Ask An Expert, CDRC 2018 Edition: Jes Lothman

When did you first become interested in mediation?

We mediate every day—formally and informally. I have been mediating informally between divorced parents since I was young and I think this laid a foundation for my formal interests throughout the course of my education. In grade school, I volunteered to be a peer mediator and participated in my first mediation training. I can still recall early lessons on how to remain neutral. Later, during law school, I decided to pursue a certificate in ADR. I committed to studying these processes because I believe they can be more effective and efficient than using an adversarial legal system and can foster healthier relationships after a dispute.

Is mediation something taught in your law school? Do you think law schools should take a more active role in educating students on the different dispute resolution options?

I am fortunate that Marquette Law School not only offers an ADR curriculum, but also offers intermural competitions, clinical experiences, and international programs to engage in the topic. As a law student, I had great access to learn the theory and practice of mediation, but I know that is not the case at all schools. Professors Andrea Schneider and Natalie Fleury, among others, have done a phenomenal job integrating the program into the law school curriculum and I think all law schools should integrate such programming.

As a young lawyer, I think it can be challenging t