Information for Students

Mediating is truly an activity that requires me to use my intuition, to listen carefully, and to think on my feet. I took this clinic and Trial Ad side by side last quarter, and was surprised to discover that mediation is much more of an intuitive and flexible process than courtroom practice. A good mediator must respond and adapt to a fluid environment, playing off the communication between the parties and the energy in the room.
-Stephanie Kotecki, Class of 2008

What’s unique about the Mediation Clinic?

In the Mediation Clinic, students learn to be mediators. They serve as neutral third party facilitators rather than client advocates, arbitrators or judges. This neutral role gives students insight into multiple perspectives in a conflict, and an appreciation for how individuals can resolve problems themselves rather than asking a judge to decide for them. Instead of advocating, students listen and manage a process. Rather than deciding, students empower individuals to settle their disputes.

Typical Cases:

Students mediate cases involving:

  • employment discrimination
  • landlord-tenant and consumer-business disputes
  • neighbor or roommate disputes
  • attorney fee disputes
  • co-worker conflicts
  • The Clinic does not mediate family cases such as dissolution or parenting plans.

Skills focus:

  • Active listening, validating, empathizing. summarizing
  • Negotiating, option generation
  • Problem-solving
  • Interviewing
  • Reality-testing
  • Agreement writing
  • Managing difficult personalities.

Collaborating Agencies:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Social Security Administration
  • Washington State Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division
  • Dispute Resolution Center of King County—to provide mediation at Small Claims Court

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