Effective legal advocacy includes the prevention of disputes through sound business planning and the resolution of disputes through advice and counsel regarding the appropriate use of alternative dispute resolution processes. Clients rely on lawyers to help them integrate alternative dispute resolution processes with traditional litigation to achieve a resolution that integrates business solutions with legal remedies. To meet the needs of today’s clients and to fulfill the increasingly mandated obligations found in statutes, court rules and professional codes of conduct, lawyers are required to have an understanding of all areas of negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation.
Other professionals also are impacted by the developing field of dispute resolution. In corporations and organizations, professionals are called upon to design and administer in-house dispute resolution systems. Also, by informally applying various alternative dispute resolution techniques and skills in the workplace, many find that conflicts are resolved before they escalate to litigation.
Founded in 1996, the Center for Dispute Resolution was created to offer mediation certificate courses to practicing lawyers and other professionals. Today the activities of the Center include certificate courses in mediation, negotiation and arbitration as well as symposia, discussions and seminars on current dispute resolution issues. The Center also partners with the practicing bar, professional organizations and other educational institutions to co-sponsor programs and events relevant to the field of dispute resolution.