WIP Consortium “Discovering New Voices” Wrap Up

As you likely saw, many of us on the blog participated and hosted a wonderful series this spring to bring new voices in dispute resolution to the forefront while building community.  I asked the organizer, Quinnipiac professor Charlie Pillsbury, to report back on the series so that we all have this in one place as we move forward to next semester and plans for both in person and remote sessions.  With much appreciation to Charlie and Quinnipiac for getting this moving–all good work to keep our community strong!

The Dispute Resolution Works-in-Progress Consortium began with the idea of organizing a virtual speaker series to offer “junior” DR scholars opportunities to present their WIPs. The Consortium, convened by the Quinnipiac Center on Dispute Resolution, included the AALS ADR Section and 14 law school dispute resolution programs listed below. Appendix One. A working group that included Andrea Schneider, Art Hinshaw, Sarah Cole, all Indisputably.org contributors, and Nancy Welsh, Deb Eisenberg and Charlie Pillsbury, selected which junior scholars would present their WIPs and then paired them with mentors.

[photo below is from Marquette hosting last month]

The working group crafted a vision statement: “Community, Connection, and Discovery”; and a mission statement: “Discovering New Voices in Dispute Resolution.” We then broadly defined “junior scholar” to include both young scholars and people just beginning their academic  careers. We decided to limit the Spring 2021 pilot program to current or prospective DR law faculty. We also decided not to accept abstracts; only drafts that scholars were willing to have other people read and comment on. At the same time, we cast a wide net, not only for purposes of diversity and inclusion, but also to find scholars who were studying any aspect of dispute resolution to link them into the field. In other words, the terms “arbitration, mediation, or negotiation” did not need to be in the title of a WIP. Finally, Sarah offered to make WIPs accepted and presented eligible for expedited review for publication in the Ohio State Journal of Dispute Resolution.

From January to April, we held four 90-minute Zoom sessions, one each month, with two authors presenting at each session. Appendix Two. The four host schools set dates (all Fridays) and times that worked for them, the presenting scholars and their mentors. Between 60-70 people registered for each session. Fewer people attended than registered, but attendance was consistently strong. We received 16 junior scholar referrals, some self-referred, some referred by their dean. We screened 12 WIPs, and selected eight for presentation, including four by scholars whose country of origin was not the United States. To select their eight mentors, we reached out to 13 senior scholars.

The program’s success exceeded expectations; at least mine. Each session was a community building experience, in which connections were made and new voices heard. For me personally, the most unexpected outcome was the strong, and at times moving, connection made between mentors and mentees. For us and the mentors, each session offered a glimpse into the future of the field.

Appendix One: List of Program Sponsors    

 Appendix Two: DR WIP Presentations

 January session hosted by Quinnipiac (67 RSVPs).

  • Cornelis Baaij, Associate Professor, Utrecht Law School; WIP “Show Me the Money: An Empirical Method for Uncovering Arbitration’s De Facto Rules for Damages“; Mentor Stephen Ware, University of Kansas School of Law.
  • Hannah Bloch-Wehba, Associate Professor, Texas A&M Law School; WIP “Visible Policing: Technology, Transparency, And Democratic Control“; Mentor Amy Cohen, University of New South Wales.

 February session hosted by Texas A&M (61 RSVPs).

  • Laura Frase, Assistant Professor, Dallas College of Law, University of North Texas; WIP “Refining Our Thinking About Thinking:  Battling the Sway of Cognitive Biases in Negotiation”; Mentor Jim Stark, University of Connecticut School of Law.
  • Mohammad Hamdy, Visiting Assistant Professor, Tulane University School of Law; WIP “(De)Fragmentation in International Investment Arbitration: Harmonization as a Stabilizer of the Case Law“; Mentor Marcio Vasconcellos, Musick, Peeler, & Garrett LLP and Adjunct Professor, Pepperdine Straus Institute.

March session hosted by Ohio State (65 RSVPs).

  • Andrew Mamo, Assistant Professor, Northern Illinois University College of Law; WIP “Against Resolution: Dialogue, Demonstration, and Dispute Resolution”; Mentor Jen Reynolds, University of Oregon School of Law
  • Gilat Bachar, Visiting Assistant Professor, Villanova University School of Law; WIP “The Psychology of Secret Settlements”; Mentor J.J. Prescott, University of Michigan Law School

 April session hosted by Marquette (63 RSVPs).

  • Vera Korzun, Associate Professor of Law, University of Akron School of Law; WIP “Beyond the Name and Nationality: Who are the Claimants in Investment Arbitration?”; Mentor Susan Franck, American University Washington College of Law
  • Rose Rameau, Arbitrator, Attorney & Founding Partner, Rameau International Law, Washington, D.C.; WIP “The Pan-African Investment Code as a Model for Negotiation on the Investment Protocol to the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area”; Mentor Andrea Bjorklund, McGill University Faculty of Law.

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