Thursday, September 03, 2009

Just when my apathy nearly devoured me...

I usually start each new school year with great aniticipation. New books, new folders, new highlighters - I eagerly complete all my assignments. Until this year, when 3L-itis (the law school version of senior-itis hit me and hit me hard. I'm in some really great classes....and I could care less. I'm not following what's going on in Crim Pro II, UCC: Sales is moving at a snail's pace, and Law and Literature just teased me into thinking it would be easy.

But, I'm happy to say that in the midst of what began as a completely apathetic school year, with a constant frown on my face and exasperated sigh on my tongue came two classes with actual useful and practical skill that once again heightened my excitement for the law: Mediation and Negotiation.

Just a fun fact, here's the difference between all the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques: In Mediation, the Mediator is a 3rd and neutral party and nothing is binding, as the hope is just to get parties to come to some sort of agreement. In Negotiation, the Negotiation uses ADR techniques to try to get a good outcome for their side. And Arbitration is a little more like Mediation, except the result is binding, and there is less focus on helping the parties come to their own conclusions.

In these classes, we make up scenarios, do a ton of role-playing, and really get to the heart of many issues. Here's the classic example that really just bowled me over: Two girls are fighting over an orange, kicking, screaming, biting, etc. The mother comes in to resolve the dispute and splits the orange in half, giving each girl one of the halves. Both girls are upset...why? One girl wanted to eat the juicy inside of hte orange. The other girl wanted the rind of the orange to bake a cake. The mother didn't bother to get to the heart of the issue to find out the real needs of the arguing parties. Simple example, but a great way to show that sometimes a dispute has a deeper meaning that just "I want this" or "I want that"

Anyway, a long blog for such a simple thought as "I like Mediation and Negotiation" but I really do. I can't help but think how the skills I've learned in just two weeks would have been useful in the never-ending battle that my sisters-in-law are in. Even thought my heart is set on being a JAG lawyer, I might take a deeper look into negotiation and mediation and see if it's not a skill that I could develop....


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)

Ali said...

Thank you, anonymous people. You are probably my mom/husband trying to make me feel good that someone is reading my blog. I'll take it!

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