Sign Up for the Mediation Tournament
Are you interested in studying Law? Social Justice? Real Estate? Social Work? Or just want to learn how to mediate conflict?
Join Central Academy’s Regional Mediation Tournament!
From the makers of Mock Trial, a Mediation Tournament simulates the legal mediation process. Students work together to reach an outcome that benefits all parties and promotes reconciliation and healing.
- No experience necessary for Coaches or Students.
- Training and Materials Provided.
- Teams consist of 3 students and 1 coach.
- Each student will have an opportunity to be the Mediator, the Advocate (Lawyer), and the Client.
- Parents or an adult volunteer can serve as a coach for your team or Dr. Gogerty can recruit one for your team.
Training and Tournament are October 26 -28 Schedule Regional Mediation Tournament Fall 2023
- Thursday, October 26: Training with your team during the school day.
- Friday, October 27: Regional tournament in the afternoon with Pizza party social afterwards
- Saturday, October 28: Tournament Finals! (9:00 – 3:15)
High School Mediation Tournaments provide students with a hands-on understanding of mediation and the role it plays in law and life. Mediation offers students opportunities to develop as problem solvers and peacemakers—skills that are greatly needed in our world today. In a mediation tournament, students work together to reach an outcome that benefits all parties and promotes reconciliation and healing.
Students are trained in the various forms of mediation and practice in friendly competition. They develop public speaking, collaboration, problem solving, creative thinking, case analysis, empathy, self-advocacy, and interpersonal communication skills. Judges are used to evaluate the students and share scores and feedback after each round. Typically, judges are experienced mediators and lawyers who are thrilled to be sharing their expertise with young people.
Students and coaches train through a curriculum guide, videos, and time with experienced mentors. Training will occur during the school day on October 26. The tournament starts on Friday afternoon and concludes on Saturday morning. Each team should have an adult who is acting as their coach. A coach can be a teacher, a parent or any adult volunteer who wants to help students learn these valuable skills. No experience is necessary. Coaches can learn alongside their students. If your team does not have a coach, I can recruit one for you.
Teams consist of 3 students. Over 3 rounds, students play the role of mediator, advocate (lawyer) and client once each. The top mediators and advocate/client pairs proceed to the finals. Two weeks before the tournament begins, coaches receive the cases to be used in the tournament to begin preparing their students. These cases, often based on actual lawsuits, are about one page and require no special legal knowledge. Each student must co-mediate a round with a student-mediator from another team.
Mediators are judged on skills such as their ability to work together with their co-mediator, establish rapport and trust with the parties, develop the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case, use active listening skills, and propose creative settlement possibilities.
Advocates and clients are judged on their ability to present their case, to articulate their strengths and weaknesses, and to work with the mediators toward a solution while also meeting their needs and interests. Prior to the competition, coaches will receive more specific information on how students will be judged.
Student Feedback from St. Louis Regional High School Tournament- November 2021
- “I liked that it is a challenge and you have to think creatively and critically. I like that we get to be professional, and I like that it is competitive. I like that it feels “real world”.
- “I liked acting out the client and advocates, and trying to find a solution for both parties.”
- “I enjoyed the mental exercise of reaching a settlement.”
- “I liked the cases and seeing the special facts and trying to get my way without being rude.”
- “Got to experience a new type of problem solving.”
- “It challenges me to find how to be cooperative and be patient.”
- “It was something new. I also understand what mediating is supposed to look like.
- “I loved everything! It was an amazing experience. I learned so much from it.”
- “All of the judges were helpful and patient, which helped me relax.”
In 1985, Dick Calkins, then Dean of Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa, started the American Mock Trial Association and initiated college mock trial tournaments, expanding to high schools across the nation. Once he became a mediator, Dick and some fellow lawyer-mediators began to wonder if the non-adversarial skills of mediation could be taught through this type of competition. In 2002, he founded the International Academy of Dispute Resolution to run mediation tournaments at the law school and college levels. These tournaments are hosted around the world, including students from 47 countries.
The first two high school mediation tournaments were hosted virtually by Principia Upper School and run by the St. Louis Regional High School Mediation Committee in 2021. Empire High School in Tucson, AZ, hosted the first in-person tournament in April 2022.
High School Mediation Tournaments are a pilot program of the International Academy of Dispute Resolution (INADR.org).