Probate Court Program

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The Thomas Jefferson School of Law provides a Mediation Program in coordination with the Probate Court of San Diego. Thomas Jefferson's Probate Court Mediation Program was established in order to provide mediation services to individuals who are experiencing conflict as a result of the needs of vulnerable family members, either the elderly or minors, usually in connection with a Conservatorship or Guardianship before the Court.

Cases are referred by the judges of the Probate Court. In addition, the Program is available for service referrals from San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program, Office of the Family Law Facilitator and The Legal Aid Society of San Diego. These nonprofit programs provide legal services to indigent San Diego residents and hold free legal conservatorship and guardianships clinics affiliated with the San Diego Probate Court.

View the Probate Court Mediation Program Brochure

Information for our Clients

Mediation services are provided at no cost to referred clients. Mediation sessions are held at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, located at 701 B Street in downtown San Diego. In general, due to the complex nature of these cases, participants should expect to spend three hours per mediation session. Clients will be given an appointment for Tuesday or Thursday evenings or Saturday mornings.

During the session, participants will have an uninterrupted opportunity to summarize the factual underpinning of their dispute, their concerns and feelings, and their hopes for the future. The parties also will have the opportunity to speak with each other in order to gain a better understanding of the other party’s perspective. Once the issues are understood, the mediators will assist the parties in building an agreement based on the common ground which has been identified.

Mediation provides a respectful and courteous process for thoughtful discussion of the issues in contention. Participants are expected to follow certain basic guidelines including: treating others with respect, not interrupting, taking responsibility for the outcome of the session and following the applicable California statutes regarding confidentiality of the mediation.

About Our Mediators

A dozen mediators currently take part in our Probate Court Mediation Program. The majority of the mediators are graduates of Thomas Jefferson School of Law and members of the California Bar. As students, the mediators participated in the Thomas Jefferson Mediation Program directed by Professor Ellen Waldman, in both classroom and courtroom settings, attending both class seminars and presiding over small claims mediations. Students who have completed both Introduction to Mediation and Advanced Mediation may apply to be observers for the Probate Court Mediation Program.

For more information about the Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Probate Court Mediation Program, please contact the Mediation Clinic at (619) 961-4368 or

Mediation Program

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

701 B St. Suite 110 San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: 619.961.4382



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