AIM Overseas is pleased to present this engaging law program at Michigan State University on International Litigation and Arbitration. Most Australian university degrees do not offer students an opportunity to study this topic, making it a unique, resume-building opportunity for anyone interested in working in an international aspect of law.

The course is taught by Professor Mary Bedikian from MSU’s College of Law. Professor Bedikian has over 28 years of experience working for the American Arbitration Association and is highly esteemed in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution. She consistently receives exceptional feedback from students who have taken her courses.

The Course

Globalisation has created special challenges in the practice of law. The traditional problems associated with trial – jurisdiction and venue, discovery, and enforcement of judgment – are enhanced by issues relating to cultural and national diversity. These problems are further heightened by distinctions between the source of law in civil law and common law systems. As a result, parties are turning increasingly to arbitration, an innovative method of settling disputes that offers informality, predictability, and finality.

Over three weeks you’ll undertake a minimum of 36 class hours of study on various aspects of the international litigation and arbitration processes. These classes will give you an understanding of relevant national and international frameworks that underpin litigation and arbitration processes. You’ll also develop an understanding of how these processes unfold in both a US and international context, and have an opportunity to consider how they might work in an Australian context. Relevant case studies will also be discussed.

Topics included in this program are:

  • Conflict Theory and Cultural Differentials in Cross Border Disputes
  • Forms of ADR and Judicial Processes; Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Continuation of Negotiation and Mediation in the Private Sector
  • Introduction to Negotiation and Mediation in the Public Sector
  • Introduction to Arbitration – Structure and Process Orientation
  • Contractual Principles of Arbitration (i.e., Separability, Freedom of Contract, etc.) and Arbitral Ethics
  • Effective Drafting of ADR Agreements (with Foci on Mediation and Arbitration)
  • Litigation Concepts in Cross Border Conflict

You will receive a statement of your results once all assessment has been completed and marked.

* Details of the 2017 program are still subject to change *

Additional Course Information

This course is specifically designed with various learning objectives and outcomes in mind. A few of these include:

  • To introduce students to the various processes for resolving private and public international commercial disputes
  • To expose students to cultural diversity and cultural underpinnings and how they may create resolution
  • To encourage students to think critically about the value of arbitration, a private process not generally subject to public regulation, and to consider whether various arbitral practices challenge its legal legitimacy

University and Faculty

Michigan State University

Michigan State University (MSU), founded in 1855, is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU is the eighth-largest university in the United States and has approximately 540,000 living alumni worldwide.

MSU is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the USA for many years, it has also ranked comfortably inside the Top 100 universities in the world for the past 8 years. MSU is recognised all over the US for its exceptional sporting teams, internationally diverse campus and study abroad offering and fabulous campus life. Academically and socially this is an incredible place to study.

One of the core parts of the university is its independent, not-for-profit College of Law, which is heavily involved in publishing the Michigan State Law Review. The renown of this college is such that it brings students from 42 of the United States and 13 different countries to study law, so there is clearly an ideal place to explore various aspects of litigation and arbitration.

Located on the banks of the Red Cedar River, MSU is home to the American football team, the Spartans, and they compete in the Spartan Stadium that can seat over 75,000 spectators. The University’s mascot, Sparty the Spartan, is recognised all around America and has won ‘Best University Mascot’ many times. Spartans, the name given to all MSU graduates, have a strong network that spans the globe. Having an MSU experience on your resume is a big deal!


Mary A. Bedikian

Mary A. Bedikian is Professor of Law in Residence and Director of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program at Michigan State University College of Law, where she teaches negotiation, contract negotiation, commercial arbitration, arbitration advocacy, and labor and employment ADR.  Ms. Bedikian also serves as the law school’s faculty adviser for the ABA’s student competitions in ADR, and the VIS International Commercial Arbitration Competition.

She is a national mediation and arbitration trainer, having trained hundreds of neutrals and attorneys for the American Arbitration Association and the National Centre for Dispute Settlement. Specialty training programs include negotiation and mediation training for district court judges, mediation training for Oakland County Settlement Week, facilitative training for the Michigan Court of Appeals Pilot ADR Program, Boeing Corporation Facilitators’ Training, Oakland County Circuit Court Facilitative Mediation Training, Prudential Remediation Plan Neutrals’ Training, and AAA Employment Arbitrators’ Training.

Ms. Bedikian presents frequently to numerous professional organisations including the ADR Section of the State Bar of Michigan, the Advanced Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Institute, the Michigan Judges’ Association, the American Bar Association, and the International Academy of Mediators.

In addition to her lecture and training activities, Ms. Bedikian is well published.  In 1988, she won First Prize in the Sixth Annual National Labor Law Writing Competition sponsored by the Detroit College of Law for “Riding on the Horns of a Dilemma: The Law of Contract v. Public Policy in the Enforcement of Labor Arbitral Awards.”  Ms. Bedikian also wrote the chapter titled, “Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution” for Litigating the Commercial Case, published by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in 1992.  In 1994, she co-authored Michigan Pleading and Practice, Vol. 8A (Callaghan: Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, 2d ed. 1994), with Thomas L. Gravelle, Esq. She also co-authored a second practice book with Judge Richard A. Enslen and Pamela Chapman Enslen titled, Alternative Dispute Resolution (West, 1998).

Ms. Bedikian’s mediation and arbitration experience spans all types of business and employment disputes, and post-verdict mediations conducted under the auspices of a special Michigan court rule.  Her memberships include the State Bar of Michigan, the American Bar Association, and the Oakland County Bar Association.  She is the former Chair (1995/96) of the State Bar Section on Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution, from which she received the Distinguished Service Award for Contributions to the Field of ADR.

Daniel D. Barnhizer 

Professor of Law & The Bradford Stone Faculty Scholar, J.D. 1995, Harvard Law School; B.A. 1991, Miami University

Professor Barnhizer teaches and writes in the areas of contract law & theory, conservation law, comparative law, and the jurisprudence associated with the rule of law. Currently the Bradford Stone Faculty Scholar at Michigan State University College of Law, and a co-author of casebooks in the fields of Contracts and Commercial Transactions, Professor Barnhizer also directs the Conservation Law Program and the Journals Program at the Law College, as well as the MSU College of Law Institute for Comparative Law & Jurisprudence at the University of Białystok Faculty of Law in Poland. Prior to coming to Michigan State in 2001, Professor Barnhizer worked for the law firms of Hogan & Hartson and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in Washington, D.C., and as a judicial law clerk for the Honourable Richard L. Nygaard, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, and for the Honourable Robert B. Krupansky, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, sitting by designation on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

Site Visits and Cultural Activities

Professional visits

There will be 2 professional visits as part of the program. Visits are to be confirmed, but will mostly include:

    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • Ingham County Court House

Cultural activities


A highlight of any program in the USA is to get a taste for life in the US and US campus culture. Whilst it is holiday time at MSU and many students travel home for the summer, the MSU student ambassadors will make every effort to help you discover what US uni life is all about.

Ambassadors are part of the American Semester team and help welcome you to campus and adjust to MSU. Usually, Ambassadors have spent time on their own study abroad outside of the USA and are eager to keep the international connection going through meeting students similar to themselves. Our ambassadors volunteer their time because they enjoy meeting new people and learning about new cultures as well as sharing their own.

You will be introduced to our Ambassadors during orientation week and soon they’ll become good friends and resources. They may organize events or social gatherings for the entire group or for just a few. They can tell you the best place to study or to just hang out on campus.

As part of the program, you will have opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities. A list of planned activities are yet to be finalised, but are likely to include:

  • Weekend trip to Niagara Falls
  • Weekend trip to Chicago


You will be staying in a single room in an MSU student residence.  Sheets, a pillow, towels and linen are provided.

Meals can be taken at the campus dining facilities and most meals are included in the program fee. Typically, 3 meals per day during the week whilst you are on campus and some meals whilst you are on the site visits/ weekends.

You will have access to a large, fully equipped gym, basketball court, racquetball court, and indoor and outdoor pools.

Destination Information

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East Lansing, Michigan USA

As the name suggests, East Lansing is located immediately east of Michigan’s capital, Lansing and can be found in the north-east of the US. The area historically representing a crossroads between 2 Native American tribes, today East Lansing can be considered to be a college town with a very young and energetic atmosphere, with over 60% of the population between the ages of 15 and 24. As a result of this, one can find a variety of college-geared businesses such as coffee shops, bookstores and bars nestled within neighbourhoods largely populated by students. The very successful sporting teams of MSU dominate the city culture, creating a very dedicated and passionate fanbase.

Here are some reasons why East Lansing and its surrounds will be a great start to your study in the US:

  • Home to around 50,000 people, East Lansing is most widely known as the home of Michigan State University.
  • MSU is within the top 10 most enrolled universities in the USA and lays claim to have educated over 540,000 alumni across the world.
  • Sites such as W. J. Beal Botanical Garden, the oldest botanical garden in the United States, Beaumont Tower, Red Ceder River and the Spartan Stadium.


Credit and Funding


All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.

Course convenors will not be able approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus, so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive this in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack, along with information about how to apply for credit at your university.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.


You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.

Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.

We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, as well as in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.

Application Information

Applications for our July 2017 programs are now closed. 

We are no longer taking applications for our July 2017 round of programs. Applications for our January 2018 programs will be open on May 22nd.

If you wish to know more, or if you have any questions about our programs please contact us via or (02) 9975 7792. You can also refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.

Alternatively, register your interest now for a January 2018 or July 2018 program, meaning you’ll receive updates (via email and phone) prior to the application deadline and when applications are open.