Fall 2014
    Law No.: LAW8630
    Sched. No.: 114821041

Family Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinic (YR)
Section 1
Balnave, Richard D.
Emery, Kimberly C.

Administrative Information:
During SIS enrollment, check on SIS for real-time enrollment numbers
Days, Times (Room):W, 1130-1250 (WB127)
Credits:4Type:Yearlong clinic
Capacity:8 **This information is current as of 05/28/2015 06:15:17 AM**
Current Enrollment:8 **This information is current as of 05/28/2015 06:15:17 AM**

Course Description:

This yearlong clinical course is open to 2L and 3L students. Students will earn a total of 6 credits during two semesters—4 in the Fall and 2 in the Spring. The course focuses on mediation as an alternative dispute resolution method to resolve conflicts involving families and children. Traditional family law practice is adversarial and lawyers represent their clients by negotiating issues or litigating cases. In cases that go to trial, outcomes are determined not by the parties, but by judges. Social science research has demonstrated the potentially harmful effects of adversarial litigation on children, especially since this method of conflict resolution tends to increase rather than decrease conflict between parents. Mediation, an alternative to adversarial litigation, uses a neutral third-party facilitator to guide and empower the parties to reach their own agreements. In this clinic, students will serve, not as attorneys representing clients, but as mediators assisting the parties to develop mutually agreeable resolutions to their disputes. Students will learn about the differences between litigation and mediation while enhancing their negotiation skills—skills that are important in many different substantive law areas. In addition, students will gain a solid understanding of mediation ethics, creative problem solving, and the role of neutral facilitator versus that of advocate.

A 16-hour Basic Mediation training at the start of the fall semester will allow students to develop mediation skills such as active listening, paraphrasing, reframing and the drafting of agreements. After completing the training, students will co-mediate cases with court certified family mediators associated with the Mediation Center of Charlottesville. Most of the disputes being mediated will involve child custody and visitation, although some may also include child and spousal support issues. Case referrals for family mediations will come primarily from the local Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts. The facilitative method of mediation will be used for these cases. Supervision will accompany each mediation opportunity. Students will also be expected to do some case intakes at the Mediation Center.
During the fall semester the Clinic will also include a weekly seminar, class discussion, readings, and exercises to provide students with a solid understanding of the theory and practice of mediation. Particularly challenging skills will be developed using an actor and actress playing the roles of parents involved in a family law dispute. During the spring semester, students will continue to co-mediate cases at the Mediation Center of Charlottesville. In addition, there will be a limited number of Clinic classes at times to be scheduled at an organizational meeting early in the semester. These classes will focus on other ADR methods (e.g., evaluative mediation, collaborative law and restorative justice) that are used in family cases.

SCHEDULING INFORMATION: The Basic Mediation training will take place on Saturday, August 30 and Saturday, September 6, 2014. Participation in the full Basic Mediation training is required. Co-mediation assignments will be offered at times that do not conflict with other classes. Co-mediation cases are scheduled Monday-Friday at 9:00 a.m., 12 noon, and 3:00 p.m., and are scheduled to last 2 hours each. A student enrolling in this Clinic will have more opportunities to co-mediate if he or she plans a schedule that leaves one or more of these blocks of time open. (e.g., avoiding classes between 9:00-11:30 a.m. on 2 mornings each week, or avoiding classes between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. on 2 afternoons each week)

ENROLLMENT LIMITATION: Students may enroll in one clinic per semester (on a space available basis, students may petition to enroll in a second clinical offering)
PREREQUISITE: Second- or third-year status. Family Law is recommended but not required.
COURSE REQUIREMENT: Case notes, reflection papers, memoranda and intake/screening forms

Prerequisites:Second- or third-year status. Family Law is recommended but not required.
This course is on the professional skills course list.