Civil Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution

In 2020, federal civil case filings in US district courts increased 16 percent to more than 300,000 while the number of civil appeals was nearly 30,000. And these statistics don’t include the enormous civil case loads of court systems in US states and territories.  

With data like this, lawyers increasingly need skills in alternative dispute resolution—any method of resolving a conflict without litigation, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and restorative justice. BU Law offers students a wide array of courses designed to prepare them for proceedings inside and outside the courtroom. In the Civil Litigation & Justice Program, one of the oldest clinics in the country, students can represent clients in housing, employment, and family law cases. In other offerings, they can learn about choice of law questions in matters that deal with more than one country or state; engage in dispute resolution and negotiation role-plays; work in the chambers of a judge; and focus on discrete skills such as evidence, trial practice, and persuasive writing. BU Law also offers a concentration in Litigation & Dispute Resolution, with courses taught by leading faculty and expert practitioners.

LLM students can get an up-close-and-personal look at ADR, civil, and criminal cases through a federal clerkship in the Optional Practical Training year.