Civil Advocacy + Dispute Resolution

The vast majority of court cases are settled before trial through administrative, arbitral and other alternative dispute resolution processes. Learning to negotiate to closure is an essential skill for litigators.

If you're interested in a career as a civil litigator, enrolling in Civil Advocacy and Dispute Resolution--one of six concentrations offered by the School of Law--will provide you with the knowledge and skills you'll need.

It will help you master the rules of evidence and procedure and familiarize you with pretrial, trial and alternative dispute resolution skills, such as putting cases together, examining witnesses, conducting oral arguments, negotiating settlements, and representing clients in mediation and arbitration.

The law school has special strengths in this area, including our Center on Dispute Resolution, the Quinnipiac/Yale Workshop on Dispute Resolution and our student-run Society for Dispute Resolution. The law school also offers a mediation certificate training program for students, lawyers and members of the community interested in developing mediation and consensus-building skills.

On the civil advocacy side, we offer introductory and advanced courses in trial practice. Our moot court and mock trial teams compete on regional and national levels, permitting students to hone their skills further as advocates in simulated courtroom proceedings.

For current students enrolled in Westlaw: For more information on the Civil Advocacy and Dispute Resolution concentration, including how to declare as a concentration candidate and how to apply for the concentration certificate, please sign up for its TWEN page here

Requirements + Courses

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)*
        • Fed. Income Taxation (4)
        • Int'l Lit in U.S. Courts (3)*
        • Introduction to Representing Clients (2)
        • Juvenile Law (2-3)
        • Labor Law (3)
        • Med Mal Litigation (Adv Torts) (2-3)
        • Moot Court (1-3)
        • Poverty Law (2)
        • Remedies (3)*
        • Rep. 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 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.
    • Honors:
      Students who achieve a GPA of 3.2 or better in the coursework 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.

  • 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.

Contact Information
For specific information on the program offerings, please contact:

Carolyn Wilkes Kaas
Associate Professor of Law
Director of Clinical Programs
Concentration Director, Civil Advocacy and Dispute Resolution
Concentration Director, Family Law
Co-Director, Center on Dispute Resolution
Quinnipiac University School of Law
275 Mount Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518
Phone: 203-582-3234
E-mail: carolyn.kaas@quinnipiac.edu