Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy|Loyola University Chicago

Centers, Institutes, and Programs

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Loyola University Chicago School of Law was one of the first law schools in the nation to offer a course on alternative dispute resolution. In the early 1980s, the late John ("Jack") Cooley, a former federal magistrate, long time mediator and arbitrator, and prolific author on ADR topics, and Richard A. Salem, who mediated such disputes as the Nazi-Skokie conflict in Chicago, the Kent State war protest and the Wounded Knee incident, started teaching an ADR overview course. Since that time Loyola has greatly expanded its offerings through a variety of classes, seminars, student competitions and the student ADR society.

Most recently, Loyola launched a new initiative to broaden its curricular offerings by hiring Teresa F. Frisbie, an experienced mediator and arbitrator and former adjunct law professor, to be the director of the new Dispute Resolution Program, part of the Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy. The mission of the Dispute Resolution Program is to train highly skilled and versatile advocates who are as adept at analyzing party interests and crafting creative solutions in a mediation or settlement negotiation as they are at cross-examining a witness at a trial.

Another important development is our new LLM program in Trial Advocacy, Appellate Advocacy and Alternative Dispute Resolution designed to provide graduate law students with the advocacy skills to excel in any setting. The program, launched in the 2010-2011 academic year, allows students to learn from distinguished academics as well as experienced attorneys, judges, mediators and arbitrators.

Loyola continues to be a favorite venue for hosting ADR events because of the wonderful meeting spaces at the law school. Every other year, Loyola’s Dispute Resolution Program co-sponsors the international round of the International Academy of Dispute Resolution international law school mediation competition. In March of 2012 the competition at Loyola drew nearly two hundred students and coaches from India, Germany, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Canada and the U.S. The competition provides law students with the opportunity to practice mediation and mediation advocacy skills in a cross-cultural setting. The competition will take place in Dublin in 2013 and return to Loyola in the spring of 2014. Loyola also hosts a Pre-Moot for the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot competition. The Pre-Moot, organized by Professor Margaret Moses, serves as a practice moot for student teams going to the international Vis competitions. Students who participate in the Pre-Moot are predominantly from schools in the Midwest, although teams from Canada, Europe and California have also participated. The arbitrators come from as far away as England, Toronto, and New York.

Loyola also hosts seminars and symposia related to dispute resolution. In the 2011-12 school year Loyola held a symposium on the United States’ Impact on International Commercial Arbitration, and hosted and co-sponsored the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois two day training, the Advanced e-Discovery Mediation Training for practicing mediators, and related programs on e-Discovery and ADR for judges and practitioners. George Bermann of Columbia Law School also spoke on the ALI Restatement of U.S. Law on International Commercial Arbitration at the Wing Tat Lee Lecture.  

Loyola’s commitment to graduating advocates who are skilled in dispute resolution is also demonstrated by the caliber and number of classes devoted specifically to ADR, ranging from Collaborative Law to the EEOC Mediation Advocacy Project, and by the requirement that students who wish to obtain the Advocacy Certificate must also study dispute resolution. As with the LLM program, because the law school is located in Chicago, an outstanding group of attorneys, mediators, and arbitrators are able to add their passion, knowledge and experience to the program. In addition, many recent alumni remain very involved in the vibrant Loyola ADR community, coming back frequently in the evenings and on weekends to volunteer at Loyola ADR events or to assist students practicing for ADR student competitions.

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