter are expected to volunteer for as many mediations as their schedules allow, either as lead mediator or co-facilitator. Experienced supervising attorneys, mediators and the faculty supervisor supervise all intern fieldwork. Interns participate in a weekly seminar and pursue a host of substantive projects to analyze and inform their work.

In partnership with community dispute resolution centers, state and tribal courts, nonprofits, public schools and other organizations, clinical interns:

  • Mediate cases referred by the Missoula County Community Dispute Resolution Center, Justice Court and District Court; the Montana Legal Services Association; The University of Montana; and the Tribal Court of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation;
  • Train other students enrolled in non-clinical ADR courses in the University;
  • Coach and teach peer mediation/conflict management/resolution programs in area middle and high schools;
  • Advise organizations in structuring and administering their conflict-resolution programs; and
  • Collaborate with the State Bar of Montana in any number of ADR-related projects.

Because of the intensive nature of the Mediation Clinic, prospective students are expected to prioritize clinic work and projects during the school year.

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