Litigation & Dispute Resolution | School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Faculty Advisor: Chris Behan

In order to complete the Specialization in Litigation and Dispute Resolution and receive a transcript notation and certificate acknowledging the completion of the Specialization, students must complete at least 15 credit hours from the Approved List of Litigation and Dispute Resolution Courses, and meet the Senior Writing Requirement with a litigation or dispute resolution topic.  In addition, students must timely submit the applicable Declaration of Intent form and related checklist to the Faculty Advisor, and speak with the Faculty Advisor in connection with submitting the Declaration.

Approved List of Litigation and Dispute Resolution Courses

Students must take the following core courses (9 credit hours):

  • Pre-trial Advocacy (3 cr.)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (3 cr.)
  • Trial Advocacy (3 cr.)

Students must elect one of the following courses (3 credit hours): 

  • Advanced Appellate Advocacy (3 cr.)
  • Negotiation (3 cr.)
  • Mediation Skills (3 cr.)

Students must take at least 3 credit hours in a course that contains a significant experiential component related to litigation or dispute resolution. The following courses may be used to presumptively fulfill this requirement, if taken for the indicated minimum number of credit hours: 

  • Civil Practice Clinic, if more than 50% of work is litigation-related as certified by Clinic instructor (3 cr.)
  • Domestic Violence Clinic (3 cr.)
  • Juvenile Justice Clinic (3 cr.)
  • Judicial Externship (3 cr.)
  • Public Interest Externship in a litigation placement approved by the Externship Coordinator and the Faculty Advisor (3 cr.)
  • Advanced Appellate Advocacy* (3 cr.)
  • Advanced Appellate Moot Court* (5 cr.)
  • Advanced Trial Team (4 cr.)
  • Advanced Trial Advocacy (3 cr.)*

*Advanced Appellate Advocacy and Advanced Appellate Moot Court cannot be used to fulfill more than one requirement.

Other courses may also be approved to meet this requirement, if at least 50% of the course work is based on litigation or dispute resolution-focused topics. The Faculty Advisor has discretion to determine if a course other than those listed above meets the experiential requirement.

In addition to the courses listed above, students seeking this specialization must either produce a rigorously researched, law journal quality paper sufficient to meet the School of Law’s Senior Writing Requirement on a litigation or dispute resolution-focused topic, or participate in Advanced Appellate Moot Court.  For example, the following courses would qualify:

  • A Senior Writing Seminar, if the student produces a law journal length and quality paper (or an equivalent aggregate of small papers) on a litigation or dispute resolution-related topic. 
  • Any course that has been deemed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as sufficient to meet the Senior Writing Requirement, if the student produces a law journal length and quality paper (or an equivalent aggregate of small papers) on a litigation or dispute resolution-related topic.    
  • Advanced Appellate Moot Court, if the student is certified as having met the Senior Writing Requirement by the Director of Moot Court Programs.
  • Law Journal or Journal of Legal Medicine, if the student produces one or more articles on a litigation or dispute resolution topic.

For all courses listed in this category except Advanced Appellate Moot Court, the Faculty Advisor must approve the topic of the written project as sufficiently litigation and dispute resolution-focused.

If a student in an upper level course not listed can establish that the course requires a rigorous research and writing experience reasonably equivalent to those listed, the Faculty Advisor may use her or his discretion to approve that course as meeting this requirement.