Mediation Clinic

The Mediation Clinic immerses students in mediation theory, practice, techniques and ethics while allowing them to mediate live cases with actual clients. In addition, students may have the opportunity to work directly with ambassadors at the United Nations, foreign governmental officials, other transnational organizations, and American Indian tribal leaders on mediation practice and systems design.

This clinic has several goals:

  • To give students the opportunity to improve their ability to represent clients by helping them practice skills that are important to effective problem solving and wise lawyering;
  • To give those students who may make mediation part of their professional lives a head start in terms of both skills and ethics;
  • To help students see the benefits and limitations of mediation and other dispute resolution techniques so that they can responsibly counsel clients about their choices;
  • To help students understand how feelings, background values and personal style affect performance in a professional role;
  • To provide quality assistance to parties whose disputes the clinic mediates.

The Mediation Clinic course has six components: mediation skills training; mediation of cases; observation of neutrals at work; individual meetings with the professor; class analysis of ethical, systemic, and jurisprudential issues involved in the ADR movement; and a final paper or project.

For more information about enrolling in the Mediation Clinic, please contact Shawn Watts at shawn.watts@ku.edu.


Learning how to ask the right questions
Hannah Lustman, L’20

Hannah Lustman, L’20

I joined the first cohort of students in the Mediation Clinic, which trains law students to serve as mediators. Throughout my time in the Mediation Clinic, I learned how to come into a conflict I had very little background on and help the parties reach a meaningful solution.

As a mediator who is ethically bound to be neutral, I couldn’t simply treat one side’s position as a counterargument to be torn down. I had to test my patience and critical thinking to explore the problem until I had a comprehensive sense of how both sides viewed their positions and how they envisioned a positive outcome. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to help them!

Having learned about the mediation process, I will be confident going into a mediation that I can zealously protect my client without being obstructive to the resolution process. To do this, it will be critically important to know the true strengths and weaknesses of my client’s case – both legally and factually. My first step toward doing so will be in-depth interviews with my client designed to get as comprehensive a picture of a case I attempt to get as a mediator. In the long run, I will protect better by knowing all sides of the story, rather than just the best version of her side of the story.

Read more about Hannah's experience

If you are interested in taking the Mediation Clinic, please submit this application form along with a resume and unofficial transcript by the date listed on the application.

For more information about enrolling in the Mediation Clinic, please contact Shawn Watts at shawn.watts@ku.edu.

Download an application (PDF).

Starting in 2019, the University of Kansas School of Law’s Mediation Clinic has partnered with the Office of the Ombuds to mediate disputes between interested parties on campus. Parties who receive a referral to the program from the Office of the Ombuds may fill out the below form to be contacted by the KU Law Mediation Clinic to set up a time to discuss and potentially mediate the dispute between the parties.

The KU Law Mediation Clinic is a confidential and impartial third party who seeks to facilitate informal resolutions of campus disputes. All Mediation Clinic Mediators are second or third year law students who have been extensively trained in facilitating discussion and multi-party dispute resolution. All information submitted to the clinic is confidential and will not be used for formal discipline. Finally, choosing to mediate a dispute with the KU Law Mediation Clinic does not deprive either party of the right to pursue other remedies should mediation fail to produce a resolution.

Please fill out the following form to begin the mediation process and email it to Shawn Watts at shawn.watts@ku.edu:

Clinic referral form. (PDF).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email the clinic at shawn.watts@ku.edu.


Questions?

Shawn Watts
​Clinical Associate Professor
785-864-4513
shawn.watts@ku.edu