From SFOI Nancy Welsh:

Dear Colleagues,

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s Spring Conference is now less than a month away – April 19-22 in San Francisco.  Please be sure to register!  And consider forwarding this post to any colleagues in your school who may be interested in learning about innovative experiential teaching methods and substantive dispute resolution developments!  After all, the Legal Educators’ Colloquium, Resource Share and Shoptalk are specially designed for faculty—allfaculty—and they will include the following exciting programs:

Legal Educators Resource Share – Law faculty are always looking for good materials to use with their classes. Join Professors Sharon Press and Bobbi McAdoo as they once again lead a highly interactive sessions in which legal educators describe, in a minute or two, a resource they use (could be a web link, simulation, TED Talk …) with their classes. The session is like an in-person listserv with the opportunity for attendees to follow-up with colleagues in real time. Half-page handouts are encouraged and all information is collated and posted to the legal educators’ listserv after the conference. (Bobbi McAdoo, Mitchell Hamline School of Law; Sharon Press, Dispute Resolution Institute Mitchell Hamline School of Law)

Dialogue through Difference: Expanding the Legal Skill Set – Traditional legal education has focused on developing a student’s ability to analyze, argue, and advocate. These skills are both critically important and patently insufficient for today’s lawyers. Lawyers must learn to bridge partisan divides and build connections in the face of difference. Join us as we share our efforts to build pedagogy that will enable law students to master the critical skills of dialogue, facilitation, perspective-taking, and empathy that are foundational to effective leadership. We will share video, case, and programmatic resources that we have developed as part of our growing facilitation and political dialogue initiative and engage a conversation around what comes next. (Danielle S. Bart, Goodwin Procter LLP; Tobias C. Berkman, The Consensus Building Institute; Robert C. Bordone, Harvard Law School; Rachel A. Viscomi, Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program at Harvard Law School)

Integrating Research-Based Skills into Your Regular Mediation Practice – Recent empirical studies tell us what works—and what doesn’t work—in mediation. But where do we go from here? How can we incorporate these findings into our mediation practice? In this highly interactive session, presenters will briefly highlight empirical ADR research on the impact of different mediator interventions. Then, they will lead the audience through a number of simulations and skills exercises that emphasize those skills found to be most effective. This session is appropriate for mediators who want to improve their skills, as well as trainers and legal educators looking for new ways to teach mediation skills. (Bruce Edwards, Edwards Mediation Academy; Deborah Eisenberg, University of Maryland Francis K. Carey School of Law; Toby Guerin, Center for Dispute Resolution Maryland Carey Law; Lydia R. Nussbaum, UNLV Boyd School of Law)

The ABA Standards and Dispute Resolution Courses: Quintessentially Experiential – In 2014 the ABA dramatically revised its Standards and Rules for Approval of Law Schools. You may remember that mediation clinics had been defined out of the clinical realm, and while they are back in good graces, there are several issues that still impact dispute resolution courses. For example, the majority of ADR courses have simulation components, but are they simulation courses as defined in the standards? The answer is not as clear cut as you may think. In this session the presenters will break down the relevant standards, suggest ways in which to comply with them, and ask for feedback on potential interpretations of them. (Art Hinshaw, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University; Carolyn Wilkes Kaas, Quinnipiac University School of Law; James H. Levin, University of Missouri School of Law; Jennifer W. Reynolds, University of Oregon School of Law)

Systems Analysis as Applied to the Field of Dispute Resolution – Systems analysis is the cutting edge of thinking as applied to intractable conflicts. When good people are coming up with good ideas and things are still not changing, that is a sign of a systemic failure. A systems analysis can approach this differently and provide tools for dispute resolution professionals. This session will apply systems analysis to the dilemma of why public officials and politicians tend not to follow known dispute resolution wisdom as a way of teaching how to apply these tools in general.  (Robert Ricigliano, The Omidyar Group; Andrea Kupfer Schneider, Marquette University Law School; Nancy A. Welsh, Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law)

What the World Needs Now: Restorative Practices – Multiple law schools provide restorative justice programs, clinics, or courses that promote collaborative healing by using alternative approaches to disputes. Operating typically in a clinical context, law school restorative justice programs bring together victims and offenders in community, prison, court, tribal, and school contexts. This session explores the various types of offerings and the opportunities and challenges of establishing law school restorative justice clinics, courses, and activities.  (Barbara L. Creel, Southwest Indian Law Clinic, University New Mexico School of Law; Sheila M. Murphy, John Marshall Law School; Brian Pappas, Michigan State University College of Law; Jon Powell, Campbell University Law School; Jonathan Scharrer, University of Wisconsin Law School)

The New “Gold Standard” in Teaching ADR: Tools, Strategies, Practices – How has ADR teaching improved in the last twenty years? Are we using different kinds of role plays? What are some new ways to teach “difficult conversations,” diversity, or cross-cultural awareness? Are we adequately harnessing the power of technology? Should we train students in coaching techniques so they can coach each other? What other strategies and experiences can we incorporate to better prepare students for jobs in the real world? During this highly interactive session, attendees will learn the most innovative ADR teaching tools and practices being used today.  (Cynthia J. Alkon, Texas A&M School of Law; Hiro Aragaki, Loyola Law School; Rishi Batra, Texas Tech University School of Law; Lauren A. Newell, Ohio Northern University, Pettit College of Law; Peter R. Reilly, Texas A&M University School of Law; Andrea Kupfer Schneider, Marquette University Law School; Elizabeth C. Tippett, University of Oregon)

Teaching Mediation To Law Students, Part 2: Assessment – The panelists will begin with a discussion of various assessment practices for mediation courses including but not limited to written requirements, video recordings and critiques, final exams, and pass/fail options. The panelists will next explore how their assessment practices meet the new ABA standards. The ABA now requires written and measurable learning outcomes in all syllabi with the goal being to assess student learning, improve their learning, and provide them with meaningful feedback. Several years’ worth of empirical data assessing and measuring learning outcomes in mediation courses will be shared. (Debra Berman, South Texas College of Law Houston; Jacqueline N. Font-Guzman, Werner Institute – Creighton University)

Legal Educators Colloquium Luncheon – We will honor Andrea Kupfer Schneider, the 2017 recipient of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work.

Legal Educators Shoptalk – Teaching Diversity as a Law School Course – In January 2017, Harvard Law School offered a course on “Diversity and Dispute Resolution” for the first time. In this interactive workshop, led by David Hoffman, who proposed the course and taught it, attendees will share their experiences incorporating diversity issues into the courses they teach. In addition, Hoffman will provide an outline of the Harvard course, suggest guidelines for teaching such courses, and share some of the lessons from the first iteration of this course. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of the reasons why law schools should offer such courses. (David A. Hoffman, Boston Law Collaborative)

Want to learn about all of the other programs offered during the conference?  You can find more at the conference website.



Nancy A. Welsh

Chair, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution

Professor of Law and William Trickett Faculty Scholar

Penn State University

Dickinson School of Law

John Lande is the Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus and former director of the LLM Program in Dispute Resolution, at the University of Missouri, School of Law. He received his J.D. from Hastings College of Law and Ph.D in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also an avid writer and contributor to