About the Program
Students in the Edson Queiroz Foundation Mediation Program at Columbia Law School participate in various court and community-based dispute resolution programs in New York City and the Columbia University community.
The Edson Queiroz Foundation Mediation Program gives those students who may make mediation part of their professional lives a foundation for both skills and ethics. It helps students see the benefits and limitations of mediation and other dispute-resolution techniques so that they can responsibly counsel clients about their choices; it helps students understand how feelings, background values, and personal style affect performance in a professional role; and it provides quality assistance to parties whose disputes are mediated by the clinic.
In the classroom, students receive mediation-skills training and analyze the ethical, systemic, and jurisprudential issues involved in the alternative dispute resolution movement. The "texts" for class include the mediations that students observe or conduct as well as readings, tapes, and role-plays that highlight important issues in the development of mediation practice. In addition, students observe "neutrals" (mediators) at work in a variety of settings.
Students mediate actual community disputes at the Community Mediation Center at the New York Peace Institute, a nonprofit victim-assistance, advocacy, and violence-prevention organization. Typical cases include disputes between neighbors, roommates, and co-workers, as well as business and organizational conflicts.
Students also mediate civil cases at New York City Civil Court Personal Appearance Part and small claims cases at the Harlem Small Claims Court as well as employment-discrimination claims brought by federal employees and referred by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission administrative law judges.