Your clients are shouting at opponents, shouting at each other, or perhaps shouting at you. The other lawyers on your team are not happy with your approach to resolving a dispute. Your supervisor is complaining about the quality or speed of your work. You are disappointed with the work being done by others (secretaries, paralegals, other lawyers). One team member is dominating your team meetings. These are some of the many ways that conflict arises in the world of law practice.
In this course we will learn methods for working with conflict situations involving interactions with others. While legal skills including research, writing, and legal analysis are essential to effective lawyering, these skills will not guarantee success unless we are able to interact skillfully with others when conflicts arise. These skills can be learned and practiced outside of legal settings.
Class sessions will include teaching, discussion, and practice exercises. The methods offered are drawn from a variety of sources including mediation training, police training, and mindfulness practices that train in listening, communicating, and working with emotions. Reading assignments will provide additional instruction, background, and insight relating to the methods taught in class. Practice assignments will be provided to help students bring what they have learned into the world outside the classroom. Performance will be evaluated with an examination at the end which will test student's understanding and application of the methods taught in the course.