Student Involvement Opportunities
MSU ADR Society
The ADR Society is a group of MSU-College of Law students who have a keen interest in furthering their own knowledge and understanding of Alternative Dispute Resolution as well as that of the general student population and faculty. Through a speakers’ series, networking events, social events, and participation in competitions, the ADR Society increases the awareness of MSU Law students of ADR’s prominence in the field while also providing practical resources and support for the ADR Program.
MSU College of Law ADR students become better-prepared to practice ADR as attorneys by participating in ADR regional and national competitions sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution. Competitions in Negotiation, Representation in Mediation and Arbitration allow students to obtain a greater command of ADR skills and theory while also providing the opportunities to meet ADR professionals from around the country and network with other students interested in ADR.
Negotiation Competition: The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Regional and National Negotiation Competitions create opportunities for two-student attorney/attorney teams to compete to settle problems ranging from the allocation of Native American artifacts between local government and tribal authorities to contract disputes between employers and employees to the acquisition of paintings from a private owner for a museum collection. Students learn the art of strategizing negotiations in order to maximize the benefit to their client, prepare BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) and WATNA (Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) scenarios to present to the other party during negotiations, and create opportunities for concession and gain for both sides.
Representation in Mediation Competition: The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Regional and National Mediation Advocacy competitions create opportunities for two student attorney/client teams to compete to resolve problems through use of a third-party mediator. The student teams are scored on their ability to strategize the lawyer’s representation of the client in the mediation, their ability to maximize the gains for both parties and create a win-win situation, and to use conciliatory and other techniques to keep the mediation moving toward resolution. Competition topics have ranged from the division of property in a divorce to the allocation of art pieces stolen from their original owners by the occupying Nazis in World War II to commercial real estate disputes.
Arbitration: The ABA Student Division Regional and National Arbitration competitions were new in 2005. In this competition, students in teams of four - two attorneys, two witnesses - prepare and present a case to a panel of arbitrators against the opposing party. Students are scored on their opening statements, their examination and cross-examination of witnesses, closing statements, and their use of objections and evidence in the proceedings. The competition topic in 2005 was a contract dispute between a video game designer and a video game producer over payment of fees.
The ADR Society and the MSU College of Law Alternative Dispute Resolution Program hosted the ABA Regional Representation in Advocacy Competition February 25 and 26, 2006.