Master in the Study of Law

Through discussion, simulations, and role play, this course focuses on the structure and goals of the mediation process and the skills and techniques mediators use to aid parties in overcoming barriers to dispute resolution. The course also examines the underlying negotiation orientations and strategies that mediators may confront and employ, the respective roles of party and party representatives in the mediation process, dealing with difficult people and power imbalances, cultural considerations, and ethical issues for mediation participants and mediators. In addition, special attention is devoted to the art of successful representation of parties in mediation. (3 credits)

Arbitration is the oldest form of adjudication in the world. We are all familiar with it and we have used it a number of times in our personal lives. Fights between siblings, for instance, are often resolved by running to a parent who hears the evidence and makes a final decision. Anytime disputants turn to a third party neutral to adjudicate the disagreement, we may well think of them as using arbitration. While arbitration is distinct from mediation and negotiation, it shares, then, some of the same pre-legal intuitions and roots.

That said, contractual arbitration has become more a norm and less an alternative for resolving disputes in certain contexts, including consumer and employment contexts. This course will introduce you to arbitration law and practice, with particular emphasis on domestic, US arbitration.

This course introduces MSL students to the study of law and prepares them for academic success in their upper level curriculum. After an initial intense focus on the fundamentals of legal reasoning and analysis, the course offers a general overview of the American legal system and examines the ethics rules that govern the work of lawyers and so profoundly influence lawyer-client interactions. (2 credits)