UD Mediation Team Competes in Scotland

Apr 13, 2017

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The University of Dubuque Mediation Team competed at the 16th annual International Law School Mediation Tournament held April 5-8 at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

Students Marissa Joers, of Racine, Wis.; DeShaun Madkins, of Milwaukee, Wis.; and Michael Salazar, of Scottsdale, Ariz., placed fifth overall in the team advocate/client category. UD was a semi-finalist in the mediation category as well. Additionally, Joers and Salazar placed eighth individually in the individual advocate/client category.

“We were so proud and shocked with our placement,” Joers said. “When we made it past the qualifying rounds to compete in the semifinals, it was surreal. We are an undergraduate team up against law students from some very prestigious universities worldwide, so the odds were definitely stacked against us.”

Around 45 postgraduate law schools from around the world participated in the tournament. UD was one of four undergraduate universities invited to attend. The tournament, sponsored by the International Academy of Dispute Resolution, allowed students to learn approaches and techniques used in mediation as well as practice their mediation skills in a friendly competition, according to the academy’s website. Teams competed as co-mediators who worked on realistic scenarios with fellow students in the roles of lawyer and client.

“The goal is to have the two advocate/client teams work out whatever issue they find themselves in, which is laid out for us beforehand to prepare,” Joers said. “The advocate/client teams play out their roles assigned to them to try and negotiate with the other one to come to a resolution and solve the dispute. The mediators act as facilitators on the conversation to keep it moving in the right direction and come to a resolution.”

UD students not only honed their mediation skills, but they also connected with their student counterparts from around the world and they explored Glasgow during the tournament.

“Meeting law students from every continent besides Antarctica was by far my favorite part of the tournament as a whole,” Joers said. “We spent many a night debating international politics and the differences in our cultures. This opportunity to spend time with so many people from so many different places made it a priceless experience to expand our worldview and network of connections.”

UD received an invitation to compete in the tournament after its first place finish at the 2016 International Intercollegiate Mediation Tournament, held Nov. 3-5 at the University of Texas at Arlington.