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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Full-time Faculty

John Feerick Romaine Gardner  Constantine N. Katsoris  Jacqueline Nolan-Haley 
Paul Radvany  Marcella Silverman  Joseph Sweeney  Beth Schwartz 

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the study of alternatives to the adjudication of disputes in the courts. These include the primary processes of negotiation, mediation, arbitration and a number of hybrid procedures. Over the last twenty-five years there has been an exponential growth of interest in ADR in both the private and public sector. Federal and state court systems have adopted a wide variety of ADR programs, creating new challenges for lawyers in client counseling, party representation and in acting as third party-neutrals. These developments require careful examination of the legal, policy, ethical and jurisprudential issues associated with ADR.

ADR courses should be of interest to anyone who expects to practice law in either litigation or transactional settings. Courses in dispute resolution will be especially helpful for those who plan to specialize in family or labor law, or who are interested in pursuing legal careers as arbitrators or mediators. The study of ADR should be grounded in an understanding of formal dispute resolution mechanisms studied in courses such as Civil Procedure and Remedies. As students learn to evaluate the benefits and limitations of less formal dispute resolution processes, they can both responsibly counsel clients about their choices and, as policy makers, make informed choices about dispute resolution systems.

A useful sequence for studying ADR begins with the basic ADR course. The course introduces students to basic negotiation theory which forms the underpinnings for many of the informal ADR processes. Depending upon individual interests, students may then decide to focus specifically in particular practice areas, such as arbitration, mediation, or negotiation. Students who have a particular interest in mediation or arbitration practice should consider one of the live clinical offerings that enables them to develop non-adversarial lawyering skills such as problem-solving, facilitation and consensus building in the Mediation Clinic, or arbitration advocacy and client representation in the Securities Arbitration Clinic or collaborative, interdisciplinary practice as a framework for problem solving and conflict resolution in the Family & Child Advocacy Clinic. The related course in Fundamental Lawyering Skills is a pre-requisite to the Law School's clinical offerings and also addresses negotiation and case management topics.

Upper Level Survey & Introductory Courses

Upper Level Courses in Specialized Topics


Related Subject Areas

Related Clinical Offerings

Related Fordham Law School Publications and Centers & Institutes