Students who earn the certificate for this concentration develop an understanding of a variety of advocacy methods, dispute resolution tools, and remedies, in an array of civil law contexts. Skill development focuses on litigation, negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

The civil advocacy and dispute resolution concentration lets you explore all the varied ways that lawyers help clients solve problems and resolve conflicts. You will hone your skills as a creative negotiator, as a wise adviser and as an effective courtroom litigator. You’ll learn the theory and the practice of the different alternative methods to resolve disputes, make deals and reach settlements outside of court, such as mediation and arbitration. Most important, you can help us achieve our vision: to reimagine the law as a healing profession.  

Our dispute resolution program was recently ranked 14th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Our Center on Dispute Resolution — with its Quinnipiac/Yale Workshop Speaker Series, training sessions and student-run Society for Dispute Resolution — are all valuable resources that are at your disposal. The center’s programs offer you the opportunity to learn and train with practicing professionals in the field. The highly decorated student competition teams provide the stage to hone your advocacy skills through regional and national mock trial, moot court, negotiation, mediation and client counseling competitions. 

You’ll have the opportunity to practice what you are learning in the classroom in one of our legal clinics and in our diverse externship program. As a certified legal intern, you can counsel actual clients, negotiate, mediate cases and argue in courts.

For specific information on the program offerings, please contact:

Professor Carolyn Wilkes Kaas or Professor Jennifer Kenter
Co-Directors, CA&DR Concentration
Quinnipiac University School of Law
275 Mount Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518
Phone: 203-582-3234

Civil Advocacy and Dispute Resolution Concentration


To be eligible for the Civil Advocacy and Dispute Resolution concentration, you must take LAWS 311 as one of your core electives. Credits for this course do not count toward the 21-credit concentration requirement, but the grade in this prerequisite does count toward the concentration GPA requirement.


1. Coursework

To receive the certificate for this concentration, you must earn 21 civil advocacy and dispute resolution specialty credits, divided as follows (not all courses are offered every year): 

Required Coursework

In addition to LAWS 311 (credits for which do not count toward the 21-credit requirement), you must take the following courses. Credits for these courses will count toward your 21-credit concentration requirement.

LAWS 315Trial Practice Exp2-3
LAWS 428Negotiation2-3
LAWS 515Alternative Dispute Resolution Exp. 12-3

 In lieu of ADR, students may substitute LAWS 374 Introduction to Mediation and either LAWS 356 Arbitration or LAWS 683 Advocacy in Arbitration. 

Remaining Credits

The balance of the credits are to be earned from the following advocacy and dispute resolution–related courses. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are particularly recommended for this concentration. (Not all of these courses are offered every year.)

LAWS 114Administrative Law (*)3
LAWS 316Advanced Trial Practice (*)2
LAWS 338Visual Persuasion in the Law Exp (*)3
LAWS 347Remedies (*)3-4
LAWS 356Arbitration (*)3
LAWS 357Federal Courts (*)3
LAWS 372Representation in Mediation Exp (*)2
LAWS 374Introduction to Mediation (*)2
LAWS 435Advanced Family Law I - S2
LAWS 438Advanced Family Law II (*)2-3
LAWS 539Intro. to Dispute Res. in Healthcare (*)2-3
LAWS 574Pretrial Litigation in State Courts (*)2-3
LAWS 599Interviewing & Counseling Clients (*)2
LAWS 683Advocacy in Arbitration Exp (*)2-3
LAWS 686Negotiation in Criminal Practice (*)2
Other related courses:
LAWS 305Federal Income Tax4
LAWS 317Advanced Mock Trial2
LAWS 318Mock Trial1-2
LAWS 327Labor Law3
LAWS 370Family Law2-3
LAWS 371Divorce and the Divorcing Family2
LAWS 384Juvenile Law3
LAWS 393Business Planning4
LAWS 431Criminal Procedure - Adj.3
LAWS 434Employment Law3
LAWS 475Tax Procedure - Civil2
LAWS 509Sports Law2
LAWS 525Moot Court I1
LAWS 526Moot Court II1-2
LAWS 528Moot Court III1
LAWS 564Poverty Law2
LAWS 604Medical Malpractice2
Substantial-paper courses or independent study where the paper is devoted to an advocacy and/or dispute resolution topic approved by the concentration director.
Additional clinic or externship courses in addition to those required above, as approved by the concentration director.
Other courses or journal work as approved by the concentration director in consultation with the course instructor.
Competitions: The concentration director may deem participation in a noncredit competition in mock trial, negotiation, or representing clients in mediation to satisfy the requirement of 1 or 2 credits of coursework in this category.

2. Clinical Requirement

At least 3 credits must be earned in a clinic and/or externship placement approved by the concentration director in consultation with the director of the relevant clinic or externship. 

3. Writing Requirement

A substantial paper or a series of shorter writings that together comprise a substantial amount of written work on a topic or topics related to advocacy and/or dispute resolution. (If you write a substantial paper, you may use that paper to satisfy the law school advanced writing requirement, provided that you meet the guidelines for the advanced writing requirement as set forth in the Academic Regulations, section I.E.) The concentration director must approve the topic or topics for the written work used to satisfy this requirement. A paper written for a journal may qualify, if the concentration director approves the topic.

4. Waivers

Students who are interested in this concentration but fall short of specific credits or coursework may apply for a waiver of requirements, to be granted at the discretion of the concentration director and the associate dean of academic affairs.