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Much of legal education centers on the trial and appellate processes, yet fewer than 2% of all filed cases (both criminal and civil) go to trial, and only a small fraction of those cases are appealed. Instead, most cases are resolved before trial, and many disputes are resolved before a lawsuit is filed or are prevented entirely. Accordingly, as part of a quality legal education, students must have the opportunity to develop expertise in the processes through which most disputes are resolved: negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.
The Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center focuses on the problem-solving methods and skills that lawyers and other conflict resolution professionals employ regularly to prevent and resolve disputes. Its mission is to advance the understanding of the nature of conflict resolution and to promote the skills necessary to resolve disputes effectively and efficiently.
Nationally renowned for excellence in the field of dispute resolution, the Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center has received prestigious awards from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ADR in Education Award) and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (two CPR Awards – Outstanding Professional Article, Dr. Roselle Wissler and Professional Achievement, Foreclosure Mediation Unit). The Lodestar Center is consistently ranked highly nationally among law school dispute resolution programs by US News & World Report “Best Graduate School” rankings and was ranked 10th in 2017.