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Mediation Clinic

» Mediation Clinic Programs

The Fowler School of Law mediation clinic programs allow students to develop and practice mediation skills under the supervision of experienced attorney mediators. Students may participate in the Mediation Clinic at the Riverside or Orange County Superior Courts, the Riverside County Criminal Justice Dispute Resolution Clinic, or the Riverside County Restorative Justice Program.

The Mediation Clinic allows students to become certified mediators, where they will mediate real cases with actual litigants in civil harassment restraining orders, collections, unlawful detainer, limited civil cases, and more. Students mediate approximately 700 real cases each year, helping to ease an overloaded court caseload. The Mediation Clinic has been instrumental in designing and implementing a program of mandatory settlement conferences for debt collection cases at the court as well as a new workshop to help inform parties of their options for settlement. Students interact with practicing attorneys, judges, and other court officers so they have an understanding of real-world procedures before graduating from law school.

The Criminal Justice Dispute Resolution Clinic provides an important resource for male adolescents residing in Juvenile Hall, as they experience issues as impactful as race conflicts and gang rivalries. Each week, Juvenile Hall supervisors refer young men who have been involved in altercations to the student mediators, offering dispute mediation and peer mediation training.

The Restorative Justice Program brings together the court, District Attorney’s Office, police, probation departments, and students to provide restorative justice services. In this program, students work creatively to provide a safe and meaningful platform for open communication and mediation between crime victims and offenders.   

+ - Mediation Clinic

The Mediation Clinic allows students to help ease an overloaded court caseload by mediating a variety of civil cases in Riverside County and Orange County Superior Courts, including limited and unlimited civil disputes, restraining orders, and probate cases.

+ - Criminal Justice Dispute Resolution Clinic

Several former Fowler Law students crafted the Criminal Justice Dispute Resolution Clinic while working with the law school's mediation program director. The program provides important conflict resolution training for male adolescents residing in Juvenile Hall; many of whom have never been exposed to such techniques outside of physical fighting. Students undergo training so they understand how to create a comfortable environment for the participants to engage in a dialogue about the underlying conflict, agree upon terms, and strategize ways to prevent future conflicts. The peer mediation helps juveniles develop skills in mediating conflicts while in the facility and after they return to their home environments.

+ - Restorative Justice Program

The Restorative Justice Program allows students to advance their knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system and the theories of restorative justice. The restorative approach relies on a set of principles that guide responses to conflict by focusing on the needs of both victims and offenders. The program offers an unconventional route to finding justice; bringing together the court, District Attorney's Office, police and probation departments, and students from the Mediation Clinic to provide restorative justice services to Riverside County. In this program, students work creatively to provide a safe and meaningful platform for open communication and mediation between victims and offenders.

The Student Experience

  • Dana H. ('14)
  • Amanda S. ('13)
  • Jaryn S. ('14)
  • Cody B. ('14)
  • Dana

    "The Mediation clinic is unique because it allows law students to work independently with multiple real world clients every week. Through the clinic, I was able to help people resolve serious legal issues that impacted their daily lives, such as restraining order and debt collection issues. The clinic also taught me how to be more effective in persuasion, a skill that will be invaluable when I am a practicing attorney. "

    -Dana H. ('14)

  • amanda singer“Professor Dowling has been a great mentor to me and participating in his Mediation Clinic was one of my best experiences in law school. The clinic allowed me to gain hands-on experience mediating cases while still a student; that definitely helped me obtain externships and a job in the area I wanted." 

    -Amanda S. ('13)

  • Jaryn S.

    "The Mediation Clinic offered me an experience that is entirely different from any classroom or internship experience I have had during law school. Not only did it provide me with the opportunity to hit the ground running and apply skills that I learned in the classroom in the real world, but it gave me the chance to work with young men in Juvenile Hall as a mediator."

    -Jaryn S. ('14)

  • Cody

    "The Mediation Clinic provides an unmatched practical experience. Every week, I mediate multiple actual cases with real parties. I have become comfortable in the court setting, and confidently participate in the court's procedures. I now have a greater experience in communicating with clients, lawyers and judges"

    -Cody B. ('14)

+ - Course Information for Students

Pre-Requisites: To participate in the mediation clinic the students must have completed the Mediation course, or an equivalent training course and be in good academic standing with the law school.  This ensures that the students meet the requirements under the Dispute Resolution Programs Act to mediate in court.

Requirements: During the semester the students must complete at least 24 mediations and commit to at least 2 mornings a week in court. This includes 3 mediations where the student observes the mediation process and 3 co-mediations with an experienced mediator.

Advanced Clinic: After completing one semester in the mediation clinic, students have the opportunity to participate in the Advanced Mediation Clinic and continue to build upon the skills they learned in the clinic.  The advanced students also have the opportunity to mentor the incoming clinic students.

Mediation Clinic News

David Dowling's efforts result in five-year grant from the County of Riverside for new Restorative Justice Clinic. Read more »

Alumna Amanda Singer used the Mediation Clinic to help her get a job in a highly competitive field for recent graduates. Watch an interview about her experience »

Fowler School of Law Introduces First Peer Mediation Clinic as Part of Juvenile Mediation Clinic. Read more »
David Dowling

Professor David Dowling

"The Mediation Clinic provides students with a unique opportunity to use and develop their skills as mediators in the Superior Court.  Each week students work with actual litigants to help resolve their disputes.  Students learn client interviewing, negotiation and mediation skills over the semester."