Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is an up-and-coming practice area, and a group of Whittier Law School students are bringing it to the forefront at the School. A new ADR organization was formed this fall by Kyle Varga, Elon Manson, Charles Lee and Mike Ruttle, all 3L students. This new student group dovetails perfectly with the School’s focus on providing a practical education with hands-on experiential learning opportunities.
Says Varga, “There are already campus organizations that focus on litigation. But in many cases, conflicts don’t ever make it to litigation. We wanted to start a club that would help students develop the skills necessary for alternative dispute resolution such as mediation, negotiation, arbitration and client counseling. The skill of negotiation is crucial to lawyers, and mediation helps you to understand others’ positions. These skills can be used not only in law, but in every facet of life. It’s very practical and very applicable.”
The group is off to a fast start. Varga and Manson participated in a negotiation competition September 23-24 in San Diego. On November 5-6, two teams from Whittier Law School participated in two rounds in the ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition in Santa Clara against 26 other teams. The Whittier Law School teams included 3L students Randilyn Nordstrom and Sarah Perez, and 2L students Gavril Gabriel and Jason Souza. Next semester, the organization plans to attend a negotiation competition in San Francisco, and a mediation competition in San Diego.
The organization is being coached by Professor Lapin, an adjunct faculty with extensive experience in international negotiation and mediation. Professor Pritikin and Professor Yildirim are faculty advisors.