Alternative Dispute Resolution

While litigation remains a basic practice area, there is important and increasing emphasis on alternative ways to resolve disputes, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. At USF, you can prepare for a career in the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs many federal and state court systems have adopted. Lawyers’ use of ADR is widespread—in both the private and public sectors, ADR is much more than an alternative to litigation and is often used in transactional settings.

Students and faculty meeting Our expert faculty teach the fundamentals and then go in-depth into alternative dispute resolution techniques that our students put to use in practical experiences while still in school.

In the Mediation Clinic, students conduct small claims court mediations three days a week, and work with the San Francisco District Attorney Neighborhood Court program, where they use their restorative justice model to address minor criminal matters.

Our externships offer upper-division students the opportunity to assume real-world responsibilities and develop professional relationships in the field in which they aspire to focus. By earning academic credit for fieldwork performed at government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and judicial chambers, students receive practical, hands-on experience as part of their school education.

The Center for Law and Ethics pursues several projects relevant to ethics in the practice of law, including by undertaking research, supporting education, and hosting conferences and scholarly symposia.

Select Courses

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Arbitration
  • Arbitration and International Civil Dispute Resolution
  • Mediation
  • Negotiation
  • Negotiation, Mediation, and Client Counseling: Interpersonal Dynamics for Attorneys


  • Bill Ong Hing pursues social justice through a combination of community work, litigation, and scholarship
  • Maria Ontiveros teaches alternative dispute resolution and focuses her scholarly work on employment law
  • Joshua Rosenberg is an expert on the role of human behavior and psychology in the law
  • Robert Talbot is an expert on clinical education and director of five law clinics and projects


  • Mediation Clinic

Representative Externships

  • Cooper, White & Cooper LLP
  • San Francisco City Attorney's Office 


  • Center for Law and Ethics