Policy Practicum: Court Online Mediation Service Practicum
California is a leader in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and its innovations have the potential to affect mediation law in state and federal courts across the nation. In this practicum students will work collaboratively to build a new online dispute resolution (ODR) system to be piloted in the San Mateo Superior Court for Family Law. Stanford students will work side by side with faculty, court staff, and experts from Modria Inc. (a leading mediation software designer) to implement the Beta Test of the design. The core of this quarter's work will focus on introducing the platform to its first users - claimants with family law disputes - and designing an evaluation program for collecting feedback and implementing improvements. The project will include opportunities to learn basic coding skills, innovate user experience (UX) design for a tech product, and work directly in family law client services. Most importantly, this project addresses a long-neglected access-to-justice issue in California, where 60-80% of claimants arriving in civil courts cannot afford an attorney. ODR, designed and tested properly, may streamline the system for those who need it most while still offering supervision and quality control of the court staff. Special Instructions: Enrollment in Thinking Like a Policy Analyst (Law 444) encouraged. Preference given to students who have taken LAW 615 Negotiation, LAW 613 Dispute System Design, LAW 638 Mediation, or demonstrate substantial experience in ADR, or law and technology. Students have the option to write a paper for R credit. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. Elements used in grading: Participation, Attendance, and Contribution to Project. Students may normally receive no more than four units for a Policy Lab practicum and no more than a total of eight units of Policy Lab practicums and Directed Research projects combined may be counted toward graduation unless additional units for graduation are approved in advanced by the Petitions Committee. A student cannot receive a letter grade for more than eight units of independent research (Policy Lab practicum, Directed Research, Senior Thesis, and/or Research Track). Any units taken in excess of eight will be graded on a mandatory pass basis. CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and e-mail the Consent Application Form available on the SLS Registrar's Office website (see Registration and Selection of Classes for Stanford Law Students) to the instructors. See Consent Application Form for submission deadline.