Students at South Texas College of Law Houston can get real world experience in resolving a variety of disputes through their enrollment in the Mediation Clinic. Unlike the other clinical courses, students in the clinic do not serve as an advocate or represent clients. Rather, students act as neutral third-party mediators who assist others in resolving their disputes. Through this clinical experience, students develop and refine a variety of interpersonal skills that are important to effective problem solving and practical lawyering. In addition to its education mission, the clinic also provides public service by its assistance to the courts and local agencies.
Cases vary and include civil matters such as landlord-tenant, contract, employment and consumer disputes. Cases are most often referred to the Clinic through the local Justice of the Peace Courts in Harris and surrounding counties, along with the Dispute Resolution Center.
The Mediation Clinic also partners with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to offer students a rare opportunity to gain experience mediating Federal employment disputes. These disputes involve charges of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, retaliation, age, and/or disability discrimination. Since the partnership began in 2012, our Mediation Clinic students have mediated 77 EEOC mediations totaling more than $500,000 in monetary settlements. Students are also responsible for scheduling their own EEOC mediations, which presents an added opportunity to interact with lawyers in advance of the session.
Students will also have the opportunity to observe a number of private mediations with Mediation Clinic co-professor, Denise Peterson, through her private practice, Peterson ADR.
In order to enroll in the clinic, students must be in compliance with Texas Statute 154.052 requiring forty classroom hours of instruction in the mediation process by having completed either Mediation Theory & Practice or Mediation Practice. Clinic enrollment is capped at 6.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Debra Berman at firstname.lastname@example.org.