Loyola University Chicago

Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy

School of Law

About The Program

History and Mission

Loyola University Chicago School of Law was one of the first law schools in the U.S. to offer a course on alternative dispute resolution. In the early 1980s, the late John ("Jack") Cooley, a former federal magistrate, mediator and arbitrator, and Richard A. Salem, who mediated such disputes as the Nazi-Skokie conflict in Chicago, the Kent State Vietnam 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.

The mission of the Dispute Resolution Program is to graduate skilled and ethical advocates who are able to assist their clients to achieve their goals in any dispute resolution setting.  This means being as adept at analyzing party interests and crafting creative solutions in a mediation or settlement negotiation as cross-examining a witness at a trial or arbitration.

Loyola’s commitment to graduating advocates who are skilled in dispute resolution is demonstrated by the caliber and number of classes devoted specifically to ADR, ranging from Restorative Justice to the EEOC Mediation Advocacy Project, and by the requirement that students who wish to obtain the Advocacy Certificate must also study dispute resolution. 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 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.

In addition to the J.D. program, Loyola also offers an International LLM with ADR focus.

Every other year, Loyola’s Dispute Resolution Program co-sponsors the International Academy of Dispute Resolution (INADR) International Law School Mediation Tournament. In March of 2016 the competition at Loyola drew nearly four hundred mediators, attorneys, students and coaches from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. 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 Glasgow in 2017 and return to Loyola in 2018. Loyola also hosts a Pre-Moot for the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot competition.

Loyola also hosts seminars and training related to dispute resolution. In recent years Loyola has hosted Ellen Langer on mindfulness, a training on Applying Neurobiology to Negotiation and Mediation with Jeremy Lack of Neuroawareness, a 40 Hour Mediation Skills for Collaborative Practitioners training with Brigitte Bell, P.C, and the two day Collaborative Institute of Illinois training, and the Advanced e-Discovery Mediation Training for practicing mediators with a related judicial training attended by several federal magistrates. In 2011-2012 Loyola held a symposium on the United States’ Impact on International Commercial Arbitration and George Bermann of Columbia Law School spoke on the ALI Restatement of U.S. Law on International Commercial Arbitration at the Wing Tat Lee Lecture. Loyola also regularly hosts Association of Conflict Resolution programs, including the neuroscience and mediation book group.

Teresa F. Frisbie, an experienced attorney, mediator and arbitrator, directs the Dispute Resolution Program, part of the Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy. For more information about the program contact her at tfrisbie@luc.edu.

Why Take Dispute Resolution Classes?

Due to the increasing expense and delay involved in taking a case through full discovery (particularly with the advent of electronic discovery) and trial, and the potential damage to business and family relationships from litigation, dispute resolution processes such as negotiation, mediation and arbitration are increasingly being used to resolve legal disputes. In fact, many litigators are more likely to represent a client at a mediation or arbitration than a trial. 

1 Thomas Stipanowich, Curtis van Kann and Deborah Rothman, CCA Protocols for Expeditious, Cost-Effective Commercial Arbitration, (2010), p. 31.