MSU College of Law

Alternative Dispute Resolution Competitions

Negotiation Competition (Negotiation Advocacy): The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Regional and National Negotiation Competitions create opportunities for two-student attorney/attorney teams to compete in negotiation. The College of Law typically fields two teams (four students). In 2012 our Negotiation Team won the regional competition and advanced to place second in the National Competition. Every MSU Law student completes a negotiation during the first year contract negotiation course, and a number of first- and second-year students go on to compete in the Spring Intraschool Competition. Sixteen to twenty students are selected for the semi-final round with four to eight students competing in the finals. In the Spring, students who wish to compete in negotiation or arbitration the following year must submit an Application by the required deadline (usually in April). If selected, students must enroll in Negotiation Advocacy and Negotiation the following fall.

Mediation Competition (Advanced Mediation): The International Academy of Dispute Resolution (INADR) create opportunities for three student attorney/client/mediator teams to compete to resolve problems. Each student rotates through the role of attorney, client, and mediator in a unique competition format. While our attorney/client team may be competing against Ohio State’s attorney/client team, two mediators from different schools co-mediate the round. Our mediator is then in a different round co-mediating with another school’s mediator. Each year we compete in the regional Great Lakes Mediation Tournament (held every other year) and in the annual International Tournament. Prior international tournaments include London (2011), Chicago (2012), and Dublin (2013). Our team has been very successful, winning the Great Lakes in 2011 and placing second in 2013. In London Abigail Valovage placed fourth in mediation, and in Dublin Stephanie Lacy, Tony Chester, and Lauren Prew placed sixth in advocacy and David Aschwege placed third in mediation. Selection on the mediation team is done via tryout in the spring. In order to be eligible, students must take both General Civil Mediation and Domestic Relations Mediation and must complete an externship at a community mediation center. The mediation courses enroll via an application and interview process in the spring. All students who are interested in participating on a mediation team must submit an Application by the required deadline (usually in April).

Learning how to communicate is a timeless and invaluable skill. While becoming a better attorney through reading and writing is undoubtedly translatable in other aspects of your life, learning how to manage yourself in a tense personal communication environment is a difficult skill to practice outside of real life situations. Negotiation or mediation advocacy competitions alow you to navigate the arts of interpersonal communication, setting and keeping an agenda, and discussing difficult topics with an anticipated adversary- all while maintaining a professional demeanor. It's also an opportunity to truly collaborate with your fellow law students, working as teammates toward the same goal.

2015/16
1st Place Regional Winners [Donna Musolli/Matt Lupo], ABA Negotiation Competition
8th Advocate-Client Team [Greta Hogan/Jessica Colasanti/Juliet Iacona], INADR International Mediation Tournament (out of 44 teams)
9th Mediator Team [Katelyn Schaffer/Kathy Jordan/Ashley Gutwein], INADR International Mediation Tournament (out of 44 teams)
3rd & 7th Individual Mediator Awards [Ashley Gutwein/Jessica Colasanti], INADR International Mediation Tournament (out of 132 mediators)
5th Advocate-Client Individual Award [Jessica Colasanti/Juliet Iacona], INADR International Mediation Tournament (out of 132 mediators)

2014/15
1st Place Mediation Team [Sarah Peters/Jessica Saddler/Erin Sweeney], INADR International Mediation Tournament
7th Place Individual Mediator Award [Erin Sweeney], INADR International Mediation Tournament (out of 156 mediators)
4th Place Overall [Annie Norwood, Sarah Peters, Justin Williams], Great Lakes Regional Mediation Tournament
Best Mediator [Sarah Peters], Great Lakes Regional Mediation Tournament
Best Client/Advocate Team [Dennis Malecki/Jessica Saddler], Great Lakes Regional Mediation Tournament

2013/14
3rd Place Regional Finish [Jessica Colasanti/Lauren Prew], ABA Negotiation Competition
1st Place Client/Advocate Team [Stefanie Lacy/Anthony Chester/Lauren Prew], Great Lakes Regional Mediation Competition
2nd Place Overall [Stefanie Lacy/Anthony Chester/Lauren Prew], Great Lakes Regional Mediation Competition
6th Place Client/Advocate Team [Stefanie Lacy/Anthony Chester/Lauren Prew], International Mediation Tournament