Advanced Practitioner Mediation Certificate Series

An interactive, advanced mediation certificate for judges, attorneys, and practitioners

About the Series

On the UC Law SF campus, The Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution (CNDR) offers high-quality dispute resolution training on in-depth topics for practitioners. This Certificate is designed to engage participants in advanced discussion and practice on specific topics that are essential in any mediator’s toolkit. A specially selected team of our adjunct professors and experienced professionals will be teaching and coaching this series for a variety of perspectives and expertise. Registration will be limited to keep class size small, so register now!

Sessions in this advanced series assume completion of a basic mediation course (Fundamentals of Mediation offered by CNDR in summer), but it is not required to participate. Find all CNDR’s trainings here.

Key components for sessions include:

  • Individual and small group interaction components
  • Q&A
  • Role play demonstrations
  • Practice sessions with experienced coaches
  • Discussions of real-life case studies
  • Individual feedback

Dates and Times: Wednesdays, beginning September 2, 2020, and continuing through 2022. An 8-part series, sessions will be held three times annually in February, May, and September, and range from 2–4 hours each. See below for exact dates.

Certification: Certification will be available for individuals completing at least 8 total hours of series training annually, since the series is over multiple years.

Location: UC Law SF, 200 McAllister, San Francisco, CA 94102. All sessions take place at UC Law SF unless indicated otherwise; some will be virtual to accommodate social distancing. Sessions taking place at UC Law SF will include a catered lunch.

Questions? Email CNDR or call us at 415.581.8941


Register for individual sessions below; if there is no link yet, please check back at a later date.

4-Hour Sessions 2-Hour Sessions
General Registration $450 $225
Government, Nonprofit, or Alumni Rate $400 $200
Early Bird Special (ends one month prior) $400 $200
Additional Processing Fee for MCLE Credit $100 (4 credit hours) $50 (2 credit hours)

Sessions & Instructors

Playing for the Long Game: Negotiation Skills 1 & 2

Building on the previous advanced training sessions, this two-part double session focuses on providing participants with advanced and complex negotiation skills and tools to take their mediations to the next level, and create long-lasting, satisfactory resolutions for participants. These are the final two sessions in the Certificate Series. 8 hours total over two separate 4-hour sessions. 8 hours total MCLE credit available. Each session includes 4 hours of instruction and 1 hour of breaks.

Topics preview:

  1. Early, mid, and final stage negotiation strategies and challenges
  2. Types of complex negotiations
  3. Different mediation models for challenging cases
  4. Negotiation styles and strategizing
  5. Shuttle diplomacy and confidentiality
  6. Challenging participants and attorneys
  7. Advanced Tools, Techniques and Tips for Successfully Overcoming Impasse

Dates: June 27, 2022 (past) and September 14, 2022

Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm (includes 1 hr of breaks)

Instructor: Shirish Gupta


Shirish Gupta serves as an Adjunct Professor at UC Law SF, a Lecturer at UC Berkeley Law School, and a Lecturer with Santa Clara Law School. He is sought out by law firms and in-house departments for mediation and negotiation trainings. Shirish is an award-winning mediator and arbitrator with JAMS and is known for his legal acumen and economic prowess, which makes him particularly adept at diving into complex financial/technical disputes, including IP, regulatory and accounting, environmental and class actions. Shirish is sought out by Silicon Valley startups, as well as Fortune 500 companies. In 2014, The Recorder conducted an extensive survey of Bay Area attorneys and named Shirish the Best Independent Mediator. Prior to joining JAMS, Shirish practiced law with Mayer Brown, Howard Rice and Flashpoint Law. Shirish has been a leader in the majority and diverse bar associations. Shirish served as Co-Chair of the California State Bar Council of Sections, President of the South Asian Bar of Northern California and Alternate Regional Governor of National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. When not mediating, Shirish can usually be found on a soccer pitch refereeing or coaching.

Past Sessions

Tackling Biases in Mediation

Understanding the difference between implicit and explicit bias, and how they factor into decision-making can alter the course of a mediation. This session explores how to recognize and manage bias for participants, attorneys, and the mediators themselves. 2 hours MCLE credit available. 

Date Held: February 16, 2022  from 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Instructor: Mattie Robertson

How to Assume the Neutral’s Role

The first in this series is a styles assessment course designed to help participants identify their natural strengths as well as opportunities for growth as an effective mediator. This reflective session will focus on the mediator’s role, and differing models and methods of mediation as a basis for building more advanced skills. 4 hours MCLE credit available. Session includes 4 hours of instruction and 1 hour of breaks.

Date Held: September 2, 2020 from 9:30am – 2:30pm

InstructorJessica Notini

Increasing Effective Communication

In this second session of the series, we explore how mediators are the custodians of the communication flow. They need to pay close attention to communication, both their own communication skills and the communication dynamics of the participants. Most mediators consider empathic listening to be their core skill. In addition, the advanced listening skill of reframing is vital. Mediators also need to ask a lot of questions, not to satisfy their curiosity but to support the conflict-resolution process. And when they need to assert themselves or be persuasive, mediators are tactful communicators. This course focuses on the key communication skills that support the mediation process, and skills is reviewed from the perspective of the mediator. 4 hours MCLE credit available. Session includes 4 hours of instruction and 1 hour of breaks. 

Date Held: September 16, 2020 from 10:00am – 3:00pm

InstructorJohn Ford

Handling Emotions Productively

Human emotions are vital in mediation: They let us know what matters, they help us connect with others, and they propel us to action. At the same time, people in conflict often experience intense negative emotions that can derail a mediation. This session will provide a basis for understanding the neurobiology of emotion, as well as provide tools for enhancing the positive emotions – and managing the negative emotions – of participants, attorneys, and mediators themselves. 4 hours MCLE credit available. Session includes 4 hours of instruction and 1 hour of breaks. Will be held online.

Date Held: February 10, 2021 from 10:00am – 3:00pm

Instructors: Claudia Bernard and Howard Herman

Legality and the Neutral’s Basis in Law

Explore the legal basis and professional standards underlying mediation, and develop a key base for practice covering mediation statutes, confidentiality, ethics, competence, and new developments in the law. 2 hours MCLE credit available. Will be held online.

Date Held: May 12, 2021 from 9:00am – 11:00am

Instructor: Shirish Gupta

Dynamic and Technical Mediation Approaches

This session delves into specific step-by-step process details of the mediation session itself, to look at how flexibility in designing the session can help mediators create a process that best suits the needs of the case and the parties. We also will explore tools for preventing and overcoming impasse. An interactive, 4-hour virtual session. 4 hours MCLE credit available. Session includes 4 hours of instruction and 1 hour of breaks. Will be held online.

Date Held: September 29, 2021 from 10:00am – 3:00pm (virtual event)

Instructors: Claudia Bernard and Howard Herman

Cancellation Policy

For all CNDR events, cancellations on or before 30 days prior to the event will receive a full refund, minus a $50 administrative fee. Cancellations after 30 days prior to the event will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations on or after 5 days prior to the event will not receive a refund.

ADA Accommodations Statement

The University of California College of the Law, San Francisco is committed to making its facilities and events accessible in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need reasonable accommodations, please contact CNDR at 415-581-8941 or, or the Disability Access Hotline at 415-581-4848 or at least two weeks before the event.