Students interested in a focus on problem-solving approaches to lawyering, including alternative methods of dispute resolution, should consider taking as many courses directly related to negotiation, problem-solving, mediation, dispute resolution and dispute systems design, and group facilitation a possible during their time at Harvard Law School.
The introductory course in problem-solving is the Negotiation Workshop (offered during the January and Spring semesters), which presents a basic overview of the theory and practice of negotiation, with a special emphasis on skills development. This course does not have a substantive (e.g. environmental, corporate, international, public interest, etc.) legal focus but instead, simulations cover a broad range of contexts, from real estate to labor negotiations to family law. Those with a more focused interest in this area of practice are encouraged to take the Negotiation Workshop as early as possible during their time in law school (preferably in the spring of their first year) in order to maximize their ability to take other advanced negotiation-related classes that list the Negotiation Workshop as a prerequisite.
Those advanced courses include several developed by faculty at the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinic, Dispute Systems Design, The Lawyer as Facilitator, and Advanced Negotiation: Multiparty Negotiation, Group Decision Making, and Teams.
Other recommended courses related to problem solving and dispute resolution at HLS are listed below. Full descriptions and information on when these courses are offered can be found in the online catalog:
Analytical Methods for Lawyers
Business Strategy for Lawyers
Federal Courts and the Federal System
Global Law and Governance
Great Negotiators, Effective Diplomacy and Intractable Conflicts International Commercial Arbitration
International Trade Law
Law and Psychology: The Emotions
Legal Profession: Collaborative Law
Management and Leadership Skills for Lawyers
Mediation (Fall & Spring semesters)
Natural Resources Law