• law students working with clients

    Chapman's Mediation Clinic

    Law students practice mediation skills with real clients

» Mediation Clinic

The Fowler School of Law Mediation Clinic allows students to develop and use mediation skills through regular and frequent practice with actual clients under the supervision of Professor David Dowling and experienced mediators in the Superior Court. The clinic provides the students with hands on experience with real litigants in a variety of different cases.

The clinic mediates 700 real cases annually. 

While working in the Mediation Clinic, students have an opportunity to mediate many different types of cases with actual clients such as:

  • Civil Harassment Restraining Orders
  • Debt Collections
  • Unlawful Detainer
  • Small Claims Trial De Novo
  • Limited Civil

The mediation clinic helped design and implement the Mandatory Settlement Conferences for debt collection cases along with the workshop to help inform the parties of their option for settlement. Additionally, students have the opportunity to interact with practicing attorneys, judges and other court officers so they have an understanding of what goes on in court before they graduate from law school. In addition to mediating cases, students are able to observe real cases that either didn't settle in mediation or were not appropriate to be sent out to mediation.

The Student Experience

  • Dana H. ('14)
  • Jaryn S. (J.D. '14)
  • Cody B. (J.D. '14)
  • Dana

    "The Mediation clinic is unique because it allows law students to work independently with multiple real world clients every week. Through the clinic, I was able to help people resolve serious legal issues that impacted their daily lives, such as restraining order and debt collection issues. The clinic also taught me how to be more effective in persuasion, a skill that will be invaluable when I am a practicing attorney. "

    -Dana H. (J.D. '14)

  • Jaryn S.

    "The Mediation Clinic offered me an experience that is entirely different from any classroom or internship experience I have had during law school. Not only did it provide me with the opportunity to hit the ground running and apply skills that I learned in the classroom in the real world, but it gave me the chance to work with young men in Juvenile Hall as a mediator."

    -Jaryn S. (J.D. '14)

  • Cody

    "The Mediation Clinic provides an unmatched practical experience. Every week, I mediate multiple actual cases with real parties. I have become comfortable in the court setting, and confidently participate in the court's procedures. I now have a greater experience in communicating with clients, lawyers and judges"

    -Cody B. (J.D. '14)

+ - Course Information for Students

Pre-Requisites: To participate in the mediation clinic the students must have completed the Mediation course, or an equivalent training course and be in good academic standing with the law school.  This ensures that the students meet the requirements under the Dispute Resolution Programs Act to mediate in court.

Requirements: During the semester the students must complete at least 24 mediations and commit to at least 2 mornings a week in court. This includes 3 mediations where the student observes the mediation process and 3 co-mediations with an experienced mediator.

Advanced Clinic: After completing one semester in the mediation clinic, students have the opportunity to participate in the Advanced Mediation Clinic and continue to build upon the skills they learned in the clinic.  The advanced students also have the opportunity to mentor the incoming clinic students.

Recent News

David Dowling's efforts result in five-year grant from the County of Riverside for new Restorative Justice Clinic. Read more »

Alumna Amanda Singer used the Mediation Clinic to help her get a job in a highly competitive field for recent graduates. Watch an interview about her experience »

Fowler School of Law Introduces First Peer Mediation Clinic as Part of Juvenile Mediation Clinic. Read more »
David Dowling

Professor David Dowling

"The Mediation Clinic provides students with a unique opportunity to use and develop their skills as mediators in the Superior Court.  Each week students work with actual litigants to help resolve their disputes.  Students learn client interviewing, negotiation and mediation skills over the semester."

Contact Us

David Dowling, Director

Mediation for Juveniles

The Juvenile Hall Mediation Program provides significant benefits for juveniles in the correctional system. Under the supervision of the clinic director, students mediate conflicts between the minors in Riverside County Juvenile Hall. Students also teach peer mediation skills to juveniles specially selected to work with the program. In the long term, this will teach the residents the skills necessary to prevent and solve conflict before causing larger issues. Since many youths in juvenile hall have not been exposed to conflict resolution devices, this program provides a unique and critical tool to assist these at-risk individual.