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University of Alabama Mediation Law Clinic Project

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $268,305)

The Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grants Program (Byrne Discretionary Program) helps local communities improve the capacity of local justice systems and provides for national support efforts. This project is authorized and funded through a line item in the FY 08 Congressional Budget. Funds should be used for purposes recommended by Congress.

The University of Alabama, School of Law will establish a Mediation Law Clinic (the Clinic). They will provide free mediation services to parties with cases in family courts in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, who are without the funds necessary to hire a private mediator. The Clinic will provide a free alternative dispute mechanism for parties appearing in Tuscaloosa family courts. These matters would include divorce actions (including child support, visitation, alimony, and distribution of property) and post-divorce issues such as changes in support and visitation. Mediation of these disputes will be accomplished by training law students to be family court mediators. The students will arrange and handle the mediation sessions. Through this process, the University of Alabama hopes to resolve disputes more quickly, more permanently, and to more of the mutual satisfaction of the parties than would be the case were the parties to rely entirely on the adversarial family court litigation process. The Clinic will track the number of cases mediated and the percentage resolved by settlement.


Date Created: August 18, 2008