Twenty-two ASL students have completed the Lawyer as Problem Solver program. The students are: David P. Baumgardner, David J. Boisvert, David J. Boudreau, Chadwick D. Casstevens, Denis S. Cote, Modeline Fenelon, Charmaine S. Ford, Peyton C. Hash, Kelly M. Jenkins, Michael D. Lockhart, Jeremy D. McGraw, Paul A. Montgomery, Sara Beth Montgomery, Richard A. Nash, Sean H. O&amprsquoDonnell, Christopher L. Seaton, Nicole M. Shoener, Brocton G. Skeen, Brooke A. Suddith, Megan L. Thompson, Nicholas M. Verna, and Michael C. Wieder.
They represent nearly 20 percent of the graduating class of 2010. Participation in the program has increased over time from nine students in the 2006 graduating class.
ASL is one of only seventeen law schools offering an ADR-related program out of 200 accredited schools. The program focuses on the role of the modern attorney in facilitating problem solving for clients both inside and outside of the courtroom. The program seeks to provide students with the skills they need effectively to serve their clients, including skills in oral and written communication, interviewing and counseling, negotiation, dispute resolution, transactional drafting, estate planning, and pre-trial, trial and appellate practice.
A recent book -- Lawyers as Peacemakers: Practicing Holistic, Problem-Solving Law by J. Kim Wright (ABA 2010) -- highlights the program at ASL
The American Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section has emphasized over the past several years an approach to lawyering that asks lawyers to develop and use an increasingly broad set of dispute resolution skills that more carefully tailor the services provided to the nature of the dispute and the needs of the client. The ASL program is designed to give students the problem solving skills demanded by clients and judges.
Students must complete the required courses in Civil Procedure I and II, Evidence, and Dispute Resolution. They must also complete at least one Procedure or Practicum elective. The Procedure electives that will be offered most academic years include Administrative Law, Appellate Advocacy, Conflict of Laws, Remedies, and Virginia Procedure. When offered, Kentucky Practice and West Virginia Practice would also satisfy this requirement.
Finally, students must complete at least three Problem Solving Skills electives, at least two of which must focus on ADR skills. The Problem Solving Skills courses that ASL offers in most academic years include Arbitration and Dispute Resolution System Design (ADR focus), Certified Civil Mediation (ADR focus), Advanced Negotiation (ADR focus), ADR in Criminal Cases (ADR focus), Client Interviewing and Counseling (ADR focus), Estate Planning, Pretrial Civil Litigation, Trial Advocacy, Family Law & Practice, Law Office Practice, Juvenile Law & Practice, Employment Law, Criminal Practice, and Small Business Entities. ASL limits these courses to 3L students.