Wednesday brought more small-group mediation practice. By this time, due to the intensity of the class and the class size, most people were showing great improvement in their mediation skills. We focused on issue identification, separating the issues from the people, and more emphasis on remaining neutral as a mediator.
The class was made up of 27 students: nine students from John Marshall; several from Nigeria, Congo, and Ireland; one from Latvia; and the majority were from Scotland. For the most part, the John Marshall students were the only ones with mediation experience, which we gained in class sessions throughout the normal term. Having this experience helped both the students individually and the class as a whole; John Marshall students were able to use their experiences in the small group sessions as a demonstration to the less experienced students, as well as using those experiences as a baseline to help others by offering feedback and helpful tips.
Late in the afternoon, we had a special guest speaker, John Sturrock. Mr. Sturrock is the founder of Core Solutions Group, Scotland’s pre-eminent provider of commercial mediation services. His presentation reinforced to the class the importance of mediation, and he spoke about how it is being recognized more and more as a method of dispute resolution.
Wednesday Night Dinner
After the presentation, we all went out to dinner, hosted by the University of Strathclyde. It was a wonderful dinner and an excellent experience to get to know everyone a bit better outside of the classroom.