Cooley Law School and Resolution Services Center partner for mediation training


By Roberta M. Gubbins

Legal news

A partnership between the Resolution Services Center in Lansing and Thomas M. Cooley Law School creates a unique opportunity for Cooley students. The RSC will offer its 40-hour general civil mediation hour training course to both students and attorneys at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing campus, during the term break in August.

The course, a requirement to serve as a general civil mediator "is offered for the first time to our students as a two credit course compressed as an intersession class. The students will have an opportunity to work with licensed attorneys in the class," said Christine Church, Assistant Dean of Programs, Planning and Assessment and Associate Professor at Cooley.

"We are partnering with Cooley to provide more students with training in mediation and to fill the class, making it economically viable," said Linda Glover, Executive Director for the Resolution Services Center (RSC) in Lansing. Generally, the RSC doesn't offer classes for less than 24 participants. The addition of the ten Cooley students and Cooley's donation of the space allows the training to go forward.

RSC offers, in addition to training, dispute resolution services. "We are one of twenty dispute resolution centers in the state," Glover said. Requests for dispute resolution have increased.

"I have been a mediator for over ten years," she said, "and I remember when I first started, it was something that people looked at dubiously. It was an uphill battle to gain acceptance. It's much more the mainstream now. We are very, very busy. We are constantly looking for ways to meet the needs of the innovative cases that come our way.

"People are using it not only to reduce litigation but to settle employment disputes and board and membership disputes. I no longer have to explain what a mediator is," she said.

Under Michigan Court Rule, (MCR 2.411(F)(2)) to be eligible to serve as a general civil mediator, a person must have completed an approved training program, have a juris doctor degree or a graduate degree in conflict resolution or have 40 hours of mediation experience over two years, and have observed two general civil mediation proceedings conducted by an approved mediator and conduct one general civil mediation to conclusion under the supervision and observation of an approved mediator.

The training will be led by Anne Bachle Fifer, whose career is devoted mainly to Alternative Dispute Resolution, both as a practitioner and trainer. Fifer is the designer and lead trainer of ICLE's award-winning 40-hour Mediator Training Program since its inception in 2001. She has been the lead trainer for numerous other 40-hour mediation trainings since 1992.

The training will be offered on August 19-21 and 27-28 from 8:30 to 5:30 at Cooley, 300 S. Capital Ave., Lansing. The cost of the training is $650. For more information, contact RSC at (517) 485-2274.

Published: Thu, Aug 12, 2010