The Eastern District of New York (EDNY) is a trial-level federal court that serves Kings, Queens, Richmond, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, with courthouses located in Brooklyn and Central Islip. The EDNY Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Department administers mediation and arbitration services for civil cases filed in the EDNY. The EDNY ADR Department also administers the court’s Mediation Advocacy Program (MAP) which seeks pro bono counsel and pro bono mediators for pro se litigants in employment discrimination cases.
The EDNY ADR Department recently expanded its program to include a Section 1983 mediation advocacy training and to formalize referrals for those types of cases, which involve alleged civil rights violations by the government. The ADR Department has engaged HNMCP to create an evaluation tool for pro se parties to fill out about their pro bono counsel and their pro bono mediator. Currently, the only evaluation tools that exist are a self-assessment form (for the mediator) and a mediator evaluation (for attorneys). Students will conduct an assessment of the current MAP through interviews with pro bono attorneys, mediators, judges, and former MAP pro se parties, as well as potential observation of mediation sessions (pending consent). Based on information from that assessment, students will design an evaluation tool for pro se parties to fill out after they have completed the mediation session through the Mediation Advocacy Program.
Preliminary approaches and deliverables:
- Interview pro bono attorneys, mediators, former mediation advocacy program pro se parties, and judges (as needed);
- An evaluation tool for pro se parties to fill out after they have completed the mediation session through the Mediation Advocacy Program.
- A written assessment of the court’s Mediation Advocacy Program.