The Externship Program for the Master of Laws (LLM) in Dispute Resolution and Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) enables students to integrate knowledge of conflict management principles and dispute resolution processes with the development of professional skills through practical application under the supervision of experienced practitioners. Externships offer students a realistic perspective on conflict and its effect and resolution in society.
Each externship must afford a significant opportunity for participating students to meet the following objectives:
- reinforce knowledge of conflict management theory
- develop skills in interviewing, analysis, counseling, negotiation,
third-party intervention, problem solving, and planning
- identify appropriate dispute resolution services
- understand and manage their administration and delivery
- evaluate the effectiveness of dispute resolution processes and their application
- raise and resolve issues of professional responsibility
During my externship with the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services in New York, I had the opportunity to learn how a sophisticated organization uses ADR to prevent and resolve workplace disputes. I worked on several projects related to conflict resolution, civility, confidentiality, and conflict management. I also provided observer feedback to mediations, facilitated conversations, ombuds sessions, and diversity and civility workshops. I really appreciated the experience, and back in Brazil I am already using the knowledge I got from the internship.
Resources for current students
Candidates who select an externship component for their Master's (MDR) and LLM requirements must complete two separate projects. Externships are evaluated and based on the student's ability to meet program objectives. Every student will be supervised by an appropriate and experienced practitioner. When completed, each externship placement carries two units. At a minimum every externship must contain 105 verified hours of fieldwork. Lunch, breaks and travel time to/from home or campus are excluded from accumulated fieldwork hours. Pursuant to Institute and ABA rules, students may only work for credit and may not be compensated.
The Institute will award credit upon assessment of the student and supervisor's final
evaluations. All externships are graded on a pass/fail basis.
Prior to starting your externship, students should set up a time to meet with their Academic Advisor and the Externship Administrator to discuss their choices or present their externship proposal for approval.
A specific, experienced practitioner must supervise each student. The supervisor will be responsible for monitoring assignments, answering questions, providing regular feedback, verifying time sheets, and completing a performance evaluation. If more than one supervisor is necessary, they must all be designated at the beginning of the externship.
New and Existing Externships
Students wishing to initiate an externship must apply to the Straus Institute for approval. New and existing externship projects must minimally meet the following four requirements:
- Contain a substantial ADR component;
- Provide a significant opportunity for experiential learning;
- Meet educational objectives of the program; and
- Afford adequate field and faculty supervision.