I knew alternative dispute resolution skills would be critical to my career as a lawyer, but I also knew that I needed a way to market those skills. Having the ADR certificate on my resume did exactly that.
During my job search, the prospective employers who made me offers asked me specifically about the ADR certificate on my resume. One told me the negotiation skills I learned in the certificate program influenced the decision to make me an offer.
Since then, the ADR certificate has been invaluable to my practice. In the course of earning it, I gained the ability and confidence to negotiate effectively and amicably with opposing attorneys, healthcare providers, and insurance companies. Recently, I obtained a 50 percent reduction in a lien amount against a client using the skills I learned and perfected in the certificate program. Even if your practice does not entail ADR specifically, pursuing the certificate will help you navigate the disputes we all encounter every day more successfully.
Joseph Birdsall, '13
Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.
From 2008 to 2012, in federal district courts alone, fewer than one percent of all civil and criminal cases ended in a trial.
So what do lawyers do?
Yes, they do still work in trials and appeals – but arbitration, mediation, client counseling, and negotiation skills are more in demand than ever before.
Anticipating this need, Marquette Law School has offered courses in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for two decades. We have hosted numerous cutting-edge ADR conferences, spearheaded programming in Restorative Justice, designed and developed foreclosure mediation programs, and have resolved disputes for pro se litigants through the small claims mediation clinic for more than 20 years. Today, our ADR program is taught by highly accomplished faculty members – leaders in the field who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their classrooms and their work with students.
Building on these strengths, Marquette created its Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Earned as part of the J.D. degree, the ADR certificate systematically directs students to the courses, skills, and experiential learning opportunities needed to excel in this area of the law. Further, when that certificate is on a resume, it helps demonstrate to future employers a commitment to and competence in the discipline.
Pursuing the certificate also opens doors to unique experiences – such as working with dispute resolution programs in the courts, local government, legal services, or federal agencies.