DRC for Law Students

Clinical Mediation/Negotiation Internship

Every year, a clinical internship is offered to ten select students at Western Law. In 2016, a negotiation skills component was incorporated into the internship, in addition to the Alternative Dispute Resolution curriculum. Students who successfully complete this program will be granted a Certificate of Completion in the Internship from the DRC.

The program requires students to participate in bi-weekly training sessions (with the occasional weekly session, as required), where the fundamentals of alternative dispute resolution are taught. The program has both theoretical and practical components. The underlying theory and principles of conflict resolution are taught through lectures presented by the DRC Director and student coordinators, with supplementary readings provided. Students learn to apply the theory through the practical component of the training, which is composed of mediation simulations, and exercises. In the second semester of the academic year, students will complete negotiation plans from the point of view of a legal advocate in a mediation. Students practice how to integrate their mediation skills with legal advocacy, and training will focus on preparing to represent a client in a mediation, and legal writing in the mediation and ADR context.

In addition to their training, interns will be scheduled to lead community outreach programs such as our conflict resolution training workshops with Y.O.U. or Leads, or to work on a one-on-one conflict coaching file. Interns will also speak with potential mediation clients at 810 Court (Peace Bond Court). The intern will speak with parties seeking or defending peace bonds about mediation as an alternative method for resolving their dispute. Interns will have the opportunity to watch 810 Court proceedings and work directly with the Crown.

ADR Interns that show a strong capacity for mediation may be given the opportunity to conduct live community mediations in their second semester, or to assist Community Legal Services in the negotiation and settlement of their files.

Interested students should be committed to the learning process and have a keen desire to participate in alternative dispute resolution. The total time commitment required for the internship averages 2-3 hours per week. If you have any questions about the ADR Internship or any of its components please email drc@uwo.ca. Intern applications will be accepted yearly in early September, and are accepted from all three years of study.

Mediation Roster

Graduates of the Internship program are invited to apply to join the DRC’s Mediation Roster. Student Mediator applications are accepted yearly in early September. Interested individuals will be required to attend a refresher course (the session will be held on-campus during a free period), and there may also be brief practice role-play scenario where the DRC Director can assess students’ readiness to be added to the roster, or if there are areas that students may need additional skills training and support before mediating cases. The DRC Mediators are scheduled for community mediations through the school year, according to their availability. Student coordinators will make a best effort to assign mediation cases according to the student’s stated area of legal interest (employment, peace bond referrals, etc.). Time commitment varies with the case load.