Director: Dr. Sandhya Ram S.A.
Associate Director: Dr. Mrunmayi M. Vaidya
The growth of the legal education and legal profession has a promising off-shoot, ADRS (Alternative Dispute Resolution Systems). This new development has led to the need for acquiring new skills. Unlike Moot Court, this line of professionals, need to nurture persuasive skills. In the 21st century, legal profession has outgrown litigation and as a result it now requires the professionals to be equipped with the skills that are essential in providing adequate dispute resolution. To ensure professional competence among the budding lawyers, inculcating Negotiation and Mediation skills at the Law Schools, has become impetrative. With this view, the ADR Board was established in the year 2008, before the Bar Council of India issued revised rules on “Standards of Legal Education and Recognition of Degrees in Law” where in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) was made as one of the mandatory clinical papers in all the law colleges in India.
The initial focus of the Board was imparting skills in ADR to the students. Later, the same was extended to the teachers of other colleges. The ADR Board in association with American Centre, Mumbai and Menon Institute of Legal Advocacy and Training is involved in conducting Training of Trainer Programs for other teachers in teaching ADR subject.
The Board consists of students who are initially given orientation on ADR techniques and then selected by merit. It organizes selection rounds and prepares panel of students to compete each year in National/International competitions.
The Board has felt the need to improve skills of the professionals in the area of Negotiation, Mediation and Conciliation. Most importantly there was a need to undertake the unlearning process. The student should look at the ‘other’ party not the ‘opposite’ party. This change in the attitude could be brought only through continuous education. The ADR Board emphasizes the importance of preventative law and the need to be an effective counsellor in the law office. It harnesses the student’s ability to deal with client’s non-legal goals as well as their legal concerns. It emphasizes on the importance of negotiation and mediation in resolving disputes and structuring transactions. It organizes regular activities for the students, teachers and the community.
ADR activities provide “real-life” experience in the practice of law, in a controlled environment. In addition to training of students for sending them to competitions, the Board organizes National, International and Local inter-class Client Counseling, Negotiation and Mediation Competitions.
It achieved the eluding recognition when it was selected to represent India in the International Competitions. The college has participated in competitions at Hong Kong, Vienna, Paris, etc. (hyperlink with photographs)
As part of the regular activity, the Board also undertakes Client Counselling. This is another important skill of a professional, where he is expected to collect all the relevant information from the client and assist the client and empower him to choose the method of settlement of dispute.