In this round of Arbitration Tips-N-Tools, Professor Amy Schmitz asks some of the leading arbitration practitioners about the growing interest in education around arbitration, especially in a digital world, and faced with the complexities of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Round 20: Do you see growing interest in education around arbitration? Why or why not??
A) Steven G. Shapiro –
There is certainly an increase in law firm arbitration practices that are driving students in directed career paths.
B) Imre Szalai
It seems that interest in dispute resolution is cyclical in the legal academy. In recent years, there have been more media stories about arbitration and greater momentum in state and federal legislatures to consider arbitration reforms (but not enough votes at the federal level.) Perhaps this increased attention to arbitration may result in some increased discussion of arbitration in law school classes, such as a civil procedure class where one can discuss the impact of the widespread use of arbitration agreements. If I had control over a curriculum, I would require that all law students have exposure to negotiation, mediation, and arbitration, perhaps in connection with a civil procedure course or as a stand-alone ADR survey course.
C) Erin Archerd
Students are very interested in learning more about ADR – negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and other procedures that they are likely to have to use in their actual practice. Most law schools offer some range of courses in ADR, including arbitration. A related question is whether these courses are treated as core doctrinal courses or as nice-to-have skills-based courses. Because they aren’t tested on the bar, but are clearly relevant to practice, many schools seem to treat these ADR courses as something it’s easy to use an adjunct for – I suppose Michael Moffit would call this the salt approach – and never push students to consider the theoretical implications of ADR. In arbitration for example, there are many opportunities to review important concepts in civil procedure, statutory interpretation, and crafting public policy arguments.
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