An Experiment in Legal Education - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 66, No. 1
The author is the J. Stewart and Mario Thomas McClendon Professor in Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution at the University of Minnesota Law School. She was the driving force in creating the Capstone Course discussed in this article. Prof. Cooper co-teaches this course with attorney and AAA arbitrator Karen Schanfield. The author would like to thank the organizations participating in the Capstone Course at the Law School, and especially the AAA and Vice President Jan Holdinski and Employment Solutions Manager Mary Jara for generously offering the resources of the AAA to make the students’ experience meaningful and realistic.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
In a conference room in Minneapolis, an arbitration hearing is underway. On one side of the table sit the claimant, Dr. Rex Brown, and his lawyer and on the other side sit the representatives and counsel for the respondent, Willow Ridge Medical Center. Dr. Brown is seeking damages from Willow Ridge for breach of contract and defamation.
Karen Schanfield, a Minneapolis attorney from Fredrikson & Byron, is the presiding arbitrator, and the case manager is Mary Jara, from the American Arbitration Association’s Dallas office, which administers arbitration proceedings in Minnesota. This proceeding seems entirely unremarkable, except for the fact that the conference room is at the Uni versity of Minnesota Law School and the parties’ “attorneys” are actually second- and third-year law students.
This was a mock arbitration conducted as part of the law school’s first Cap stone Course in Labor and Employment Law in the Spring of 2010. The idea for this course came from a 2007 report of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advance ment of Teaching called “Edu cating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law.”