Sample Externships for ADR Certificate Students
Certificate Hours: Students have found a variety of ways to meet the externship requirement for the Certificate in Dispute Resolution. A sample of some of these activities is below. Note that both paid and unpaid work can count towards the certificate. For more information on these opportunities, or to determine other activities that may meet the requirements, please contact the Langdon Fellow.
Public Service Fellow: Your pro bono mediation hours may also count toward your Public Service Fellow designation. If you are not sure, please contact Cybele Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ohio Automobile Dealers Association AUTOCAP program
AUTOCAP (Automotive Consumer Action Program) is a program of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association (OADA), a state trade association for new, franchised car, truck and motorcycle dealerships. AUTOCAP is an alternative dispute resolution service that mediates disputes between consumers and new car dealers. Students have served as part time student mediators for this program. This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience mediating consumer related cases and become familiar with the Consumer Sales Practices Act.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Central Ohio
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Central Ohio uses its dispute resolution program to help consumers and businesses with conciliation, mediation, and arbitration procedures to resolve marketplace disputes. Students interested in mediation and/or arbitration can arrange a time to observe the BBB’s experienced mediators and arbitrators conduct mediations, local arbitrations, and/or BBB AUTO LINE arbitration cases, a national lemon law/auto warranty dispute resolution program. Students may also have the opportunity to discuss mediation and/or arbitration with the BBB’s mediation and arbitration case director Richard Appleton.
The BBB also accepts student interns interested in serving in a clerk-like capacity for Richard Appleton. This opportunity primarily involves corresponding with consumers and businesses in the initial conciliation phase of the dispute resolution process, but volunteers with mediation training and experience may also be able to co-mediate cases with BBB mediators. Students may also assist in researching consumer protection laws and government actions, and reviewing company files to identify dispute trends and, if necessary, work with the company during a self-regulation process. These positions require a commitment of a fixed number of hours per week.
Franklin County Municipal Court
The Franklin County Municipal Court looks for volunteers to help with its small claims, mediation and other court programs. Students assist the mediation coordinator with the mediation scheduling process, including communicating with parties and their attorneys about the mediation process. Volunteers may also have the option to observe, and possibly conduct, mediations and perform legal research.
Franklin County Domestic and Juvenile Court
The Franklin County Domestic and Juvenile Court looks for volunteers to help with its mediation program. Students work with Marya Kolman, Director of Mediation Services for this Court, in performing mediation related tasks, including assisting pro se litigants draft pleadings and Agreed Entries to make their mediated agreements into Court Orders. An individual who has received basic mediation training is preferred but training is not required.
Ohio Department of Education (ODE)
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has opportunities for students interested in learning about its alternative dispute resolution programs. These programs are used to resolve conflict between schools and families of students with disabilities. This opportunity includes developing materials to help raise awareness of the ODE’s facilitation and mediation programs. A student may also have the ability to observe ODE neutrals mediate or facilitate some of these disputes. Information regarding these programs can be found here.
The Ohio State University Student Mediation Program
The Ohio State University Student Mediation Program is a partnership between the Moritz College of Law and the Office of Student Conduct to offer free mediation services to all Ohio State students as an avenue to resolve conflicts and disagreements. Law students who have had mediation training serve as mediators for externship credit. Mediations take place in Drinko Hall, typically in the evenings.
Columbus City Prosecutor’s Office
The Columbus City Prosecutor’s Office takes on mediators for their summer mediation program. Volunteers mediate between victims and perpetrators of crimes such as petty theft and criminal damaging, typically resulting in reimbursement for the victim and a dropping of charges.
Professors in the Dispute Resolution Program often take on assistants to help them research and write articles or pursue other projects in alternative dispute resolution. Hours spent researching and writing in the ADR field count towards certificate hours.