(LAWJ-5055) - 3 UNITS

This Pro Se Mediation Clinic will provide students with hands-on training and actual experience representing parties in disputes referred to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing's (DFEH) mediation program. DFEH is the state agency charged with protecting the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, as well as from hate violence and human trafficking. Disputes referred to DFEH mediation usually involve claims under state civil rights laws.

In the first half of the semester, students will first learn the basics of state and federal antidiscrimination law and observe and debrief a DFEH mediation. During the second half, under the close supervision of the clinic instructor, they will then work in teams of 2 to represent clients during the mediation process before a professional DFEH mediator. Students will interview clients, research the law and counsel clients on the strengths and weaknesses of their claims or defenses, draft a mediation brief, and act a counsel during the mediation. If a settlement is reached, students will be involved in negotiating and drafting the settlement agreement.

This is an unparalleled opportunity to practice advocating in a substantive area of the law (antidiscrimination) that has broad applicability even outside the housing and employment contexts. Students will also learn how to navigate the mediation process, how to use problem solving skills to de-escalate conflict with an opponent, and how to effectively represent a client in a non-adversarial setting.

Less than 1% of civil cases reach a jury trial. Today's litigators need to learn about how to effectively advocate for their client in settling cases, whether through direct settlement negotiations, judicial settlement conferences, or mediation. Much the same is true for in-house counsel, solo lawyers with a generalist practice, and lawyers working in government agencies.

Students electing to take this course for 2 units will participate in one mediation; those signing up for 3 units will participate in 2-3 mediations.

Note: Unlike other mediation courses, students in this class will not take the role of a mediator or learn how to mediate a case as a neutral third party. Students will have opportunities to represent the interest of complainants and of respondents in different cases, depending upon the actual representation requests the clinic receives.

Satisfies Pro Bono Requirement   Experiential Course  


Ethical Lawyering (LAWJ-2004)  (can be taken concurrently)
Introduction to Negotiations (LAWJ-4008)  (can be taken concurrently)
(LAWJ-4090)  (can be taken concurrently)
Mediation (LAWJ-4059)  (can be taken concurrently)
Mediation Advocacy (LAWJ-4053)  (can be taken concurrently)
Mediation Advocacy for Litigators (LAWJ-4054)  (can be taken concurrently)