Here is a description of student-related
activities that involve mediation, mock trial,
Internships and law and career advice.
“Mediation” is an informal process in which a neutral person conducts
discussions among the disputing parties designed to enable them to
reach a mutually acceptable agreement among themselves on all or any
part of the issues in dispute.
Rule 31 Mediation.
a Tennessee Supreme Court “Rule 31 Listed Mediator” in the area of
civil litigation and domestic relations pursuant to the Supreme
Court's Rule 31. For more information about a Rule 31 mediator,
see the web site of the Tennessee Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission.
Intercollegiate Student Mediation.
The Political Science
Department is the institutional home for the MTSU Intercollegiate
Student Mediation Association which was established in 2000 by Dr.
Clyde E. Willis. The association, among other things participates
in the annual competition sponsored by the National Intercollegiate
Mediation Association (NIMA) each November in Chicago. Dr.
Willis serves on the national association's board of directors. Since
the National intercollegiate Mediation Association began conducting
its annual event in 2000, MTSU students have been awarded first place
once, second place twice, third place once and seventh place once. For more
information on NIMA click on: (http://www.collegemocktrial.org/mediation_default.htm) Each fall the
department offers a one-hour credit class, PS 2120 Mediation Procedure
where students can learn mediation skills and procedure. For
more information about this program click on "learn more about student
Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program (V.O.R.P.).
Before the state
government enacted budget cuts, the Political Science Department was the institutional home for the Rutherford County
Juvenile Court's V.O.R.P. activities that involved students as V.O.R.P.
volunteer mediators and Political Science internships.
Victim Offender Mediation is a face-to-face meeting, in the presence
of a trained mediator, between the victim of a crime and the person
who committed that crime. The practice is also called victim-offender
dialogue, victim-offender conferencing, victim-offender
reconciliation, or restorative justice dialogue. In some practices,
the victim and the offender are joined by family and community members
or others. In the meeting, the offender and the victim can talk
to each other about what happened, the effects of the crime on their
lives, and their feelings about it. They may choose to create a
mutually agreeable plan to repair any damages that occurred as a
result of the crime.
For more information on community mediation, go to the web site for
Victim Offender Mediation Association
and the National Association
for Community Mediation.
Judicial Affairs and Mediation.
MTSU students involved
in conflict(s) with another individual(s) may elect to have the
conflict(s) mediated with the assistance of a third party mediator
assigned by the appropriate Student Life dean. For more on the
mediation program offered by Judicial Affairs and Mediation go to
Each fall, MTSU offers a one-hour credit class, P S
2100: Legal Courtroom Procedures for one hour of credit (the class may
be taken up to four times), taught by Dr. John Vile and Ms. Brandi
Bozart. All students who are enrolled in this
class, which requires no prerequisites, participate in an invitational
mock trail tournament that MTSU hosts each November; this tournament
is one of the largest in the country. Mock Trial Advisors Dr. John
Vile and Dr. Clyde Willis (emeritus) sit on the national Board of Directors of
the American Mock Trial Association. Since 1989, the MTSU Mock Trial
Program has established itself as one of the most competitive and
successful programs in the nation.
For more information on MTSU's mock
trial program go to http://mtsu.edu/~polsci/mocktrl.html.
To gain experience and
insight into the day-to-day work of the legal system, MTSU students in
the Prelaw and Paralegal Programs may participate in a specially
arranged internships with law firms, legal department of a
corporations, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations. For
more information on the paralegal internship click on "learn more about
paralegal internships and prelaw
advise over fifty students in the prelaw and paralegal curricula.
For information regarding legal education and career opportunities,
click on "learn more about legal education and career opportunities."