Attorney Kristin Connors works with a group of Quinnipiac University School of Law first year students Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2015, during the School of Law's January Term which gives law students hands-on experience with practicing attorneys. (Autumn Driscoll/Quinnipiac University)

Civil Advocacy and Dispute Resolution

Most cases never make it to trial. With the right knowledge and negotiating skills, you can reach a positive resolution without your client ever seeing the inside of a courtroom.

Program Overview

The Civil Advocacy and Dispute Resolution concentration develops your skills as a sharp negotiator and focuses on key areas of litigation, including the rules surrounding evidence, conducting oral arguments and effectively examining witnesses. You’ll explore alternative methods in mediation to resolve disputes and reach settlements outside of court, saving time and money for your clients and the judicial system. 

Our dispute resolution program was ranked 12th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Our Center on Dispute Resolution, the Quinnipiac/Yale Workshop on Dispute Resolution, and our student-run Society for Dispute Resolution are all valuable resources that are at your disposal. The center sponsors a variety of workshops and speaking events and offers you the opportunity to train with professionals in the field. The advocacy element of this concentration hones your litigation skills through regional and national mock trial competitions. 

After two semesters, you’ll have the opportunity to work in one of our legal clinics, where you counsel actual clients and occasionally argue before judges on their behalf. In the clinics and in our diverse externship program, you’ll gain practical experience by shadowing and networking with professionals in the field. You also can earn academic credit by contributing to the Quinnipiac Law Review, the Health Law Journal or the Probate Law Journal.

Curriculum and Requirements

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.

Concentration Prerequisites

In order to be eligible for the civil advocacy and dispute resolution concentration, you must take Evidence 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.

Concentration Requirements

Course Work
To receive the certificate for this concentration, you must earn 21 civil advocacy and dispute resolution specialty credits, divided as follows:

Required Course Work
In addition to Evidence (credits for which do not count toward the 21-credit requirement), you must take the following courses. You have a choice to take either Alternative Dispute Resolution or both Mediation and Arbitration. Credits for these courses will count toward your 21-credit concentration requirement.

  • Negotiation (2-3)
  • Trial Practice (2-3)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (2-3) or
  • Mediation (2-3) and Arbitration (2-3)

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.)

  • Administrative Law (3)*
  • Advanced Family Law II (2-3)*
  • Advanced Mediation (1-2)*
  • Business Planning (2-3)
  • Civil Pro Advanced (2-3)*
  • Conflicts of Laws (3)*
  • Crim Pro, Adjudicative (3)
  • Div & Divorcing Family (2)
  • Employment Law (3)
  • Ethics & Criminal Justice Sys. (2-3)
  • Family Law (2-3)
  • Federal Courts (3)*
  • Federal Income Taxation (4)
  • International Litigation in U.S. Courts (3)*
  • Introduction to Representing Clients (2)
  • Juvenile Law (2-3)
  • Labor Law (3)
  • Medical Malpractice Litigtation (Advanced Torts) (2-3)
  • Moot Court (1-3)
  • Poverty Law (2)
  • Remedies (3)*
  • Representing Clients in Mediation (1-2)*
  • Tax Procedure Civil (2)
  • Therapeutic Jurisprudence (2)*
  • Trial Practice Advanced (2)*
  • Visual Persuasion & Law (3)*

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. Credits for IRC do not count toward this clinical requirement.

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 specified in the academic catalog.) The topic or topics for the written work used to satisfy this requirement must be approved by the concentration director. A paper written for a journal may qualify, if the topic is approved by the concentration director.

Students who achieve a GPA of 3.2 or better in the course work used for the concentration will receive the certificate for the concentration with honors. A student may designate the grade in any course or paper as not counting toward the concentration GPA, as long as the course is not required for the concentration and the student meets the concentration requirements with another course or paper. The concentration director and the associate dean for academic affairs may waive any requirements for the concentration (other than the GPA requirement), if they both agree to do so.

Students who are interested in this concentration but fall short of specific credits or course work may apply for a waiver of requirements to be granted at the discretion of the concentration director.

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