A Comprehensive DR Curriculum
The law school offers a comprehensive DR (Dispute Resolution) curriculum. With education in the core dispute resolution courses, students are provided the necessary legal knowledge and practical skills training to competently and expertly represent clients. Of note, students in the mediation classes are provided the unique experiential opportunity of mediating real cases. Specifically, students participate in at least five mediations of actual state and federal lawsuits, some of which are still pending. Students receive the relevant court documents to use in preparation for the mediations including complaints, motions, depositions, etc.
- Dispute Resolution
- Collaborative Family Law (2-day intersession with lawyers)
- Mediation Clinic
- Mediation Practice* (5-day intensive mediation training with lawyers)
- Mediation Theory and Practice*
- Negotiation for Litigators
- Trends in DR and Litigation Seminar
Obtain a 40-hour mediation certificate by completing one of the following:
3-credit Mediation Theory and Practice class during fall/spring; or Mediation Practice
*Students may not take both mediation classes because they are nearly identical. The major differences are that Mediation Practice meets over five intensive days and is pass/fail.
South Texas Law students can gain 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 assisting 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.
Students have the opportunity to observe a number of private mediations with Mediation Clinic co-professor, Denise Peterson, through her private practice, Peterson ADR.
To enroll in the clinic, students must be in compliance with Texas Statute 154.052 requiring 40 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 Prof. Debra Berman at email@example.com.