MSL: August 2015

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.

Negotiation is a constant part of our professional and personal lives. Lawyers negotiate with opposing counsel, co-counsel, judges, clerks, clients, law partners, office colleagues and staff. Business people use negotiation to make and save deals; to secure supplies, assure services, keep customers and clients happy, maintain healthy work environments, build and repair relationships, and to settle disputes. Individuals negotiate at home, in the store and on vacation, with family, friends, and strangers. It is a constant part of our lives. Negotiation is something we have all practiced - with greater or lesser success - for as long as we have interacted one human to another. As a result, you come to this course with significant negotiation experience, if not expertise. (2 credits)

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)