Mediation In Practice is a class designed to give students an advanced problem-solving experience in a safe setting. It will give students a chance to put into practice the skills and theory learned in Mediation by mediating matters referred from New Mexico Legal Aid and NM Family Legal Assistance Group. New Mexico Legal Aid has requested that law students with mediation training address landlord/tenant and other civil disputes without the necessity of a court filing. (NMFlag will refer people with family law disputes. Students will only be able to take these cases if they have completed Family Mediation.)
In Mediation In Practice, students will mediate cases that have been screened for appropriateness. After intake, students will have a chance to mediate with experienced mediators in the room serving as observers. These mediators will be able to provide feedback and to serve as a safety net. Students will hone their interviewing skills, develop their ability to analyze and value civil and family cases, and build their portfolio of legal experience by assisting people with actual disputes.
In the classroom, students will learn how to practice neutrality in the initiation of mediations. They will study the substantive law that may govern a given dispute. They will learn existing court rules and statutes governing the mediation process, including those having to do with confidentiality. They will learn how to create, and modify, the framework for mediations they conduct, and how to introduce caucusing and confidentiality to the parties. They will learn how to anticipate and compare mediated and litigated outcomes. They will learn how to capture agreements in writing.
Because Mediation in Practice builds on what students learn in Mediation, that course is a pre-requisite. Enrollment will be limited so that a schedule of screened matters can be maintained assuring that all students will be able to mediate.
This is a three credit course, and grading will be based on completion of mediations, observation of field experiences, and reflective papers students write about the mediations they conduct.