This course will examine cutting edge developments, lawyering roles, and practice skills that are necessary to prepare law students for a successful legal career to serve clients using a non-adversarial consumer orientation to expand legal access. Peacemaking is a lawyer mindset and toolbox to help clients reduce conflict and avoid litigation. The benefits of this approach expedite settlements, lower costs, increase privacy and control, reduce emotional toll and accelerate healing of relationships through apology and forgiveness.
The class will explore the basic peacemaking concepts, values, and perspectives of limited scope representation, collaborative law, and preventive legal services. Students shall participate in simulations of key lawyering tasks such as:
• Conduct a client consultation to explore and compare consensual and nonadversarial options to litigation ;
• Draft a limited scope lawyer-client engagement agreement and prepare an otherwise self-represented client for the lawyer to serve as ghostwriter for letters and court documents as well as a negotiation coach;
• Negotiate the terms of a Collaborative Law Agreement that disqualifies the negotiating lawyers from later representing their clients in litigation; and
• Use preventive diagnostic tools to assess and maintain client legal wellness and to avoid future conflict and disputes.
Successful completion of this condensed course requires students to attend all class sessions, to demonstrate understanding of assigned readings, to actively participate in class discussion, to fully prepare for simulation exercises and other assignments, and to complete a client letter (5-7 pages) discussing peacemaking strategies and process options.