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Vermont Law School's Dispute Resolution Program offers a wide variety of inter-disciplinary courses which prepare students for a more efficient and cooperative process of dispute resolution. Courses are offered to VLS students during fall and spring semesters, and to degree and non-degree seeking students from all over the world during our unique Environmental Law and Policy Summer Session.

Course Name
Alternative Dispute Resolution

This course presents the theory and practice of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration that constitute the foundation of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) through lecture and simulations.  Examines the different theories and approaches to ADR, as well as the wide range of issues that arise in the selection and application of these dispute resolution techniques.

Dispute Resolution Clinic I

Trains students to mediate disputes through participation in local court mediation programs.  Weekly seminars focus on conflict theory, mediation techniques, litigation strategies, public policy and social justice issues, as well as ethical and licensing concerns. A portion of each class devoted to clinic-style rounds, enabling students to present the cases they have mediated for discussion and feedback. 

Dispute Resolution Clinic II
Karen Borgstrom

Advanced clinic to further develop mediation skills throught participation in mediations in a variety of local court mediation programs and attend weekly seminars.

Environmental Dispute Resolution A

Explores the range of processes that are used to resolve environmental disputes with particular emphasis on consensual processes such as negotiation and mediation.  Instruction will be based on lectures and discussions of the theory of dispute resolution and environmental law and simulations to practice the skills needed to resolve environmental disputes.


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International Commercial Arbitration
Curtis Pew

Explores the key legal and practical issues encountered when resolving international commercial disputes through arbitration.  Includes a  critical review and discussion of relevant treaties, statutes, rules, institutions, national and international cases, and awards; addresses the more global question concerning the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration as a method of dispute resolution.

Karen Borgstrom

Examines the nature of mediation and explores theoretical and practical aspects of the process. The course analyzes each component of the mediation process and provides students with the opportunity to apply theories and skills in simulation exercises.

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Sean NolonDonald Powers

A hands-on introduction to the theory and practice of negotiation.  Explores the tension that is created in every negotiation between cooperating to create value with the other side and competing to claim value against the other side.  While there is a lecture component of this course, instruction relies heavily on the use of simulations. 

UPDATE: The summer 2014 Negotiation course has been cancelled.

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Summer 2013
Spring 2014