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Mediation (LAW-44000A)


David Hoffman
Boston Law Collaborative
617-439-4700 Ext. 201

Mediation is having an increasingly profound impact on the way law is practiced in the U.S. and internationally, and clients expect both transactional lawyers and litigators to have a working knowledge of the mediation process. This course focuses on the theory and practice of mediation. Students will have opportunities to try mediating—and serving as an advocate in mediation—at an early stage in the course and near the end as well. The readings and discussion will address legal, ethical and policy issues arising from the use of mediation—such as confidentiality and privilege, credentialing of mediators, the institutionalization of mediation in courts and world of business, differing styles of mediation and mediation advocacy, and the role of gender, class, culture and psychology in the mediation process. A research paper will be required in lieu of a final exam. Students will also do some writing during the semester about the readings—approximately one page per week. Enrollment is limited to twenty-four students. There will be an optional eight-hour mediation training session on Sunday, February 7, led by David Hoffman with several experienced mediators serving as role play coaches. (Thursday 4:00-7:00 p.m.)
Up to five students may participate in the optional spring clinical. Placements are at the Harvard Mediation Program (HMP) for one clinical credit. HMP students must complete an additional three days of training in February, mediate or observe in small claims court in the Boston area every week during the Spring semester, and work one hour per week in the HMP office. Please refer to the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs ( for clinical registration dates and early add/drop deadlines.

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