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Civil Advocacy and Dispute Resolution

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Lawyers do more than try cases. With the right mindset and skill set, you can solve your clients’ legal problems more creatively and collaboratively.

Program Overview

The civil advocacy and dispute resolution concentration lets you explore all the varied ways that lawyers help clients solve problems and resolve conflicts. You will hone your skills as a creative negotiator, as a wise adviser and as an effective courtroom litigator. You’ll learn the theory and the practice of the different alternative methods to resolve disputes, make deals and reach settlements outside of court, such as mediation and arbitration. Most important, you can help us achieve our vision: to reimagine the law as a healing profession.  

Our dispute resolution program was ranked 14th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Our Center on Dispute Resolution — with its Quinnipiac/Yale Workshop Speaker Series, training sessions and student-run Society for Dispute Resolution — are all valuable resources that are at your disposal. The center’s programs offer you the opportunity to learn and train with practicing professionals in the field. The highly decorated student competition teams provide you the stage to hone your advocacy skills through regional and national mock trial, moot court, negotiation, mediation and client counseling competitions. 

After two semesters, you’ll have the opportunity to practice what you are learning in the classroom in one of our legal clinics and in our diverse externship program. As a certified legal intern, you can counsel actual clients, negotiate, mediate cases and argue in courts.

Curriculum and Requirements

Students who earn the certificate for this concentration develop an understanding of a variety of advocacy methods, dispute resolution tools and remedies in an array of civil law contexts. Skill development focuses on litigation, negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

Concentration Prerequisites

To be eligible for the Civil Advocacy and Dispute Resolution concentration, you must take Evidence as one of your core electives. Credits for this course do not count toward the 21-credit concentration requirement, but the grade in this prerequisite does count toward the concentration GPA requirement.

Concentration Requirements

Course Work
To receive the certificate for this concentration, you must earn 21 civil advocacy and dispute resolution specialty credits, divided as follows:

Required Course Work
In addition to Evidence (credits for which do not count toward the 21-credit requirement), you must take the following courses. You have a choice to take either Alternative Dispute Resolution or both Mediation and Arbitration. Credits for these courses will count toward your 21-credit concentration requirement.

  • Negotiation (2-3 credits)
  • Trial Practice (2-3 credits)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (2-3 credits) OR Mediation (2-3 credits) and Arbitration (2-3 credits)

Remaining Credits
The balance of the credits must be earned from the following advocacy and dispute resolution-related courses. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are particularly recommended for this concentration. (Note: not all of these courses are offered every year.)

  • Arbitration (2-3 credits)*
  • Therapeutic Jurisprudence (2 credits)*
  • Introduction to Mediation (2-3 credits)*
  • Introduction to Representing Clients (2 credits)*
  • Civil Procedure (Advanced) (2-3 credits)* 
  • Conflict of Laws (3 credits)*
  • Administrative Law (3 credits)* 
  • Dispute Resolution in Health Care (2-3 credits)*
  • Federal Courts (3 credits)*
  • International Litigation in U.S. Courts (3 credits)*
  • Remedies (3 credits)* 
  • Representation in Mediation (1-2 credits)* 
  • Trial Practice (Advanced) (2 credits)* 
  • Visual Persuasion and the Law (3 credits)* 

Other related courses:

  • Advanced Torts - Medical Malpractice
  • Business Planning (2-3 credits) 
  • Criminal Procedure: The Adjudicative Process (3 credits) 
  • Divorce and the Divorcing Family (2 credits) 
  • Employment Law (3 credits) 
  • Family Law (2-3 credits) 
  • Family Law (Advanced) (2-3 credits) 
  • Federal Income Taxation (4 credits) 
  • Introduction to Representing Clients (2 credits) 
  • Juvenile Law (2-3 credits) 
  • Juvenile Law (Advanced) (2-3 credits) 
  • Labor Law (3 credits) 
  • Medical Malpractice (2-3 credits)
  • Moot Court (1-3 credits) 
  • Poverty Law (2 credits)
  • Products Liability (3 credits) 
  • Tax Procedure – Civil (2 credits)
  • Substantial-paper courses or independent study in which the paper is devoted to an advocacy and/or dispute resolution topic approved by the concentration director
  • Additional clinic or externship courses as approved by the concentration director
  • Other courses or journal work as approved by the concentration director in consultation with the course instructor
  • Competitions: the concentration director may deem participation in a non-credit competition in mock trial, negotiation or representing clients in mediation to satisfy the requirement of 1 or 2 credits of course work in this category

Clinical Requirement
At least 3 credits must be earned in a clinic and/or externship placement approved by the concentration director in consultation with the director of the relevant clinic or externship. Credits for IRC do not count toward this clinical requirement.

Writing Requirement
A substantial paper or a series of shorter writings that together comprise a substantial amount of written work on a topic or topics related to advocacy and/or dispute resolution. (If you write a substantial paper, you may use that paper to satisfy the law school advanced writing requirement, provided that you meet the guidelines for the advanced writing requirement as specified in the academic catalog.) The topic or topics for the written work used to satisfy this requirement must be approved by the concentration director. A paper written for a journal may qualify, if the topic is approved by the concentration director.

Students who achieve a GPA of 3.2 or better in the course work used for the concentration will receive the certificate for the concentration with honors. A student may designate the grade in any course or paper as not counting toward the concentration GPA, as long as the course is not required for the concentration and the student meets the concentration requirements with another course or paper.

Students who are interested in this concentration but fall short of specific credits or course work may apply for a waiver of requirements to be granted at the discretion of the concentration director and the associate dean of academic affairs.