Mediation Clinic wins ADR award from District Court of Maryland

Mediation Clinic students are ready for court with Clinical Law Instructor Toby Treem Guerin (left)

Maryland Carey Law’s Mediation Clinic is the 2020 recipient of the District Court of Maryland Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution’s ADR Program Achievement Award.

“This is such a well-deserved award,” wrote Kemi Sanni, the District Court’s regional ADR programs director, in a letter informing the clinic of the honor. “…the Mediation Clinic has been an exceptional partner of the District Court’s ADR Office, mediating in our day of trial and pretrial mediation programs in addition to assisting with many other projects without hesitation.”

The Mediation Clinic was one of the first law school mediation clinics in the nation at its founding in the mid-1980s, and gets referrals through longstanding collaborations with the District Court ADR Program and District Court judges. The clinic also serves as the mediation program for the Baltimore City Community Relations Office of Civil Rights, mediating employment and discrimination cases, and works in K-12 Baltimore City schools to mediate student conflicts and train students to be peer mediators.

Each year, 8 to 12 Maryland Carey Law students participate in the full-year clinic, which trains them to be court-appointed mediators under Maryland Rule 17-304. The Mediation Clinic is taught by Professor Deborah Thompson Eisenberg and Clinical Law Instructor Toby Treem Guerin, with supervisory assistance from Anastasia Smith, Esq.

Samantha Chan ’21 calls the practical experience she gets in the clinic, “an invaluable asset.”

“We are given ample opportunities to mediate real legal disputes including civil cases at the District Court of Baltimore City, as well as employment discrimination cases and business disputes for various agencies throughout the city,” says Chan, who is also part of Maryland Carey Law’s competitive Alternative Dispute Resolution Team. “Working with various K-12 public schools in the city allows us to use our training to give back to the community and hopefully educate the next generation of leaders that ADR is a realistic option for collaborative solutions.”

Maryland Carey Law’s Mediation Clinic has graduated more than 350 lawyer/mediators over the past three decades.

“The faculty and students in the Mediation Clinic at Maryland Carey Law are so honored to receive the ADR Program Achievement Award,” said Eisenberg. “We value our decades-long partnership with the District Court ADR Program and the opportunity to educate the next generation of lawyers and mediators. It is a privilege to serve the litigants in Baltimore’s ‘people’s court’ by creating space where they can mediate their disputes and develop their own solutions.”

Mediation Clinic faculty and students will accept the award at the ADR Office’s annual volunteer appreciation event on May 7 at the Maryland Judicial Center in Annapolis.

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