Mediation Clinic


The Mediation Clinic immerses students in mediation theory, practice, techniques and ethics while allowing them to mediate live cases with actual clients.

Students have the opportunity to work directly with ambassadors at the United Nations, foreign governmental officials, transnational organizations, and American Indian tribal leaders on mediation practice and systems design.

Participation in the clinic provides students an opportunity to:

  • Improve their ability to represent clients by helping them practice skills that are important to effective problem solving and wise lawyering
  • See the benefits and limitations of mediation and other dispute resolution techniques to enable students to responsibly counsel clients about their choices
  • Understand how feelings, background values and personal style affect performance in a professional role
  • Provide quality assistance to parties whose disputes the clinic mediates
  • Get a head start in terms of both skills and ethics for students who make mediation part of their professional lives.

The Mediation Clinic course has six components:

  1. Mediation skills training
  2. Mediation of cases
  3. Observation of neutrals at work
  4. Individual meetings with the professor
  5. Class analysis of ethical, systemic and jurisprudential issues involved in the ADR movement
  6. Final paper or project

Mediation Clinic Resources

If you are interested in taking the Mediation Clinic, please submit an application form along with a resume and unofficial transcript by the date listed on the application. The Mediation Skills Workshop is a co-requisite for the Mediation Clinic.

For more information about enrolling, please contact Shawn Watts at

Mediation Clinic Application and Information (.pdf)

Since 2019, the University of Kansas School of Law’s Mediation Clinic has partnered with the Ombuds Office to mediate disputes between interested parties on campus. Parties who receive a referral to the program from the Ombuds Office may fill out the below form. The Mediation Clinic will 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 that 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

Mediation Clinic referral form (.pdf)

These are a series of roleplays designed to target a number of specific skills and techniques. Unless otherwise specified, mediators should only read their facts, while parties should read both the mediator facts and their specific party facts. If there are required attorney roles, attorneys should read both their facts as well as their clients’ facts. While some roleplays require both party and attorney roles and some require just party roles, others allow attorney roles to be played at the participants’ option. Each roleplay specifies the propriety of attorney roles through the following notation:

* no representation allowed

** representation optional

*** representation required

Shawn Watts supervises students participating in the Mediation Clinic and the Tribal Judicial Support Clinic. A Lecturer of Law, he teaches courses in Mediation Skills, Lawyering Skills and Federal Indian Law. He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and a district court judge for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. 

Full faculty list

Student Testimonial: Learning how to ask the right questions

Hannah Lustman, L’20

Hannah Lustman

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 with little background 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. 

Read more about Hannah's experience.


Shawn Watts
Lecturer of Law