Teaching Students to Be Problem-Solvers and Dispute-Resolvers

Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World (Deborah Maranville, Lisa Radtke Bliss, Carolyn Wilkes Kaas & Antoinette Sedillo Lopez eds., 2015)

Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 15-04

13 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2015  

Andrea Kupfer Schneider

Marquette University - Law School

Jill Gross

Pace Law School

John Lande

University of Missouri School of Law

Date Written: February 9, 2015

Abstract

No matter what area of law students might end up practicing, dispute resolution and practical problem solving (“ADR” and PPS) will play a central role. Litigators resolve far more cases through voluntary processes than through trial. Transactional lawyers negotiate the terms of a deal. Government lawyers often are called to resolve interagency disputes and claims against the government. Defense attorneys and prosecutors routinely negotiate plea arrangements. In-house counsel work both internally and externally to resolve conflicts on behalf of their company.

Reports on what lawyers should know, including the MacCrate Report and Educating Lawyers, regularly list problem-solving, negotiation, and dispute resolution as skills that lawyers should have. Best Practices for Legal Education called for law schools to educate students in problem-solving and in practical wisdom, in order to solve clients’ problems effectively and responsibly.

Law schools can, and many do, educate future lawyers in the knowledge, skills, and values inherent in the problem-solving approach in two ways. The first is to develop a specific and distinct Alternative Dispute Resolution curriculum. It is a best practice for every law school to make such courses available to every law student. The second is to incorporate the problem-solving orientation and skills throughout the curriculum. This is an emerging best practice. Both are addressed.

Keywords: ADR, dispute resolution, conflict resolution, legal education, law schools, pedagogy, teaching, law students, curriculum, curricular reform, innovation

Suggested Citation

Schneider, Andrea Kupfer and Gross, Jill and Lande, John, Teaching Students to Be Problem-Solvers and Dispute-Resolvers (February 9, 2015). Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World (Deborah Maranville, Lisa Radtke Bliss, Carolyn Wilkes Kaas & Antoinette Sedillo Lopez eds., 2015) ; Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 15-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2562574

Andrea Kupfer Schneider (Contact Author)

Marquette University - Law School ( email )

Eckstein Hall
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201
United States

Jill Gross

Pace Law School ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States

John Lande

University of Missouri School of Law ( email )

Hulston Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

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