Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center

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Much of legal education centers on the trial and appellate processes, yet fewer than 2 percent of all filed cases (both criminal and civil) go to trial, and only a small fraction of those cases are appealed. Instead, most cases are resolved before trial, and many disputes are resolved before a lawsuit is filed or are prevented entirely. Accordingly, as part of a quality legal education, students must have the opportunity to develop expertise in the processes through which most disputes are resolved: negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

The Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center focuses on the problem-solving methods and skills that lawyers and other conflict resolution professionals employ regularly to prevent and resolve disputes. Through research, teaching, and service, the Lodestar Center advances the understanding of these methods and promotes the skills necessary to resolve disputes effectively and efficiently. The Center expands the College of Law’s efforts to advance the understanding of the nature of conflict resolution and how the characteristics of conflict impact the effectiveness of dispute resolution. Examples of how the Center does this include the Bruce E. Meyerson Lecture in Dispute Resolution and the Les Schiefelbein Conference in International Dispute Resolution.

The Lodestar Center is a 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 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ADR in Education Award) and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (with three CPR Awards – two for Outstanding Professional Article, one to Dr. Roselle Wissler and another to Prof. 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 US News & World Report “Best Graduate School” rankings and was ranked 7th in 2019.

Student Opportunities

Besides the courses listed below, students have access to externships at the Maricopa County Superior Court’s ADR Office and the Phoenix City Prosecutor’s Restorative Justice Project. Additionally, students can receive invaluable training by participating in two dispute resolution oriented advocacy competitions: the ABA Representation in Mediation Competition, in which student teams work through the mediation process to further their client’s interests, and the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration (East) Moot (Vis Moot) where students argue issues relating to international transactions.

Juris Doctor (JD)

The following classes, all upper level J.D. courses, provide students with a solid grounding in various areas of dispute resolution and an opportunity to develop practical skills.

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

Master of Legal Studies (MLS)

Conflict Resolution emphasis: This 30-credit graduate program is designed for individuals whose sole interest is conflict resolution. Using legal principles and analysis to lay the foundation for practical problem-solving strategies and conflict resolution techniques, this program provides the skills and knowledge needed to effectively navigate conflict in various circumstances and environments.

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Our people

Art Hinshaw
Art Hinshaw
Faculty Director;
John J. Bouma Fellow in Alternative Dispute Resolution
Clinical Professor of Law
Rosselle Wissler
Rosselle Wissler
Research Director
Karen Bradshaw
Karen Bradshaw
Associate Professor of Law;

Charles Calleros
Charles Calleros
Alan Matheson Fellow in Law;
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

Victoria S. Sahani
Victoria S. Sahani
Associate Professor of Law (with tenure);
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, LLC

Carol R. Blackman

Tamra Moore
Senior Mediator, Maricopa County Community College District

Michele Feeney
Faculty Associate;
Assistant Director of Curriculum, Arizona Legal Center

Eddie Genna
Professor, Phoenix College

Amy Lieberman
Executive Director;
Insight Mediation Group LLC
Insight Employment Mediation LLC
The Honorable Bruce E. Meyerson (Ret.)
Faculty Associate;
Mediator and Arbitrator

Mark Nadeau
Co-Managing Partner;
DLA Piper

Kristine Reich
Faculty Associate;
Restorative Mediation and Law Services PLLC

Ashley Votruba
Assistant Professor, Psychology;
University of Nebraska - Lincoln