Loyola University Chicago

Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy

School of Law


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, clinical courses, externships student competitions and the student ADR society.

Teresa F. Frisbie, an experienced mediator and arbitrator and former adjunct law professor, directs the 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.

Loyola also offers several LLMs, including the new International LLM where students can choose a concentration in ADR designed to provide graduate law students with the advocacy skills to excel in any setting. 

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 2014 the competition at Loyola drew nearly four hundred students and coaches from Australia, India, China, Sri Lanka, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Ireland, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany. 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 London in 2015 and return to Loyola in March of 2016. Loyola also hosts a Pre-Moot for the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot competition. The Pre-Moot, organized by Professor Margaret Moses and Dispute Resolution Program alumni Melissa Bocker and Rae Kryitsi, 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 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. In 2012-2013 Loyola hosted and co-sponsored the Advanced e-Discovery Mediation Training for practicing mediators with a related judicial training attended by several federal magistrates, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois two-day training, the Association of Conflict Resolution program on Medical Malpractice Mediation, and the five day Mediation Skills Training for Collaborative Practitioners. In 2013 and 2014 Loyola again co-sponsored the Collaborative Institute of Illinois two day training as well as the five day Mediation Skills Training for Collaborative Practitioners.  

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.