Recognizing a need for alternatives to litigation, Cardozo was one of the first schools in the nation to establish a Mediation Clinic. The Mediation Clinic was founded in 1985 and has been offered each year since. The Mediation Clinic students are trained and supervised in mediating cases at community dispute resolution centers, small claims court, and civil court, while they study the broad field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
The Cardozo Mediation Clinic is an eight-credit, two-semester program in which sixteen students are trained and supervised in mediating cases before the New York City Small Claims Court, New York City Civil Court, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and civil matters before the federal district court for the Eastern District of New York.
Students mediate a variety of civil matters, including disputes between business partners, vendors and consumers, family members, landlords and tenants, neighbors, municipalities and community members, and employees and employers. Clinic students also participate in a weekly seminar where they study the broad field of conflict resolution and practice techniques in client counseling, negotiation, arbitration, and representation in mediation.
Clinic participants train to be mediators in the fall semester of the program. In the spring semester, they are full-fledged, approved mediators servicing difficult and diverse cases. Cardozo students participate in all aspects of the mediation process and serve as apprentice mediators (observing or co-mediating) or as a mediator. Of those cases, a majority result in an agreement between the parties. Supplementing their mediation service, during the spring semester, each student gives a presentation on conflict resolution to students in high school, college, law school, community organizations, or other audiences.
Founded in 1985, Cardozo was one of the first law schools in the nation to establish a Mediation Clinic. Alumni of Cardozo’s Mediation Clinic have become leaders in the field of dispute resolution. In addition to the educational value of the Mediation Clinic, Cardozo is proud of the community service the clinic provides in partnership with The New York Peace Institute.
Mediation Clinic Director
Previously, Weinstein was the Alternative Dispute Resolution Administrator for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, where she was a mediator and directed the court's mediation, arbitration and mediation advocacy programs. While at the EDNY, she developed a Pilot Mediator Incubator to recruit, mentor and train junior attorneys from diverse backgrounds to serve as mediators on the court’s roster. She also implemented a Trial Ready Rapid Mediation Pilot for civil cases in which trials were delayed due to the pandemic.