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Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Lawyers often help their clients solve problems and handle disputes with other parties. Central to being able to accomplish these tasks is the ability to file a lawsuit against the other party. Every lawyer should have a basic understanding of how this is done. However, most lawsuits are settled before the lawyers for the parties step foot in a courtroom. Further, many disputes are concluded without the intervention of a lawsuit through alternative methods of dispute resolution. All lawyers should also have a basic understanding of these methods. Therefore, students with interests in all areas of the law should consider taking basic courses in this area to help them understand how to help their clients solve problems and handle disputes.

Further, students who believe that litigation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) will be an important part of their law practice should strive for a well-rounded legal education because practitioners in these areas often handle cases in a wide range of subject matters. Litigation and ADR practice, therefore, requires practitioners to have the ability to continually learn about new areas of law that are implicated in the cases they handle. Further, virtually every lawsuit involves tax implications, so basic tax classes are also important to litigation and ADR practice.

Students build a foundation in this area in their first year by taking Civil Procedure, Legal Research and Writing, and Advocacy. Further, all students learn basic skills in interacting with clients, an important aspect of solving problems and handling disputes, in the Client Counseling Course. Important upper-level classes in this area include Evidence, Federal Income Tax, and Trial Practice. The College also offers many avenues to obtain and practice litigation and alternative dispute resolution skills through simulation classes, Moot Court, the Trial Practice Competition Team, and our clinics. Further, students can get a birds-eye view of the court system by participating in the Judicial Externship Program.  Because writing is also central to this area of the law, students should use every opportunity to improve and practice their writing and advocacy skills.


  • Administrative Law
  • Advanced Decision Analysis
  • Appellate Practice and Procedure
  • Business Basics for Lawyers
  • Business Tax
  • Civil Rights Litigation
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Electronic Discovery: Procedural and Evidentiary Issues
  • Evidence
  • Expert Witnesses at Trial
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Federal Courts
  • Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Legal Drafting
  • Negotiations
  • Pretrial Litigation
  • Remedies
  • Trial Practice
  • Witness Preparation

Sample Student Schedule

Linked here is a sample of a student schedule of a fictitious student who is interested in a practice with a heavy emphasis on litigation and ADR. This is designed to give some idea of the many ways courses can be woven into a curriculum designed to build your knowledge of litigation, ADR, and other areas of the law, prepare you to take a bar exam, and help you acquire professional skills. You can create many wonderful schedules that include these courses. This one is merely a sample that, frankly, should only be used to spur your ideas of the best curriculum for you. You may also want to discuss your scheduling choices with professors, practitioners, upper-level students, and Dean Oliver. Please remember that you must ensure that your schedule will meet all the requirements for graduation. Also remember that the classes listed in this sample schedule may not be offered in the particular semester shown here while you are in law school and that the number of credits may vary from year to year.

John Pelam — Student interested in litigation for a law firm or governmental agency

Other Student Learning Opportunities

Competition Teams

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Centers and Institutes


Other Student Activities

Student Organizations — sampling

* See complete list of student organizations.

Volunteer Opportunities — sampling

* Get more information about volunteer opportunities.


Marjorie Corman Aaron
Professor of Practice and Director, Center for Practice

Michele Bradley
Special Assistant to the Dean for Strategic Initiatives

Mark A. Godsey
Daniel P. and Judith L. Carmichael Professor of Law and Director,
Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for
Justice/Ohio Innocence Project

Ann Hubbard
Professor of Law

Elizabeth Lenhart
Professor of Practice

Bradford C. Mank
James B. Helmer, Jr. Professor of Law

Nancy Oliver
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Practice

Rachel Jay Smith
Professor of Practice

Michael E. Solimine
Donald P. Klekamp Professor of Law

UC Alumni Careers

Some Places our graduates have worked include:

  • Baker & McKenzie
  • Center for Resolution of Disputes
  • Covington & Burling LLP
  • Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP
  • Franklin County Municipal Court
  • Jones Day
  • Keating, Muething, and Klekamp
  • Locke Lord LLP
  • Ohio Attorney General's Office
  • Taft, Stettinius, and Hollister LLP
  • US Air Force Judge Advocate General
  • US Attorney's Office
  • US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • US Department of Justice