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Certificate in Advocacy and Problem-Solving


This certificate, designed exclusively for Hamline JD students, seeks to integrate ADR and the day-to-day work of lawyers.  CAPS students complete twenty-two credits of study including three foundation courses, three process overview courses, and four elective credits.  Each student must complete a "Practice Perspective" requirement.  This requirement will facilitate students becoming more engaged with practitioners and the issues confronting the field.  We want the world to know that Hamline students are at the forefront of innovation, scholarship, and practice in ADR.


Why Choose the CAPS Program


Why Hamline


Curriculum & Program Requirements


Course Availability


Eligibility & Application Process


Procedure for Obtaining your Certificate


For more information


 CAPS Certificate
Application Form

Opportunities   Courses Eligible for CAPS Credit CAPStone Honors Papers:

October 9, 2013 CAPS Colloquium with Grande Lum, Director of the Community Relations Service at the US DOJ. 7:00 p.m. in the Moot Courtroom.  Reception to follow.

Sept-October 2013 CAPS Professional Education Opportunities

Sept-October 2013 Job & Volunteer Opportunities


Why Choose the CAPS Program?

The program is designed to fully integrate ADR and the day-to-day work of lawyers.  Earning a Hamline CAPS certificate is a measure of future success in lawyering, not just a signal of interest in the work of neutrals such as mediators or arbitrators.  The certificate will give you broad exposure to litigation and its many alternatives, offer you a window to new ways of conceptualizing and delivering justice, and allow  you to actively explore questions of professional identity so you can seek the satisfaction that comes from a close connection between your future work as conflict resolver and your most deeply held values.  You will be assigned a CAPS advisor who will assist you in meeting your career goals.  In short, the program will put you in the best possible position to deliver value to employers and clients who recognize that the very best 21st century lawyers will be skilled problem-solvers.

Why Hamline?

Hamline has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top five of American law school dispute resolution programs for 11consecutive years.  Our January Term and Summer Institute courses (both at home and abroad) enroll a broad cross-section of law and other graduate students, practicing lawyers, human resources and business personnel, and other professionals.  This intentional variety of students is designed to mirror the contemporary lawyer's work in increasingly multi-disciplinary settings  

Curriculum and Program Requirements

To successfully complete the CAPS program, students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in twenty-two credits of study, including three foundation courses, three process overview courses, advocacy practice, and four elective credits.  Each student also must complete a practice perspectives requirement to facilitate engagement with practitioners and contemporary issues confronting the field.

Foundation (7 credits)

Theories of Conflict (2 credits) Qualifying Courses:  

  • Theories of Conflict (January Term, Summer Institute, fall or spring Semester)
  • Conflict Theories (spring semester in the Hamline University School of Business)

Negotiation (2 credits) Qualifying Courses:  

Evidence (3 credits) Qualifying Courses:

  • Evidence (fall, spring and/or summer)

Process Overview (8 credits)

Mediation (3 credits) Qualifying Courses:  

Arbitration (2 credits) Qualifying Courses:  

  • Arbitration (Summer Institute, fall or spring semester)
  • Introduction to the US Law of Arbitration (London Study Abroad)

Litigation (3 credits) Qualifying Courses:  

  • Litigation Practice (fall and spring semester)
  • International Civil Litigation (fall or spring semester)
  • Trial Advocacy (Summer Institute, fall or spring semester)

Advocacy Practice (3 credits)

Qualifying Courses:  

  • Advanced Legal Research (3 credits)
  • Advanced Litigation Practice (3 credits)
  • Clinics (3 credits)
  • Lawyering Skills (3 credits)
  • Legal Advocacy (2 credits)
  • Legal Drafting (1 or 2 credits)
  • Moot Competitions (1 or 2 credits)
  • Oral Advocacy (1 or 2 credits)
  • Practicum (3 credits) or Extended Practicum (6-12 credits)

Electives (4 credits) 

All courses offered in DRI January Term, Summer Institute, or Study Abroad (other than courses required above), and a wide array of pre-approved electives from the regular law school curriculum, including conflict of laws, federal courts, comparative law, remedies, restorative justice, and multiple seminars and/or selected topics are offered each semester on advocacy and ADR topics.  

For a complete list of qualifying elective courses, downloadthe Course Planning Guide, which is updated in advance of each registration period.


Practice Perspectives Requirement

CAPS students must complete a "Practice Perspectives" requirement.  This requirement will facilitate your becoming more engaged with practitioners and the issues confronting the field today.  In order to fulfill the requirement students will participate in a total of six activities approved IN ADVANCE by the student's CAPS advisor in the following categories (2 CAPS colloquia plus at least one activity from each of the other three categories):

  • CAPS Colloquia: DRI sponsored special programs offered exclusively for CAPS students
  • Professional Education: CLE programs, community training and other educational programs where students can interact with members of the legal and ADR community
  • Advocacy: Examples of activities which will be approved include attending a court proceeding, attending a legislative hearing, or volunteering at legal services
  • Problem-Solving: Examples of activities which will be approved include volunteering at a mediation center, participating in Community of Peace peer mediation program, shadowing a neutral conducting an ADR process or a lawyer serving as an advocate in an ADR process, or participating in a restorative justice program.
Students are assigned to a CAPS advisor who will assist them in planning a set of experiences that will enhance their personal goals


Course Availability

DRI Courses: Certificate courses are offered during the DRI Summer Institute (late May through early August each year) and during the law school's January Term (typically the first two and a half weeks of each new year).  Most Summer Institute courses are designed to accommodate the schedules of working students--with a two-credit course most commonly being completed over a six-day period, using a combination of evening classes and one or two Saturdays.  Certificate courses also are offered as part of the law school's January Term and summer study abroad programs.  All DRI-sponsored courses are open for enrollment by graduate students and professionals from all fields.  As a result, the classroom typically provides a rich cross-disciplinary learning environment.

Regular Law and Graduate School Courses: 
Students also may elect to take certificate courses during the regular law school fall and spring semesters.  In addition, ADR course offerings that satisfy certificate requirements also are available on a space-available basis in the Hamline University School of Business.  All certificate course credits apply toward completing the JD degree.

Certificate program enrollment gives registration priority for three of the required courses (Arbitration, Mediation, and Negotiation).  However, please keep in mind that registration priority is not a guarantee of enrollment in any particular course.  To maximize your enrollment opportunities, complete registration priority forms prior to each semester's registration period and register as early as possible in the registration period.

With permission of the DRI director or associate director, students may import up to four credits from other graduate institutions (requires syllabus review and advance approval.)

Eligibility and Application Process

Only Hamline JD students are eligible to enroll in the CAPS program.  To apply, complete and return the  application form.  After your program application is received, the DRI associate director will contact you to schedule a curriculum-planning meeting. 

For more information, contact

Kitty Atkins, Associate Director
651.523.3028 (fax)

Procedure for Obtaining Your Certificate in Dispute Resolution

Certificates are issued three times a year:  

  • at the conclusion of January Term
  • at the conclusion of Spring Semester
  • at the conclusion of Summer Term

In order to initiate the printing and issuance of your formal program certificate, it is your responsibility to contact DRI Associate Director Kitty Atkins by the conclusion of the term during which you will complete your last certificate requirement. She will then verify that you have successfully completed the program requirements and sign off on certificate issuance.