Arbitration Tips-N-Tools (TNT): Round 16

In this round of Arbitration Tips-N-Tools, Professor Amy Schmitz asks some of the leading arbitration practitioners about advice for teachers of arbitration who are looking to connect students with practice, especially in a digital world and faced with the complexities of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Round 16: What advice do you have for teachers of arbitration who are looking to connect students with practice


A) Steven G. Shapiro

  1. Maybe take a real case or hypothetical matter with a difficult set of facts for one of the parties. Students are assigned to represent the side with the bad facts.
  2. Have students assume the role of arbitrator in a few cases to see the varying quality of work of advocates, plus the students will need to write short decisions.

B) Imre Szalai

  1. Ask students to assist with drafting an amicus brief in a court case involving an arbitration agreement or arbitration award.
  2. Ask students to search on Westlaw, Pacer, or another online database for a case file where parties are seeking the vacatur of an arbitral award. Ask students if the legal standards for vacating an award have been met, and even if the standards have not been met, is there something the students would have done differently if they were representing a party or serving as an arbitrator in the case. In other words, even if the questioned conduct is not the basis for vacatur, would students recommend a different course of conduct?
  3. Invite an arbitrator or arbitration practitioner to class, in person or via zoom, and ask the guest speaker for their observations on topics recently covered in class.
  4. Ask students to bring in copies of arbitration agreements they have encountered in their daily lives.

C) Erin Archerd

  1. Bring in actual arbitrators to review briefs, hear the claim, and provide feedback. Students prepare much more fully for outside arbitrators than when professors or fellow students are serving as neutrals.
  2. Have students interview arbitrators or lawyers who frequently represent parties in arbitration and report (either orally and/or in writing) about lessons learned.
  3. Assign students to search out arbitration agreements and compare them – I often will have a survey where I direct students to a well-known product (e.g., an iPhone) and then ask them a series of question about the legal implications of the ADR provision.

Steven Shapiro

Steven Shapiro teaches, writes, and speaks on topics in complex hospitality issues and construction law at the American University, Washington College of Law, blending his career in law firm practice, construction engineering, and academics. Recognized for innovation in bringing the realities and economics of commercial practice into the classroom and…


Imre Szalai

Professor Szalai graduated from Yale University, double majoring in Economics and Classical Civilizations, and he received his law degree from Columbia University, where he was named a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. After graduating from law school, Professor Szalai practiced antitrust law in New York City, and then he practiced complex…


Erin Archerd

Erin Archerd joined the Detroit Mercy Law faculty in Fall 2015. Prior to becoming a professor, she was an associate in the San Francisco office of Covington & Burling LLP, where she focused on corporate transactions, primarily in the information technology and biotechnology sectors, as well as preparing an amicus…


Amy Schmitz

Professor Amy Schmitz is the John Deaver Drinko-Baker & Hostetler Chair in Law at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. From 2016-2021 Professor Schmitz was the Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor of Law at the University of Missouri School of Law and the Center for Dispute Resolution.…

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