Students in the Mediation Clinic have the opportunity to acquire and enhance skills as mediators in “live client” disputes in the Knox County General Sessions Court and during scheduled appearances in other forums. The Mediation Clinic has trained more than 150 mediators since its creation in 1993 by UT professor Grayfred Gray, a venerated mediator who was one of the pioneers of the mediation movement in Tennessee.
Partnering with the Knox County Community Mediation Center, clinic students co-mediate cases with experienced volunteers. Many of these cases, filed in the Knox County General Sessions Court, involve landlord–tenant, services, and property damage disputes. By providing mediation services to low-income and other legally underserved groups, the Mediation Clinic provides a valuable community service.
The clinic works closely with the Community Mediation Center and the East Tennessee mediation community to promote the use of mediation as an alternative dispute resolution process and to provide training and professional development opportunities for community mediators, as well as UT Law students. In the clinic, students observe experienced mediators in specialized subject areas like divorce and custody, employment discrimination, and workers’ compensation. Completion of the clinic satisfies Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31’s training requirements for certification as a general civil mediator, a benefit that is valuable to students seeking to enhance their professional credentials.
Students in the Mediation Clinic must have taken Legal Profession and also must take Law and Community Improvement while they are taking the Mediation Clinic. The clinic combined with the Law and Community Improvement class is a six-credit course.
Students in the Family Mediation Clinic focus on mediation process, theory, strategy, tactics, and skills while mediating family law disputes. The students study and develop mediation skills through readings and simulations and by serving as mediators in the Knox County Juvenile Court and other settings. Participation in the clinic satisfies the Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 training requirements for certification as a family law mediator.
Students must have taken Legal Profession to participate in the Family Mediation Clinic.