Prof. Susan M. Donovan directs the Mediation Clinic. Prior to coming to the Law School, Susan was a litigator with firms in Washington, D.C., Birmingham, AL, and Tuscaloosa, AL, and was an “AV” rated attorney with first chair trial experience.
Susan’s clinical teaching experience has included directing the Mediation Clinic and supervising students in the Domestic Violence Clinic, the Elder Law Clinic, and the Foreclosure Law Clinic at UA School of Law. She also has taught Alternate Dispute Resolution, Family Law, Advanced Family Law, Juvenile Justice and Legal Profession.
Susan has led or supervised over 1000 mediations and is registered on the Alabama State Court Mediator Roster.
My highest priority when coming into law school at UA was participating in The Mediation Clinic and it was even more incredible than I imagined.
– Morgan Allred ‘22
Thank you for all your I have learned more this semester than I thought I could. It was incredible to have real world legal experience where I was partly in charge.
– Madelyn Beatty ‘22
A full year clinic – 3 + 3 credit hours. Students provide free mediation services to parties with cases pending in family court in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. These matters involve divorce, custody, child support, visitation, contempt and modification. Clinic students mediate the cases in teams of two after completing the required training. Upon completing the Clinic, graduating and passing the Alabama Bar Exam, students are automatically eligible to be registered on the Alabama State Bar Mediator Roster.
The course has three primary goals: 1) improving your ability to represent clients and serve as effective mediators by honing skills of good listening, questioning, persuasion and problem solving, all fundamental skills in the practice of law; 2) placing you in the role of neutrals rather than partisans to help foster an integrative, problem solving orientation to the practice of law; and 3) helping you evaluate the benefits and limitations of mediation so that you can responsibly counsel clients to make informed decisions about alternate dispute resolution.
Like the Law School’s other law clinics, the Mediation Clinic has two primary goals, one educational and one public service oriented. First, the Clinic seeks to train law students, by assuming the role of mediator, to be effective, highly professional lawyers and mediators. In particular, the Clinic was created to provide law students with the opportunity to learn the professional skills involved in settling legal disputes, particularly the skill of mediating disputes. The Clinic’s second goal is to provide free mediation services to families involved in legal disputes. By providing an alternative to the adversarial litigation process, the Clinic seeks to help families settle disputes more promptly and to reduce the emotional trauma that protracted family court litigation can often produce.
Program description: The University of Alabama School of Law’s Mediation Law Clinic provides free legal mediation on matters involving family courts to University of Alabama students and to others on a referral basis. The Clinic provides mediation on matters such as: divorce actions (child support, visitation, alimony, and the distribution of property) and post-divorce actions (such as changes in support or visitation).
Organization Name: Mediation Law Clinic-The University of Alabama School of Law
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 870392, Tuscaloosa 35487-0392
Physical Address: The University of Alabama School of Law, 101 Paul Bryant Drive, Tuscaloosa 35401
Phone number: (205) 348-4960
Are you a non-profit? Yes
Do you accept donations? Yes
Are donations tax-deductible? Yes, through the University of Alabama Law School Foundation.
Do you provide direct client services? No
Brief description of services provided: The Mediation Law Clinic provides free mediation service in matters pending in Tuscaloosa County family courts.
How do parties qualify for your services? By asking the judge assigned their case to order the case to mediation.
Donovan Receives Alabama Pro Bono Bar Award in Mediation:
Donovan Appointed to Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution: