MSU College of Law

The ADR Program

The Alternative Dispute Resolution program at Michigan State University College of Law prepares students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills they need to succeed in today's legal profession.Whether you plan to focus your career on ADR work or to use ADR skills to augment traditional legal work, our program gives students a many ways to develop hands-on skills by working closely with expert faculty members.

Innovative Contract Negotiation for 1Ls. Students draft a negotiation plan, negotiate before Professors Pappas and Bedikian, and then draft a contract based on the outcome of the negotiation.

Winning Competition Teams. Our teams have won over 10 regional titles since 2009. They've placed 2nd nationally in both Arbitration (2010) and Negotiation (2013), and first internationally in Mediation (2014 and 2016). It's a great opportunity to explore ADR career options by networking with practitioners.

Get Certified. Students can become court-rostered civil and domestic relations mediators in the State of Michigan through Supreme Court Administrative Office-approved trainings. MSU Law’s Mediation curriculum focuses on facilitating conversations and providing self-determination, not simply resolving disputes.    

Multi-faceted Conflict Resolution Clinic. Past clinic projects include mediating small claims cases in the Lansing region, conducting advanced mediation training workshops in Kalamazoo, facilitating a strategic plan for the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor Mediation Center, participating in a medical school/law school dispute resolution course, and assisting in prison peer mediation trainings and restorative justice workshops.

Focus on Community and Wellness. The ADR Program hosts weekly mindfulness meditation and works to enhance student wellness and achievement. It’s an opportunity to de-stress and recharge so that you can maximize your performance as a law students – and be a happier human being.

ADR Curriculum

Interested in acquiring special expertise in ADR? Enroll in a group of coordinated ADR courses along with the required Contract Negotiation class. If you'd like to create an informal concentration in ADR, you should take Negotiation, General Civil Mediation, and Arbitration, at minimum.

Other elective options will enrich your ADR experience. Courses include:

Negotiation (2 credits)
ADR in the Workplace (2 credits)
International Commercial Litigation and Arbitration (3 credits)
Commercial Arbitration (3 credits)
Labor Arbitration (2 credits)
Arbitration Advocacy (2 credits)
General Civil Mediation (2 credits)
Domestic Relations Mediation (3 credits)
Problem-Solving Approaches to Conflict Resolution (2 credits)

For more information, contact:

Professor Mary A. Bedikian

Associate Clinical Professor Brian A. Pappas