Levin College of Law

Dispute Resolution and Litigation

Shaping tomorrow’s problem solvers and conflict resolvers.

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Lawyers as advocates and problem solvers

At UF Law, we have a broad and deep commitment to dispute resolution and trial advocacy. Through our rigorous, multidisciplinary curriculum, we expand on the traditional skills to include the most innovative and creative processes. Our students approach their clients’ problems efficiently, skillfully, and appropriately.

Dispute Resolution And Litigation

Our faculty is collaborative and innovative. Through our teaching, research, service, and scholarship we strive to remain consistently and uncompromisingly at the forefront.

Arbitration, Mediation and Negotiation

UF Law recognizes the increasing importance of dispute resolution skills. While we teach our students many stand-alone courses in topics such as negotiation, mediation, and arbitration, our faculty also integrates these essential skills throughout our foundational and advanced doctrinal courses.

Trial Tactics and Advocacy

Students have a variety of litigation skills courses to choose from at the Levin College of Law, beginning with pretrial practice and trial practice. These lab-style courses provide excellent training for all stages of litigation, from the beginning of a case to a jury trial. Short courses in depositions and courses in e-discovery help to broaden the litigation skills base for students interested in any area of practice. In addition, students may move on to more specialized and advanced litigation courses in both the compressed course weeks and full semester offerings. These typically include complex civil litigation, complex criminal litigation, civil rights litigation, and special topics such as artificial intelligence in litigation strategies.

Foundational Skills

In foundational skills courses, students are taught how to apply legal principles and legal analysis as practitioners do. UF students receive individualized instruction throughout the semester as they elevate their critical thinking and writing skills, explore and analyze the range of clients’ needs, and produce professional caliber litigation and transactional documents.

Experiential Learning

UF Law’s experiential learning faculty teach and supervise students who are working in in-house clinics and field placements as Certified Legal Interns or Externs. Certified Legal Interns represent clients in court and in mediation and provide much-needed legal assistance to an underserved population. Externship students work in a wide variety of law practice settings, including courts, nonprofit organizations, corporations, administrative agencies, and law firms. In addition, during their third year, UF students may participate in Semester in Practice where they can work full time and jumpstart their careers. Our clinical and field placement faculty provide individualized instruction and supervision to help transform our students into professionals.

Institute for Dispute Resolution

The University of Florida Levin College of Law has a tradition of supporting innovative approaches to dispute resolution and prevention.

The Institute for Dispute Resolution was the first of its kind in Florida, thanks to a generous grant from Upchurch Watson White & Max Mediation Group in 1999. Professor Robin Davis worked to establish the Institute and presented at annual conferences and trainings to bring leaders in the field to the law school. These speakers have included Professors John Lande, Jill Gross, Alyson Carrel, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, and Noam Ebner, and renowned alumni John J. Upchurch, Lawrence M. Watson, and Richard Lord.

Under the Direction of Professor Joan Stearns Johnsen and with the advice and support of alumni and students, the Institute continues to serve our students, alumni, and the community with original and state of the art content and training.

Mission: The Institute for Dispute Resolution promotes innovation in teaching methodologies, scholarship, and service in dispute resolution domestically and internationally. The Institute also supports to the Law School’s student led ADR organizations.

Hands-on Problem-Solving

At UF Law we recognize the important interplay of theory and practice. We provide a wide array of practice opportunities that expose students to the nuances of all dispute resolution modalities and that allow students to explore, test, develop, and expand their skills to become creative practitioners and client advocates. We bring real world experience to our students. The below list is just a sampling of the many opportunities available to UF Law students.

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International Global Pound Conference on Commercial Dispute Resolution, Miami, Florida

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Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Vienna Austria

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International Center for Conflict Prevention and Resolution Commercial Mediation Competition, Sao Paulo, Brazil

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A Winning Tradition

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Hear it from our students

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“By far the most memorable and valuable experience at UF Law was the Dispute Resolution Team and the Trial Team where we won two national championships. What most people do not realize is that law school teaches you how to think like a lawyer. These co-curricular activities afforded me the opportunity to gain real-life experience regarding actual, practical lawyering skills. They taught me how to actually BE a lawyer.”

Tristan G. Montaque (JD 16)

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“UF Law provides incomparable professors and a highly competitive student body, ensuring that every student has the opportunity to hone their skills and enter the legal profession ready to practice.”

Danielle Kaboudi (JD 16)

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“I was a JD/MBA at UF and competed in many international competitions in both the business school and the law school. A highlight was the international mediation competition in Brazil which allowed me to develop my skills and build my professional network. The wide array of practical opportunities differentiates UF.”

Jonathan Siragusa (JD 16)

Selected Scholarship

Jonathan Cohen

A Genesis of Conflict: The Zero-Sum Mindset, 17 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 427 (2016).

Open-Minded Listening, 5 Charlotte L. Rev. 139 (2014).

Conflicts as Inner Trials: Transitions for Clients, Ideas for Lawyers, 13 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 393 (2012).

Fostering Race-Related Dialogue: Lessons from a Small Seminar, 22 U. Fla. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 407 (2011).
The Path between Sebastian’s Hospitals: Fostering Reconciliation after a Tragedy, 17 Barry L. Rev. 89 (2011).

The Negotiation Within: Outer Ideas on Inner Dialogues, Harv. Negot. L. Rev. Online (March 18, 2010).

Joan Stearns Johnsen

Alternative “Deal” Resolution: The Facilitated Negotiation of Transactions, 30 Windsor Rev. Legal & Soc. Issues 193 (2011)

Leonard Riskin (Professor Emeritus)

Two (or More) Concepts of Mindfulness in Law and Conflict Resolution, in The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness (Amanda Ie, et al. eds., 2014).

Managing Inner and Outer Conflict: Selves, Subpersonalities, and Internal Family Systems, 18 Harv. Negot. L. Rev. 1 (2013).

Awareness and the Legal Profession: An Introduction to the Mindful Lawyer Symposium, 61 J. Legal Educ. 634 (2012).

Annual Saltman Lecture: Further beyond Reason: Emotions, the Core Concerns, and Mindfulness in Negotiation, 10 Nev. L.J. 289 (2010).

What’s It All About: Finding the Appropriate Problem Definition in Mediation, 15 Disp. Resol. Mag. 19 (2009) (with Nancy A. Welsh).

Awareness and Ethics in Dispute Resolution and Law: Why Mindfulness Tends to Foster Ethical Behavior, 50 S. Tex. L. Rev. 493 (2009).

Is That All There Is: The Problem in Court-Oriented Mediation, 15 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 863 (2008) (with Nancy A Welsh).


Jennifer Zedalis

Lost in Case: 10 Ways to Bring Justice Into Closing Argument, 22 ABA Trial Evidence Committee Newsl. 2 (2014).

Revisiting the Decision of Death in Hurst v. Florida, 44 J. Am. Acad. Psychiatry & Law 483 (2016).


William Hamilton

A Student Electronic discovery Primer: An Essential Companion for Civil Procedure Courses (2016) (with Jennifer Smith).

LexisNexis Practice Guide Florida E-Discovery and Evidence (2011) (with Ralph Artigliere).

Electronic Evidence, in Evidence in Florida (10th ed. 2014) (with Ralph Artigliere).

TAR for the Small and Medium Case, in Perspectives on Predictive Coding and Other Advanced Search Methods for the Legal Practitioner (Jason R. Baron et al. eds., 2016).


Don Peters

Delivering Effective Education in In-House Clinics, in Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World (Deborah Maranville, et al. eds., 2015) (with Lisa Bliss).

Silvia Menendez
Trusts and Estates Simulations (2015) (with Danaya C. Wright).