The Dispute Resolution Track at Maryland Carey Law exposes law students to the theory, skills, and practical experience needed to navigate dispute resolution processes in a variety of legal contexts. Although a basic understanding of dispute resolution options is a core competency for all lawyers, the track is especially appropriate for students who want to pursue careers as complex civil litigators, transactional attorneys, in-house counsel, public policy leaders, or third-party neutrals (e.g., mediators, collaborative attorneys, ombudsmen). Dispute resolution skills are also important for attorneys in the fields of employment, family, business, construction, sports/entertainment, public policy, and international law.
If you are interested in pursuing the Dispute Resolution Track, please meet with the faculty director or associate director as early as possible (preferably during your first year or fall of your second year) to develop a plan customized to your interests and course availability (not all courses are offered annually). Students must declare their intent to complete the Dispute Resolution Track by the semester prior to graduation.
Completion of the Dispute Resolution Track requires a minimum of 15 credits from a pre-approved list of dispute resolution courses and an experiential requirement. Students must notify the Managing Director of their intent to graduate with the Dispute Resolution Track at least one semester before their final semester of law school (fall semester if graduating in the spring). Upon fulfillment of the Dispute Resolution Track requirements, the student will receive a certificate of completion.
Requirements for the Dispute Resolution Track were significantly updated effective summer 2023. Students intending to graduate with the track in 2024 should contact Lisa Mebane to discuss the changes.
At least 9 of the 15 credits must be from a pre-approved list of dispute resolution courses. Pre-approved courses are regularly updated based upon the law school curriculum. Students should check the course catalog to determine timing of course offerings as not all courses are available every year. Students should meet with faculty advisors discuss course planning.
- Required course: all students must complete this course.
- Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution
- Dispute Resolution Process Course: all students must complete at least two courses from the list.
- Mediation Theory and Practice Seminar
- Counseling & Negotiation (this includes the Lawyering III version for evening students)
- Collaborative Law & Practice
- Restorative Justice
- ADR Team Seminar (Spring 2-credit)*
- International Arbitration
- Negotiation or ADR Team Seminar (Fall 2-credit)
- Dispute Resolution Electives: may be used to meet the minimum credit requirement
- American College of Trial Lawyers Advanced Trial Skills Program
- Levitas Sexual Assault Prevention Initiative (if not used to meet experiential requirement)
- Post Conflict and Transitional Justice
- Real Estate Negotiation and Drafting
- Reparations for Racial Justice
- Writing in Law Practice: Drafting Negotiated Agreements
*Students on the ADR Team may only receive up to 4 credits toward the credit requirement from the ADR Team seminar (2 credits from each semester their first year on the team).
In addition to the course requirements, students on the Dispute Resolution Track must complete an experiential requirement (minimum 3 credits), which may be satisfied through the completion of a qualifying clinic, an externship, or an ADR-related fellowship.
Clinic and LTP Options
Students may complete one of the following clinics or legal theory and practice courses.
- Mediation Clinic (4 credits Spring)
- Environmental Law Clinic (4 credits Fall)
- Youth, Education and Justice Legal Theory and Practice (5 credits Fall or 5 credits Spring)
- Levitas Sexual Assault Prevention Initiative (3 credits Fall and 1 credit Spring) This course is not part of the clinical law program and does not fulfill the Cardin requirement.
Externships: Students may complete an ADR externship in which the student gains extensive conflict resolution experience. ADR externships are subject to the approval of the Dispute Resolution Program managing director. Externships must be three or more credits, plus the one-credit ADR Externship Workshop. All externships must satisfy the law school’s general externship requirements. A full list of previously approved ADR externships is available online.
Fellowships: Students may request approval of a Fellowship experience to fulfill the experiential component (and some credits toward the DR Track). Approval will be based upon similar criteria to that of the ADR externship. The Jablow Mediation Fellowship fulfills the Dispute Resolution Track experiential requirement
The intent of the Dispute Resolution Track is for students to meet the experiential requirement through engagement with the Maryland Carey Law curriculum. This may not be possible for some students, particularly evening or transfer students. In such instances a student may request a waiver of the credit-based experiential component. The waiver must be requested in writing at least one semester prior to graduation. The waiver must detail the student’s extensive work experience in conflict resolution completed during the time in which they were enrolled as a law student and provide information as to why the student was unable to engage in a credit-based experiential opportunity.