USC Law School Receives $5 Million From Alumna

The University of Southern California has announced a $5 million gift to the Gould School of Law from alumna Judith O. Hollinger ('61) to launch a program in alternative dispute resolution.

The Judge Judith O. Hollinger Alternative Dispute Resolution Program will train future lawyers for the field of arbitration and mediation, an emerging area of law. The program will enhance USC Gould's mediation curriculum — including the Mediation Clinic, which was launched in 2007 — by introducing an ADR certificate and new courses in how to arbitrate, mediate, and negotiate settlements outside of court. The high costs of traditional litigation and often lengthy proceedings are increasingly driving parties to choose mediation over traditional court proceedings.

"I am proud to play a role in helping to educate the next generation of lawyers in the important field of alternative dispute resolution," said Hollinger, a retired Los Angeles Superior Court and Beverly Hills Municipal Court judge. "Students will learn how to settle a variety of matters out of court, ranging from personal injury, construction, and even criminal cases. The main point is to resolve cases through settlement and not clog the court system."

"[ADR] fulfills an educational gap in this enormously impactful area that is going to increase in importance in the future," said USC Gould professor Lisa Klerman, who directs the Mediation and Advanced Mediation clinics and will oversee the Hollinger Program. "Listening, negotiating, and problem solving are competencies any good lawyer should acquire. The new program will not only teach these skills, it will also create opportunities for our students to develop professional contacts, and it will make them attractive job candidates following graduation."