Conflict Resolution Concentration

Understanding the dynamics of conflict and negotiation is crucial to achieving organizational success, promoting collaboration and preventing roadblocks in the workplace. As part of the Master of Legal Studies (MLS) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in U.S. Law programs, the Conflict Resolution concentration will help you develop a deeper understanding of the legal processes involved when negotiating business transactions, finding solutions to difficult situations and implementing workplace policies to prevent conflict before it starts.

Through the Conflict Resolution concentration, you can improve your management and problem-solving skills by specializing in key areas of conflict resolution, including negotiation, mediation and arbitration. Gaining expertise in these areas will improve your ability to manage workplace challenges whether you are a business manager negotiating contract renewals or a social worker mediating between two groups.

If you are interested in learning more about the online programs and the Conflict Resolution concentration, request information today.

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Who Should Pursue a Conflict Resolution Concentration?

Professionals who could benefit from the Conflict Resolution concentration include:

  • Business executives who make high-level decisions for their company and are responsible for finding solutions that shareholders and partners can agree on
  • Marriage counselors who work with couples to resolve conflicts and find common ground
  • Foreign ambassadors who are responsible for understanding the cultural differences and legal systems between parties when resolving issues
  • HR directors who create and implement workplace policies to prevent conflict before it occurs
  • Community social workers who help their clients navigate their current situations and gain assistance through government programs
  • Lobbyists who influence legislation and work with governmental officials to find solutions that work in their client’s favor
  • Ombudsmen who work as a liaison between the public and organizations to settle legal questions and disputes
  • Labor union business agents who take part in negotiations between the union and management to resolve conflicts involving benefits and pay

Concentration Requirements

To pursue the Conflict Resolution concentration, you must be enrolled in the online MLS or LL.M. in U.S. Law program and complete the predefined courses below. These 9 credits count toward the total credits required for each program.

Negotiation (Required)

Students in this course learn the skills of negotiation through simulations, lectures and exercises in which they negotiate and observe their classmates and experts negotiate. Class members conduct at least three negotiations during the course — a sales contract, a retainer agreement between an attorney and a client, and a complex multiparty dispute. In addition to the simulations and discussion of the readings, there is instruction on drafting agreements and individualized advice about further steps to improve negotiation skills.


Mediation and Arbitration (Required)

This course will focus on two of the main alternative dispute resolution methods used in the United States and in international scenarios when approaching conflict. The first part will concentrate on arbitration, delivering a full overview of the nature, process, and enforcement of this dispute resolution method, emphasizing in key points related to successful arbitration clauses both locally and internationally. The second part of the course will address mediation, providing training to students that will be representing clients, negotiating on their behalf or acting as mediators, and important tools to seek for relationship-structuring agreements as an alternative to litigation. In the two sections, students will have the opportunity to understand basic concepts and test them via practical exercises.


Cross-Cultural Negotiation (Required)

When addressing cross-cultural conflict, effective dispute resolution methods include additional elements than those used in intra-culture adjudicatory and consensual processes. Through a harmonic integration of legal, sociological, psychological, and neurological concepts and findings, this course is designed to equip students with valuable tools that will allow them to choose suitable pre-dispute methods for solving eventual future cross-cultural controversies as well as to effectively approach conflict situations involving individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds (including scenarios of gender, religion, and race diversity). Key issues discussed within the course will increase the Cultural Intelligence (CQ) empathizing power of professionals that will be involved in diverse conflict resolution, whether as parties, advisors, counselors, adjudicators or facilitators.

The course combines preparation of assigned readings as well as free research on punctual issues related to cross-cultural dispute resolution. Skill-enhancing practical exercises will allow participants to test and apply knowledge acquired in class sessions.