Dispute Resolution

Colorado Law is leading the way in providing students with tools to help them thrive in our evolving legal culture. Most disputes are resolved outside of court and students must build competencies for addressing disputes in a myriad of settings. Successful lawyers, advocates, and counselors regularly negotiate contracts, mediate disputes, and arbitrate claims to reach resolutions in an efficient and satisfying manner.

Colorado Law is committed to cultivating the negotiation and dispute resolution education and skills of our students, and providing a rich intellectual and practice-focused environment for honing these competencies. Our faculty experts teach foundational courses in arbitration, international dispute resolution, mediation, and negotiation. These teachers are leaders in their respective fields, and regularly research, write, and present in their respective areas on national and international levels. They also are dedicated to providing students with fellowship, competition, and other outside opportunities to further explore these areas and improve negotiation and dispute resolution skills. 

Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Faculty

  • Deborah Cantrell is the Director of Clinical Programs and an authority on family mediations
  • Scott R. Peppet is an authority on negotiation and building students’ negotiation skills
  • Amy J. Schmitz is an expert in arbitration, international arbitration, and online dispute resolution
  • Anna Spain is a leader in mediation and international dispute resolution

Core Curriculum

Additional Courses and Seminars

Student Opportunities

Legal Alternative Dispute Resolution (LADR) Student Organization

  • This student group seeks to learn about and gain practice in the various areas of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, arbitration, and restorative justice. Current students, please visit LADR's TWEN page if you are interested in learning more or getting involved (log in required). 

Competitions 

  • Colorado Law students participate in a variety of national competitions related to dispute resolution and problem-solving. In 2014, for example, a Colorado Law team won the national final round of the 5th annual Transactional LawMeet, in which teams compete in drafting and negotiating a corporate transaction. Other such competitions include the ABA's Negotiation Competition and the ABA's Representation in Mediation Competition.

CU Restorative Justice

  • CU Restorative Justice provides an alternative disciplinary system for the City of Boulder and the University of Colorado. CU Restorative Justice provides a forum for victims, student offenders, and affected community members to engage in dialogue in order to identify harms caused by criminal behavior and to determine the best method for repairing those harms. Please email curj@colorado.edu if you are interested in learning more or getting involved as a community representative or facilitator.

Fellowships

  • Bussian Fellowship for International Law and Dispute Resolution: Awarded annually to up to three Colorado Law students (including graduating 3Ls and LLM students) to enable them to pursue summer opportunities in the fields of international law and dispute resolution (including judicial settlement, arbitration, negotiation, mediation, conciliation, conflict resolution, and peace studies).
  • Students may create other summer fellowships focused on negotiation and dispute resolution as opportunities arise.  See also http://www.colorado.edu/law/students/fellowships/summer

Clinics

  • In both the Civil Practice Clinic and the Family Law Clinic, students are trained in negotiations.  In addition, students in both clinics participate in court-ordered mediations for family law cases.  This provides students with opportunities to write confidential pre-mediation statements and be present and participate with their clients during the mediations.  Students do not participate as mediator neutrals.