In its monthly newsletter, the Resolution Systems Institute (RSI) publishes interviews with various people about their “favorite resources.” The March 2020 issue includes the following interview of me. As you will see, I describe a number of resources reflecting my bias for those I developed. This is only a sample of valuable resources in our field and many of them include links to other resources, including RSI, which is a real gem, specializing in court ADR and empirical research on ADR. This month’s timely issue is chock-full of helpful ODR resources. Faculty who are busy finishing up this semester may want to come back to these resources during the summer.
Our series, My Favorite Resource, features interviews with our court ADR friends across the country to learn about their favorite resource. This month, Resource Center Director Nicole Wilmet spoke with John Lande, Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Law, to learn about his favorite ADR resources.
NW: What are some of your favorite ADR resources?
JL: I have been developing resources throughout my career, and I appreciate the opportunity to share these resources designed for practitioners, academics and students. I developed the following resources on my own or in collaboration with various colleagues.
My website includes practical forms I developed when I was in practice, materials for teaching courses, links to ADR resources, and links to my publications. Readers can download for free my articles and a new edited book, Theories of Change for the Dispute Resolution Movement: Actionable Ideas to Revitalize Our Movement. The website also includes information about my two books published by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution: Litigation Interest and Risk Assessment: Help Your Clients Make Good Litigation Decisions (with Michaela Keet and Heather Heavin) and Lawyering with Planned Early Negotiation: How You Can Get Good Results for Clients and Make Money.
The Dispute Resolution Resources for Legal Education (DRLE) website, hosted by the University of Missouri School of Law, provides a wealth of resources for law school faculty including an extensive collection of syllabi for a wide range of courses, teaching materials, a list of dispute resolution programs at American law schools, links to other resources, and information about the DRLE listserv.
The Stone Soup Dispute Resolution Knowledge Project is part of the DRLE website with lots of additional resources. It is designed to promote collaboration by faculty, students, scholars, practitioners, educational institutions and professional associations to produce, disseminate and use valuable qualitative data about actual dispute resolution practice. It provides an extensive collection of materials to (1) help faculty develop course assignments requiring students to learn about dispute resolution in real life, and (2) help generate knowledge from student competitions and continuing education programs. It also includes a “mini-course” of blog posts about research on dispute resolution and how faculty can incorporate Stone Soup in their courses and scholarship.
The Legal Education, ADR, and Practical Problem-Solving (LEAPS) Project of the ADR in Law Schools Committee of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution is designed to help faculty incorporate “practical problem-solving” (PPS) into a wide range of courses, including doctrinal, litigation, transactional, and ADR courses. The website provides descriptions of various teaching methodologies, suggestions for how to engage colleagues in teaching more PPS in their courses, “talking points” for discussing the incorporation of PPS into doctrinal courses, a survey of how schools integrate PPS skills in their curricula, lists of consultants who can help with specific courses, suggestions for making discussions with faculty as productive as possible, examples of course exercises, approaches to introducing PPS in doctrinal courses and teaching materials, and links to relevant resources on other websites.
The Planned Early Dispute Resolution (PEDR) Project of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution promotes use of planned early dispute resolution techniques by lawyers and clients at the earliest appropriate time. The website includes the PEDR user guide, separate powerpoints for talks to groups of lawyers and business people, and suggestions for speakers.
This post includes resources from the 2016 University of Missouri symposium, Moving Negotiation Theory from the Tower of Babel Toward a World of Mutual Understanding. It includes the articles from the symposium, an annotated reading list, blog posts with “virtual book club” conversations discussing the readings, and videos of the symposium sessions.
More generally, I like the Indisputably blog, where I am one of nine bloggers writing about a wide range of dispute resolution issues. The bloggers are all law school faculty but many of the posts should be of interest to a wide variety of others interested in dispute resolution.
I also want to mention a different kind of resource. Since 1993, I have been taking photos of friends and colleagues at ADR events and I posted a collection of photo albums from these events. Our sense of identity in belonging to our wonderful community is an important resource, and looking at photos of us is a great way to appreciate it.
NW: Why do you value these resources?
JL: I’m a teacher and coach at heart and I want to help people learn cool and non-obvious insights, gain important skills, and help others in turn. These resources don’t claim to provide the “best” or “right” way to analyze things or to act. Rather they provide ideas and options for people to consider as they make their own decisions.
NW: Can you share a time when you turned to one of these resources for either insight or to assist you in your work and how it was helpful to you?
JL: As a professor, the collection of syllabi was especially helpful to see how other faculty taught their courses. This gave me ideas about how to structure my courses and what readings to assign.
NW: You have such an impressive collection of resources here. What advice would you give to someone who is either just starting or hoping to develop a collection of reliable ADR resources?
JL: The goal of a resource developer should be to help people do what they want to do. So I would think about what people need in particular situations and what could help them achieve their goals and solve their problems. It helps to have been in the situation, which enables one to better understand others’ needs and what would be most helpful.
People have limited attention spans, so it’s important to be as concise as possible while providing the key material that people need. Generally, eliminate unnecessary words, use short sentences and paragraphs whenever appropriate, and leave “white space’ to make it easier for readers to grasp the ideas. I try to write in plain English, spiced with a dash of humor. Here’s a post with more suggestions for writing well.