After teaching the Mediation Clinic at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law for four years, Professor Deborah Thompson Eisenberg is the current chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee of the American Association of Law Schools Clinical Legal Education Section.
As mediation continues to grow as a form of dispute resolution, mediation clinical opportunities have also expanded at law schools throughout the nation. The form and format of the clinics vary in characteristics such as duration, level of faculty supervision, types of cases, and style of mediation, among many other factors.
“The goal of the committee is to support dispute resolution clinical professors by sharing resources and providing opportunities for collaboration throughout the year,” said Eisenberg.
At the Clinical Legal Education Conference in May, 2015, Eisenberg co-chaired one of the ADR Workgroups where fellow clinicians discussed pressing questions such as working with community partners, creating engaging seminars for students, and grading rubrics.
Eisenberg and her peers, Doug Frenkel (University of Pennsylvania Law School), Lydia Nussbaum (UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law), Kelly Browe Olson (University of Arkansas School of Law), and Art Hinshaw (ASU Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law) built upon the theme of sharing information and lessons learned in their workshop entitled, “’The New Normal’ of Dispute Resolution: Pedagogical Lessons and Secrets from Mediation Clinics.”
The Mediation Clinic at Maryland Carey Law is a year-long clinic where students receive training to provide mediation for a variety of partners. The students begin observing faculty in the role of mediator and transition to co-mediating with faculty before co-mediating with each other.
In the 2014-2015 academic year, the 10 Mediation Clinic students handled 172 referrals from the small claims court in Baltimore City, two mediation referrals from the Baltimore Division of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and eight attendance mediation referrals from a Baltimore City elementary school.