The Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic provides an informal and confidential forum where participants can discuss their concerns. The mediators are trained law students who act as neutral third parties. With the help of mediators, the parties sit down together and generate solutions. Unlike a judge, a mediator does not decide who is right or wrong. The mediator simply helps the participants communicate and, when appropriate, reach an agreement that respects the needs and interests of all parties. Mediation is a confidential, voluntary process.
Disputes, conflicts, and complaints are a normal part of University life. Mediation allows parties in a dispute to control the outcomes of their conflicts. Mediation can work well for people who want to avoid the stress and inflexibility of more formal procedures or for people who need to continue working relationships. Many kinds of conflicts can be resolved successfully through mediation.
Mediation can help resolve a range of issues including disrespectful treatment, noise complaints, harassment, assault, discrimination, and property damage. Disputes occur throughout the university community and between a variety of parties; for example, between students, between roommates, between faculty members and students, or between co-workers.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF MEDIATION
Mediation works best when all the parties involved are present to discuss the issues that are the source of conflict. The neutral mediator helps create an environment where all participants have equal and full voice. Such open communication helps people in conflict listen to one another's viewpoints and identify the underlying issues and interests. In this way, the mediation process allows participants to find meaningful resolutions to their disputes. Often participants leave mediation better able to communicate and resolve conflicts in the future.
HOW TO REQUEST MEDIATION
The Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic offers free dispute resolution to members of the Columbia Community. You can request mediation by: