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Bucerius Mediation Competition by BODENHEIMER

The Competition

The participating university teams will compete against each other in mediation sessions. A mediation session involves two parties and one mediator. It is observed and scored by at least two judges. Each university will represent one party in the mediation competition. Each party consists of one client and one lawyer.

The competition primarily consists of preliminary rounds. Within these, each team will take part in multiple mediation sessions against different universities. After the preliminary rounds, the two teams that have received the highest scores in the preliminary rounds will meet in the final. You can read more about the rules or send us an e-mail if you have any questions.

Please find more information in our Competition Rules and our Guidance Sheet (both from 2021).

Besides the Competition

The competition provides an excellent opportunity to meet and network with dispute resolution professionals and students from all over the world. More than 20 universities and 50 professionals are expected to take part in the competition. Between the mediation sessions, food and drinks will be provided. In the evening, presentations, workshops and socialising events offer an additional opportunity to meet other participants. Share and reflect on your mediation experiences but also form valuable connections and friendships.

After the Competition

Many former participants of the competition will return later in a different role, either as a coach, a mediator or a judge. The competition aims at providing a place for young mediators to hone their skills. We are looking forward to welcoming you back in Hamburg in the next years! You can stay informed about the competition on Facebook or LinkedIn or sign up for our mailing list.

Before the Competition

The competition is open to all students with an interest in mediation. The teams will each represent a university, are made up of at least two students and may be accompanied by coaches. There is no registration fee. In the mediation sessions, the teams will represent a party consisting of a client and a counsel; however, legal aspects are usually not the focus of the mediation. The teams will receive general and confidential information about a month prior to the competition to prepare for the mediation sessions. The cases are usually short and no further research is required. If needed, clarification questions can be submitted until the deadline provided with the cases.

During the Competition

The teams will compete against each other in preliminary rounds; therefore, each team will be able to participate in at least three to four different mediation session of 85 minutes. The sessions are facilitated by mediators and scored by judges who are dispute resolution professional or people well-versed in mediation competition formats. Therefore, the sessions and the feedback provided afterwards are of high quality and give valuable insights. The two teams with the highest scores after the preliminary rounds will advance to the final round.

Besides and after the Competition

Presentations and workshops provide an excellent opportunity to improve one’s knowledge of mediation and dispute resolution in general. Socialising events provide a chance to get to know the other participants as well as dispute resolution professionals from around the world. The competition is also a great way to prepare for other competitions. In those, teams that have previously participated in our competition are often very successful. Even if you are not taking part in other mediation competitions, the knowledge that you will acquire and connections that you will make will surely help with a career in dispute resolution and the competition is a great experience to hold onto.

Thank you for your interest in supporting the Bucerius Mediation Competition by BODENHEIMER. We are looking for trained and experienced professionals with a strong background in mediation and/or negotiation who are graciously willing to volunteer for our event and share their expertise and enthusiasm for ADR with the participating students.

As a professional, you may either take part in the competition as a mediator, making use of your experience in resolving disputes. Or you may take on the role of a judge, assessing each university team’s negotiating and problem-solving skills. We also strongly welcome professionals who would like to sign up for both roles.

What is in it for you? As a mediator and/or judge, you will have the opportunity to meet highly motivated students from around the globe who are eager to learn and discuss about mediation and negotiation topics. In addition, you will have the chance to meet and socialise with the other attending professionals during the catered breaks in between the mediation sessions as well as at events you will be invited to. Please note, however, that we will not be able to provide compensation for any other expenses you may encounter in order to participate in our event.


In each mediation session one professional will serve as the mediator.

As mediator, you will perform the valuable role of supporting the teams to demonstrate their mediation skills. Moreover, after the 85 minutes long mediation session has concluded, you will have the chance to provide oral feedback to each competing team. Different from a judge you will, however, not be involved in the scoring of the teams.


In each mediation session, two professionals will serve as the judges during the preliminary rounds. In the final there will be three judges.

As a judge you are granted the great responsibility to evaluate and score the performance of the teams according to our Score Sheet that we will provide for you during the Competition based on criteria such as advancement of one’s own interests and collaboration with the other team.

Furthermore, subsequent to the mediation session, you will be able to provide oral feedback to each competing Team.

Each Team may consist of at least 2 and up to 4 team members who must be students during the time of the competition. The team members do not have to be law students; however, since one of the roles will be that of a counsel, it may be helpful to have at least one law student within your team. The teams may be accompanied by up to two coaches who do not have to be students themselves.

Each university may send one team. Exceptions to this rule may be arranged in extraordinary circumstances. Please contact us if you want to differ from this rule.

There is no registration or participation fee for any team.

Unfortunately, we cannot offer accommodation. However, we are happy to assist you in finding a suitable type of accommodation. Right next to the Bucerius Law School is the InterCity Hotel Hamburg-Messe. For cheaper alternatives we recommend renting an Airbnb or to sleep at a hostel. The Backpackers St. Pauli hostel is quite close to the university. 

Registration will close at the end of September or about two months prior to the competition. The cases and a schedule will be released about a month before the start of the competition. 

You will receive three or four sets of general and confidential information about a month prior to the competition. The cases will usually be quite short. Additional research will not be necessary. 

We usually hold three to four preliminary rounds, depending on the number of participating teams. The two teams with the highest overall score will advance to the final. 

At the Bucerius Mediation Competition we aim at creating unique experiences for both professionals and participants and offer a variety of events during and after the competition rounds such as Cocktails, Workshops, Coffee breaks and evening events. For more details, please refer to the schedule. We can, however, not release a list with individual names and contact details.

We will issue certificates of participation for each participating team and each professional. The certificates for professionals will indicate the time spent with mediating or judging a mediation session. The finalists and award winners will receive an additional certificate of achievement.

The two finalists as well as the participant winning the Marlies-Bauckmann-Prize for Best Negotiation Style will receive trophies. 

The scoring is at the discretion of the judges who are provided with guidelines for the scoring. After the competition you will be able to collect your scoring sheets or we will send them by e-mail.

The Bucerius Mediation Competition by BODENHEIMER is an international mediation competition organised by students of Bucerius Law School. The competition is held in Hamburg on the beautiful campus of the Bucerius Law School located in the heart of the city. It has taken place every year since 2015. 

We aim at providing high quality mediation sessions to students and professionals from all over the world. We strive to be a place that brings together enthusiastic students for a unique and memorable educational experience. We believe in mediation as not only an alternative dispute resolution tool but a future way of resolving commercial and non-commercial disputes. This motivates us to encourage an ever-growing number of participants and professionals to come together and share their experience and their take on mediation. We are very thankful for all the support received over the past years to create such a great experience for students by students. 

If you like the Bucerius Mediation Competition by BODENHEIMER as much as we do, you may support us by following us on Facebook and LinkedIn

If you have further questions, send us an Email (mediation.competition[at]