Law Student National Representation in Mediation Competition

About the Representation in Mediation Competition

The competition introduces law student participants to the challenges of representing clients in mediation. The judging criteria reward those participants who use an effective combination of (i) advocacy and (ii) problem-solving. Advocacy in mediation means that lawyers should advocate for their client’s interests with the mediator. Problem-solving in mediation means that the negotiating attorneys must learn about each other’s clients’ interests and BATNA (Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement), use objective standards, brainstorm options, and select and shape a solution that meets their interests. Participants must balance their clients’ interests with the goal of achieving an effective settlement.

2020-2021 Competition

The 2020-2021 Representation in Mediation Competition will be held online. The Competition Coordinating committee will soon provide updated Competition Rules and a Schedule for the 2020-2021 Regional and National competitions.

Join the Competition Connect Community for Regular Updates

Join the ABA Representation in Mediation Competition Connect Community for updates about the competition schedule, rules, registration, and more. You do not need to be an ABA member to join the community but you will need to create an ABA login. View the ABA Connect Community for the Representation in Mediation Competition.

Competition Rules and Guidelines

View the 2019-2020 Representation in Mediation Competition Rules.
The Rules have been revised for the 2019-2020 Competition.


The competition is open to all full-time and part-time law students enrolled in ABA approved (or Canadian LSAC-member) law schools during the semester the competition is held. Students enrolled in joint degree programs (JD/MA, JD/MBA, etc.) who have not graduated from law school and are enrolled in the joint program for the semester are eligible. LLM, MJ, or other non-JD students are eligible for the competition, provided their initial law degree graduation date was no longer than twelve months before the competition registration deadline.

To be eligible to register teams in the competition, the law school must have hosted a regional or national competition within the last five (5) years or have formally agreed with the ABA in writing to host within the next two (2) years.


Step 1.

Register your teams and indicate the method of payment on the ABA web site.

Visit the Representation in Mediation Competition Registration and Payment page

Click Register Now to start the process of registering one or two teams for the 2019 - 2020 Representation in Mediation regional competition. Under “Event Pricing” click the arrow to see the team and payment options.

Step 2.

Complete the Participating School Competition Questionnaire

Once you complete the registration and payment process you will receive a link to the 2019-2020 Participating School Competition Questionnaire. You can then indicate your regional competition location preference.

Regional Assignments and Confirmations

Registered schools and teams will be placed in regionals in order of the following priority:

  1. Whether the registering school has hosted a regional or national competition within the last five years;
  2. Date the registration form is received by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution;
  3. The registering school’s priority regional locations as indicated on the registration form. Schools that have met their obligation to host a regional or national representation in mediation competition within the past five years will have priority placement for a requested second team.

All schools and teams registered as of the preliminary registration deadline of December 16, 2019 will be placed into regionals according to the priority placement guidance listed above.

The regional assignments for teams registered by December 16, 2019 will be confirmed by January 6, 2020. Schools that register after December 16, 2019 will be placed into regionals as space is available, according to the regional placement guidance. Depending on the number of teams registered, the regional slots available, and whether the registering team has hosted within the past five years, it is possible that only one team per school will be confirmed to have a regional placement.

All teams must register by the final registration deadline of January 17, 2020. The ABA will try to confirm the schools and teams in the available regional slots by January 24, 2020.

Participants should not make travel plans until they have received their official confirmation of regional assignment from the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution staff and confirmation of the competition dates from the regional Host School.

Regional Locations and Dates

Marquette University Law School
Milwaukee, WI
February 8 - 9, 2020

Georgetown Law
Washington, DC
February 29 - March 1, 2020

St. John's University School of Law
Jamaica, NY
March 13 - 14, 2020

Chapman University Fowler School of Law
Orange, CA
February 29 - March 1, 2020

St. Mary's University School of Law
San Antonio, TX
February 7 - 8, 2020

University of Oregon School of Law
Eugene, OR
February 29 - March 1, 2020

University of Richmond School of Law
Richmond, VA
February 29 - March 1, 2020

University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Denver, CO
March 21-22, 2020

Regional Host Rotation of Schools

The ABA is currently recruiting regional host schools for the 2021 and 2022 Competition Years. For a list of schools that have hosted in the last five years, View the list of past regional hosts. Contact Gina Brown at if you are interested in hosting a future Representation in Mediation Competition regional.

National Finals

The National Finals will be held in conjunction with the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference. The 2020 National Finals will be held in New Orleans on April 22-23, 2020 at the New Orleans Sheraton.

The winning team from each regional will be invited to the National Finals.

For information on how to volunteer as a Competition Judge or Mediator at the Nationals that will be held in conjunctions with the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, click here.

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