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Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center

Legal education often centers on the trial and appellate process. However, only a small fraction of cases ever go to trial in the United States. For example, the Arizona Supreme Court reports that in 2017, of nearly 2 million civil and criminal cases filed in Arizona courts, 99.2 percent were resolved prior to trial. The Lodestar Center provides opportunities to develop expertise in the processes through which most legal matters are resolved: negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

The Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center expands ASU Law’s efforts to understand the nature of conflict and its impact on the effectiveness of dispute resolution. Through research, teaching, and service, students, lawyers, and non-legal professionals learn the problem-solving methods and skills that lawyers and other conflict resolution professionals employ regularly to prevent and resolve disputes.

The Lodestar Center is a nationally recognized center of excellence in the field of dispute resolution. Its efforts in teaching, scholarship, and service have been recognized by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (with the inaugural Ninth Circuit ADR Education Award in 2005 and again in 2019) and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (with three CPR Awards – two for Outstanding Professional Article, one to Research Director Dr. Roselle Wissler and another to Faculty Director Professor Art Hinshaw, and one for Professional Achievement, Foreclosure Mediation Unit). The Lodestar Center is consistently ranked highly nationally among law school dispute resolution programs by U.S. News & World Report “Best Graduate School” rankings and is currently ranked 10th in the nation.

Sample Coursework

  • Arbitration
  • Contract Drafting and Negotiating
  • Dispute Resolution in Employment
  • Dispute Resolution Survey
  • International Dispute Resolution
  • Lodestar Mediation Clinic
  • Mediation Advocacy
  • Negotiation
  • Negotiation in Sports Law

Student Opportunities

The Lodestar Center’s primary focus is to educate as many students as possible in dispute resolution theory, skills, and practice. Besides the courses listed below, students have access to externships at the Maricopa County Superior Court’s ADR Office, the Phoenix City Prosecutor’s Restorative Justice Project, and the Aurit Mediation Center. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of these additional programs and opportunities:

Lodestar Mediation Clinic

The Lodestar Mediation Clinic teaches students about alternatives to litigation while providing hands-on experience with the mediation process. Students begin the class with an intensive training program focusing on the theory, strategy, and skills involved in the mediation of legal disputes to provide the grounding to act as mediators for Justice Court litigants in an attempt to resolve civil cases before trial. Additionally, students co-mediate with professional mediators at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and shadow judges in judicial settlement conferences.

Moot Court Competition Teams

Students can receive invaluable training by participating on teams for two high-profile competitions – the ABA Representation in Mediation Competition and the William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (Vis Moot). Students in the Representation in Mediation Competition work through the mediation process to further their client’s interests. Our Vis Moot teams represent business organizations through the international commercial arbitration process engaging in both written and oral advocacy have regularly competed in San Diego, Vienna, and Hong Kong and are routinely recognized for their brief writing and advocacy skills. Be on the lookout for information announcing these competitions.

Dispute Resolution Student Association (DRSA)

Students interested in informal or alternative dispute resolution are encouraged to join the DRSA. Get access to distinguished dispute resolution professionals through regular speaking and networking events, and get to know your peers who share an interest in negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and other informal resolution methods.

MLS Conflict Resolution

Conflict is everywhere. The best leaders know how to manage and resolve conflicts before they become major distractions or create negative consequences. Having the right perspective, along with effective problem-solving skills, will make you an indispensable leader with your company and community.

The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University's Master of Legal Studies with an emphasis in Conflict Resolution is designed to provide professionals the skills and knowledge to effectively navigate conflict in various circumstances and environments.

Taught by experienced faculty and professionals, this program will provide you with a background in legal principles and analysis to lay the foundation for practical problem-solving strategies and conflict resolution techniques.

Visit the Conflict Resolution emphasis page

Upcoming Events

The Dance of Opposites with Kenneth Cloke

February 26, 2020

13th Annual ABA Arbitration Institute

March 9-10, 2020

Advocacy in Family Mediation Training

TBD

Schiefelbein Global Dispute Resolution Conference

January 15, 2021

Signature Events

The Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center engages the community through high quality events and training programs for lawyers and other professionals who work with conflict. These events and programs provide world-class educational experiences and many qualify for continuing education credit.

February 11, 2020

Bruce E. Meyerson Lecture

The Bruce E. Meyerson Lecture brings renowned personalities and dispute resolution professionals to ASU Law to address students, attorneys, and the public. Past lecturers include Kenneth Feinberg (oversaw the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, Boston Marathon bombing victims fund, and BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill claims settlement fund, among others), who spoke about unconventional responses to unique catastrophes, and David Boies (litigated such high-profile cases as Bush v. Gore, California’s Prop. 8 ban on same-sex marriage, and U.S. v. Microsoft), who explained the ways mediation and dispute resolution have changed litigation practice. These insightful lectures are open to the public and made available online.

January 17, 2020

Schiefelbein Global Dispute Resolution Conference

The Schiefelbein Global Dispute Resolution Conference brings together arbitrators, mediators, academic and other professionals from across the world to discuss international disputes in global commerce, sports, technological innovation, and more. Recent topics included China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, arbitrating climate-change related disputes, and technology in arbitration.

Expertise

Art Hinshaw
Art Hinshaw
Faculty Director;
John J. Bouma Fellow in Alternative Dispute Resolution
Clinical Professor of Law

Rosselle Wissler
Rosselle Wissler
Research Director

Jay Jenkins
Jay Jenkins
Director
Beverly Kosik
Program Coordinator
Valena Beety
Valena Beety
Professor of Law and Deputy Director of the Academy for Justice

Karen Bradshaw
Karen Bradshaw
Professor of Law

Charles Calleros
Charles Calleros
Alan Matheson Fellow in Law;
Professor of Law

Susan Chesler
Susan Chesler
Clinical Professor of Law
Bob Dauber
Bob Dauber
Charles M. Brewer Professor of Trial Advocacy
Clinical Professor of Law

Kimberly Holst
Kimberly Holst
Clinical Professor of Law

Rhett Larson
Rhett Larson
Richard Morrison Professor of Water Law

Victoria S. Sahani
Victoria S. Sahani
Professor of Law
Jess K. Alberts
Jess K. Alberts
President’s Professor;
Conflict Transformation Project;
Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University

Tamara Rounds
Tamara Rounds
Clinical Associate Professor;
School Of Social Work
Jose Ashford
Jose Ashford
Professor;
School Of Social Work
Michael Aurit
Professional Mediator, The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation

Larry Bridgesmith
Legal Alignment

Eddie Genna
Professor, Phoenix College

Amy Lieberman
Executive Director, Insight Mediation

Tamra Moore
Senior Mediator, Maricopa County Community College District

Kristine Reich
Restorative Mediation and Law Services PLLC

Ashley Votruba
Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska (Lincoln)