The author is the dean of the Fordham University School of Law in New York City, and is chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the American Arbitration Association. He wishes to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Joseph Sponholz, a second-year student at Fordham Law, in the preparation of this article.
There is little doubt that greater, more refined skills will be needed by the modern legal professional to service a demanding public in search of more creative, fulfilling methods of resolving disputes. Hence the increased presence and visibility of ADR curricula in our nation’s law schools. This presence is of “paramount importance,” says John Feerick, dean of the Fordham University School of Law and the author of this illuminating look at a number of the innovative law school ADR programs that are preparing the next wave of ADR-savvy lawyers.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) increasingly has become a useful and effective tool at a lawyer’s disposal. As a result, commentators have noted that “a ‘modern’ lawyering curriculum is one which, in its totality, views the competent lawyer as a capable problem solver both in and out of the courtroom,”1 and that ADR is something “very basic”2 in legal education. Consequently, it has become of paramount importance that law students become familiar with ADR. Recognizing this need, many law schools now offer specific courses and clinics designed to prepare students to use ADR in their future practice.