-by Lisa Klerman
USC Gould School of Law was selected by the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee as the winner of the 2011 ADR Education Award.
Established in 2005, the award recognizes institutions that have advanced alternative dispute resolution scholarship and teaching. “We are deeply honored to receive this recognition,” said USC Law Dean Robert K. Rasmussen. “This is a gratifying acknowledgment of the quality of the education that our students receive, especially in this increasingly important area.”
In its letter announcing the decision, the committee chair highlighted several unique aspects of the USC Law Mediation Clinic’s program: “We appreciate the unique way in which you allow law students to participate in a beginning mediation clinical program, and then encourage them to participate in the advanced mediation clinic. The idea of having the advanced mediation clinic students train and mentor the beginning student mediators is an exceptional way for the advanced students to improve their mediation skills.”
Under the direction of adjunct professor Lisa Klerman, the law school’s Mediation Clinic and Advanced Mediation Clinic teach students dispute resolution skills that they put into real world practice by mediating cases in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
“Unlike in traditional litigation clinics, where students learn to advocate for one side in a dispute, we teach students how to act as a third party neutral,” Klerman said. “Our students have helped hundreds of litigants settle their cases.”
“Mediation is a growing trend in law that shows no signs of diminishing,” Rasmussen said. “It is important that our law students know and recognize this as an important legal tool in the 21st century.”