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Top honors to ADR courses and clinic

Thursday, Aug 11, 2011

-By Stephanie Vieira

USC Law was recently honored when a branch of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court recognized the law school’s course work in mediation, an increasingly important area.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit awarded USC Law the Ninth Circuit ADR Education Award for its “perpetual leadership and ever expanding programs and course offerings in the ADR field.”

“Right now we’re at the point where fewer than 2 percent of the cases filed in court actually make it to trial. For students entering firms as litigators, I can almost guarantee that they will spend much more time in a mediator’s office than in trial,” says Professor Lisa Klerman, director of USC Law’s Mediation Clinic.Prof. Lisa Klerman

While the ADR Committee recognized that USC Law is already “considered a leader in the ADR field,” it cited the recently broadened and expanded programs and course offerings. USC Law also entered a new partnership with Judicial and Mediation Services (JAMS), in which advanced mediation students are paired with JAMS neutrals for shadowing and mentoring. USC Law’s mediation clinic allows students to develop skills by mediating cases before the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The chair of the ADR Committee noted the entire committee “was thrilled about the law school's ADR course offerings in mediation, negotiation, and international commercial arbitration. Offering mock mediation sessions in your first-year civil procedure courses is a wonderful opportunity to introduce law students to ADR. We appreciate the unique way in which [USC Law] allows law students to participate in a beginning mediation clinical program, and then encourage[s] them to participate in the advanced mediation clinic. The idea of having the advanced mediation clinic students train and mentor the beginning student mediators is an exceptional way for the advanced students to improve their mediation skills."

“It is wonderful to see our efforts acknowledged and this is a gratifying recognition of the quality of the education that our students receive, especially in this increasingly important area,” says Dean Robert K. Rasmussen. “I would especially like to thank Professor Klerman, and her mediation colleagues including John Garman, Alex Polsky and Brenda Radmacher.”

Polsky and Radmacher, who work alongside Klerman, teach the course “Negotiation and ADR.” Garman teaches the specialized ADR courses “International Negotiation and Mediation” and “International Arbitration.” 

For an in-depth interview with Prof. Klerman about the Mediation Clinic, visit this link:

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