Core Courses

Students learn about negotiation, mediation, arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution that are alternative or supplemental to litigation. The course will include theory, discussion, simulations, and lectures. This course requires all students to write a paper in lieu of a final examination. A limited number of students may fulfill the writing requirement in this course.

Examination of the history and use of arbitration as well as its current legal status. Focus will be on substantive legal doctrines of arbitration, particularly enforcement of arbitration agreements, and on arbitration procedure, particularly the manner in which arbitration may be conducted in various contexts.

The course will introduce students to concepts in cognitive and social psychology and then apply these concepts to basic lawyering tasks such as interviewing, counseling, negotiation, mediation, discovery, and writing. It will also examine what psychology can teach us about attorney ethics, success and happiness.
The course will be conducted as a seminar, with the final grade being based upon class participation, class exercises (including simulations), a journal and a final paper. There will be no exam.

The course will introduce students to concepts in cognitive and social psychology and then apply these concepts to basic lawyering tasks such as interviewing, counseling, negotiation, mediation, discovery, and writing. It will also examine what psychology can teach us about attorney ethics, success and happiness.
The course will be conducted as a seminar, with the final grade being based upon class participation, class exercises (including simulations), a journal and a final paper. There will be no exam. Mediation (Law 715) - 2 Credits

This highly interactive course covers the process of mediation, the facilitation of negotiated agreements between disputing or transacting parties. Participants will study common dynamics arising between disputants and a range of approaches and skills mediators employ to address those dynamics. The course will also cover some of the foundational legal issues arising in the context of mediation. Through interactive exercises, participants will explore mediation from the perspective of disputants, attorneys, and mediators. Grading will be through a series of written assignments.

This course is designed to maximize attorney effectiveness in the mediation setting. Topics will include, among others, mediator styles and selection, mediation preparation, crafting an effective opening statement, the importance of fostering collaboration, harnessing the power of the mediator, using the mediator to manage the flow of information and to influence the bargaining process, working through impasse, over-coming psychological bias and developing a strategic self-awareness of decision-making errors, using the mediator to educate or help you deal with an unreasonable or difficult client, when to seek a mediator's substantive case evaluation and how to use it to your advantage, and the effective use of a mediator even if the case is not initially resolved. Grading will be based on two brief take home exams (midterm and final), journaling, paper, participation, and in-class activities.

Students in the Mediation Clinic receive intensive mediation training and then mediate real legal disputes. This clinical experience will introduce you to the process of mediation, the neutral facilitation of negotiation between disputing or transacting parties. You will study theories of conflict, mediation, and negotiation, learn the skills used in the mediation process, from the perspective of mediators, parties, and their representatives, and also learn about legal regimes that regulate mediation and mediators. You will be mediating family disputes at Clark County's Family Division and small claims cases at the Neighborhood Justice Center. In these real-world settings you will hone your skills as a mediator and have opportunities to reflect on the experience and receive feedback. The theory part of this course includes seminar readings, short exercises, role-plays, and simulations. You will be evaluated on your proficiency as a mediator during live mediations and in a video-taped mediation simulation as well as weekly writing assignments. In addition, you and your colleagues in the Clinic will work on a variety of community-based projects in partnership with institutional mediation providers in Las Vegas and around the state. Students earn six credits for this course and, after completing a 40-hour, mandatory pre-semester mediation training, are expected to commit an average of 15 hours per week on seminar and Clinic-related activity. Students in the Mediation Clinic will be certified to practice law in Nevada under limited practice Rule 49.5. There is no final exam.

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This course examines the theory, practice, and public policy of negotiation. Focusing particularly on issues of relevance to attorneys representing clients in negotiation, the course includes numerous simulations.

The legal profession is about solving problems and helping clients resolve disputes. This course will introduce you to the broad spectrum of dispute resolution processes societies use to resolve conflict between individuals and groups. You will study theories of conflict and conflict resolution and explore how different models for resolving conflicts advance societies' concepts of fairness and justice. Through film and selected readings, the course will present examples of conflicts in a variety of different contexts, such as crime and punishment, business, family, school, and environmental disputes, civil wars and state sanctioned violence. You will be asked to examine critically the strengths and limitations of different approaches to conflict resolution and to consider how to match conflicts to appropriate conflict resolution processes. You will have the opportunity to work with a group of your peers to research a type of conflict and method of conflict resolution, to present your findings as a group to the class using PowerPoint and other technology, and to engage in discussion with the rest of the class on the topic presented. There will be a final in-class exam for the course.

This course covers how to settle legal disputes in negotiations and mediations-where most legal disputes are resolved. You will learn how attorneys need to depart from their advocacy practices in the courtroom and employ distinctive practices suitable for the settlement room. This course examines the theoretical foundations for effective representation as well as gives you the opportunity to develop and practice the relevant skills. You will first consider how to fashion appropriate negotiation approaches and then how to enlist assistance from mediators and develop and implement tailored-made representation plans to achieve the full potential of the mediation process. The course gives special attention to the choices you should weigh when representing clients throughout the negotiation and mediation processes. This course is based on the insights and lessons from the instructor's award winning and widely used book, Mediation Representation-Advocating as a Problem-Solver in Any Country or Culture.

Specialty Courses

Students engage in simulated situations involving various means of alternative dispute resolution in action, including simulated forms of mediation, arbitration, and various hybrids of ADR.

This intensive course focuses on the realities of working with clients, from the initial lawyer-client interview through the challenges of counseling the fully informed client toward wise and ethical decision-making. Short exercises, presentations, video, and role simulations will focus on how to communicate legal concepts, conduct interest-based inquiry and advice, work with client emotion and psychology, and introduce basic risk analysis. The effective use of voice, gesture, and body language in the lawyer-client counseling context will be studied.

This highly interactive course covers the growing process of interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice of Family Law Disputes. Based on Professor Mosten's writings in mediation, unbundled legal services, building successful peacemaking practices, and Collaborative Law, Participants will study the "New Consumer-Oriented Paradigm" of Legal Services and explore a range of approaches and skills that Collaborative Lawyers employ to resolve disputes for divorcing families . The course will also cover some of the foundational legal, ethical and policy issues arising in the context Collaborative Law including the newly passed Uniform Collaborative Law Act, recent ethical opinions, and practice trends throughout the world. Through interactive exercises, participants will explore Collaborative Practice in a number of models from the perspectives of disputants, attorneys, and Collaborative Professionals such as therapists and forensic CPA's. Participants will be required to submit a 15 page paper on a cutting edge topic of Collaborative Law approved by the instructor.

Peace or Justice, Pardon or Punish: these are the polar opposites criminal justice scholars consider when thinking about ADR in the criminal context. In this course we will discuss the different values that underlie our traditional retributive approaches as compared to restorative justice theories and practices. We will review two of the most famous experiments in restorative justice responses to massive human rights abuses: the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and the Gacaca forums in Rwanda. We will assess the benefits and risks of deploying mediation and other "soft" interventions in everyday crimes and misdemeanors. Finally, we will survey the growing use of "problem-solving courts" and hear from a local judge working in one of Las Vegas' "specialized" courts about the degree to which therapeutic interventions can be incorporated into our criminal justice system's "business as usual." Throughout the course, we will try to determine if peace and justice must remain in tense opposition to one another or whether there are ways in which our responses to transgression can encompass and reconcile these twin aims.

Parties are drawn into, and remain mired in, conflict due to complex forces which are both psychological and tactical in nature. This course explores why this occurs and how a lawyer can effectively counsel a client in the grip of such influences. We will begin with exercises that lead class members to feel the influence of these factors personally and go on to experiment with techniques that can help a client make difficult decisions without losing confidence in his or her lawyer. Much of the class will be devoted to exercises and role plays. Grading will be based on a short examination and a reflective journal entry.

Disputes arise in multiple settings. They vary in intensity, complexity, and numbers. Some disputes are "single incidents." Some are "mass" claims. Some arise with little forewarning, such as the thousands of property claims stemming from our current mortgage foreclosure crisis; some arise from riveting, unpredictable natural disasters, such as those arising from destruction wrought by hurricanes. We transform some disputes into lawsuits and attempt to resolve them; we treat other disputes from "different angles of vision" and respond to them accordingly. In this course, we examine the principles and practices that shape the design and implementation of dispute resolution systems.

The course will deal with three techniques for resolving disputes between employers and unions - negotiation, strikes, and arbitration. It will focus most on arbitration.

This course will focus on alternative dispute resolution as it is actually practiced in the employment context. Participants will learn about the legal foundations of ADR and also learn how to conduct arbitration and mediation from the viewpoints of both the neutral and the advocates. The class will be conducted more often as a discussion than as a lecture and include simulated exercises considering not only the legal theories underpinning workplace ADR, but also the humanistic realities confronting practitioners in achieving negotiated solutions to workplace conflicts.

This six-day intensive training is designed to empower law students, civil mediators and family law practitioners to work effectively as divorce mediators. The course is structured as a dynamic blend of lecture, class discussion, extensive written materials, class review of videotaped sessions of actual mediating couples, and participation in role-play simulations. The twin goals of the course are to ground participants in the substantive and practical knowledge of family law, finances and personal dynamics required to act competently and confidently as divorce mediators, and to hone procedural skills so that participants can emerge as reflective - rather than reflexive - practitioners, with a sophisticated repertoire of mediation interventions at their disposal. In addition to introducing participants to an integrated system that utilizes thirty-three distinct divorce mediation techniques, the course will provide creative tips to help couples negotiate parenting plans, child support, asset division, spousal support, taxes, insurance issues, and divorce procedures.

The United States of America is Canada's largest trading partner and the countries share the longest common border. Any business lawyer-young, experienced or even a renowned expert-in the United States will at some point in his or her career, be required to give advice on or participate in a cross-border dispute resolution process. If you are interested in getting a taste of what it is like to practice international commercial law, and especially international commercial arbitration, this course is for you. Grading will be based on assignments and oral presentations.

The general purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the fundamentals of international commercial arbitration. The course covers aspects of commercial arbitration such as: introduction and overview, drafting an effective international arbitration clause, the selection of arbitrators, and their role, the proceedings before the arbitrators and enforcement and challenge of arbitral awards.

This is a course that will introduce students to negotiation and mediation from an international perspective. The goal is to develop essential skills for effective client representation in negotiation and mediation. The course will examine attorney responsibilities in advising clients about dispute resolution options, in preparing both the case and the client for mediation, and in representing clients in the mediation session itself. We will endeavor to have the students involved in 2 negotiation sessions as well as 2 to 3 mock mediations.

This intensive, experience-based course explores theories and skills needed to perform essential client interviewing and counseling tasks. It alternates analyzing assigned readings and evaluating brief videotaped demonstrations with opportunities to perform, observe, and share feedback in short exercises, focused role plays, and longer simulated interviews and counseling conferences. Ethical issues raised by action theories and task performances are emphasized.

This course will teach practical skills based on a simulation of interviewing, counseling, and negotiation of a case litigation.

In Interpersonal Dynamics, students learn the skills essential to establishing, maintaining, and deepening effective relationships, increasing influence, and effectively resolving conflict. At the same time, they also increase self-awareness, self-acceptance, and authentic self-expression. Most of the students who have taken the course have said that it had a profound positive impact on their lives. The important learning in this course comes from neither reading nor lectures, but from in-class participation. Unlike other law-school courses, participation does not involve theoretical discussion or legal analysis. It requires honest self-disclosure-sharing real-time feelings and thoughts with others and listening to others do the same. For more about the course, see Rosenberg, Interpersonal Dynamics: Helping Lawyers Learn the Skills, and the Importance, of Human Relationships in the Practice of Law, 58 U. Miami L. Rev. 1225

Resolving public policy and environmental disputes is notoriously difficult. Effective lawyers need skills and knowledge to navigate the many challenges. Dealing with multiple parties, understanding complicated factual matters and advocating for the most effective processes are what we will focus on in this course. We will compare the use of adversarial and collaborative processes in public policy disputes and explore the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. We will rely heavily on simulations to explore theories and build the skills needed to be effective negotiators. Through this course you will develop an understanding of how to create an effective problem-solving climate in public policy and environment disputes.

Effective advocacy in mediation requires attorneys to consciously depart from their default practices honed in the courtroom and make thoughtful choices appropriate for mediation. This course expands the choices available to advocates seeking to enhance their representational skills in mediation by examining the three key features of effective advocacy. Participants will consider how to adopt an appropriate negotiation style, enlist assistance from the mediator, and develop and implement a tailored representative plan to achieve the full potential of the mediation process. The course is based on the insights and lessons from Abramson's award winning and widely used book, Mediation Representation-Advocating as a Problem-Solver in Any Country or Culture. What you will learn:

  • A Framework for Representation-the Mediation Representation Triangle
  • How to Advocate for Your Client's Interests
  • How to Prepare a Plan for Representation
  • How to Prepare Your Case and Client
  • Suitable Approaches to Negotiation in a Mediation
  • Overcoming Impediments in Mediation
  • Enlisting Assistance from a Mediator
  • Choosing between Joint Sessions and Caucuses
  • Involving Clients
  • Dealing with Adversarial Opponents and Aberrant Mediators
  • Uncovering Creative Solutions
  • Bridging Final Gaps for Resolution
  • Resolving Ethical and Legal Issues Faced by Mediation Advocates

This one-credit course will explore the processes of dispute resolution most utilized in the securities industry. The course will focus on the resolution of disputes between investors and their brokerdealers, and will cover in detail arbitration and mediation at FINRA Dispute Resolution, the primary forum for resolution of arbitrable securities disputes. Students will participate in a simulation of a securities mediation, and parts of a securities arbitration. The course will also provide an overview of other methods of dispute resolution utilized in the securities industry, including SEC enforcement proceedings and securities class actions.

This course focuses on the regulatory framework and alternative dispute resolution processes used in amateur, professional, and international/Olympic sports. The course combines a study of sports law and practice, providing students opportunities to engage in the negotiation, mediation and/or arbitration of the myriad of issues that arise in the sports industries. Activities covered may include approaches to resolution of athlete eligibility disputes, gender inequity, grievance procedures, deal-making opportunities, player contracts, and disputes that arise among the relationships between players, teams, institutions, and governing bodies in sports. Grading will be based upon participation in class, simulations, presentation, and a final 15-18 page paper.