Professor Robert Bordone

Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Director, Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program

Most students at Harvard Law School know Professor Bob Bordone as the lead instructor for Harvard Law School’s flagship Spring Negotiation Workshop and founding Director of the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program.

Bob is the Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (HLS).  In addition to the Negotiation Workshop, Bob teaches several other courses in alternative dispute resolution, as well as in the Harvard Negotiation Institute and the Harvard Program on Negotiation’s Negotiation and Leadership Executive Education seminars. From 2001 through 2005 he was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. In 2006–2007 he was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.

In 2007, Bob received The Albert Sacks-Paul Freund Teaching Award at Harvard Law School, presented annually to a member of the Harvard Law School faculty for teaching excellence, mentorship of students, and general contributions to the life of the Law School.  In 2010 the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) awarded Bob its Problem Solving in the Law School Curriculum Award for his innovative work in creating and building the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program.  In 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2017, Bob was selected by the graduating class as one of four Harvard Law School faculty members to deliver a “Last Lecture” to the class prior to graduation.

Bob’s research interests include the assessment, reform, design, and implementation of dispute handling systems, the role of intrapersonal conflict or “the negotiation within” on dispute resolution with others, and developing and testing methods of effective public dialogue on issues that cut to the core of identity, meaning, belonging, and belief. Bob is the co-author of two books: Designing Systems and Processes for Managing Disputes (Aspen, 2013) and The Handbook of Dispute Resolution (Jossey-Bass, 2005). The Handbook of Dispute Resolution was awarded the 2005 Book Award from the National Institute for Advanced Conflict Resolution, awarded to a book published in the United States that shows the best promise of promoting and contributing to the field of conflict resolution. He has also published articles in leading dispute resolution journals including the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, the Journal of Dispute Resolution, Negotiation Briefings, Dispute Resolution Magazine, and Negotiation Journal. Bob’s writing and commentary have appeared in various print and broadcast media outlets including The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, CNN’s Situation Room, NPR’s Cognoscenti, and BBC Radio. In addition he has created many negotiation role simulations available through the Harvard Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center. In 2013 he produced a 3-DVD negotiation teaching set entitled Critical Decisions in Negotiation, available at the Harvard Law School Case Studies Project.

As a professional facilitator and conflict resolution consultant, Bob works with individual, non-profit, governmental, and corporate clients across many sectors. He specializes in dispute systems design and in assisting individuals and groups seeking to manage conflicts in highly sensitive, emotional, or difficult situations. His corporate clients have included Premera Blue Cross, Health Net, Gap, Inc., Fidelity Investments, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Exelon, and Microsoft.  In addition, he has worked on projects with nonprofit, educational, governmental and cultural institutions such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Massachusetts General Hospital, Princeton Regional Schools, Dartmouth College, Fort Wayne, Indiana Schools, the U.S. Department of Justice, the United Way, the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Seeds of Peace, and the Vienna School of Economics and Business Administration.

He has also taught negotiation to attorneys at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the National Association of Realtors, the Bordeaux School of Business, and the international law firms of Weil, Gotshal, & Manges, LLP, Freshfields, Braukhaus, & Deringer, Lowenstein, Sandler, LLP, Crowell & Moring, LLP, Shearman & Sterling, LLP, and Clifford Chance, LLP.

Bob serves on a variety of advisory boards.  He is the Associate Editor of the Negotiation Journal and a member of its Editorial Advisory Board, a member of the Program on Negotiation Executive Committee, and faculty adviser to the Harvard Mediation Program, the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Harvard Law School Negotiators, HLS LAMBDA, and the Catholic Law Student Organization. In addition, he serves as a Member of the Global Leadership Council for Seeds of Peace, on the Board of Visitors for the William Jewett Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College, on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Empathy in International Affairs, and on the Board of Advisors for The Systemic Justice Project at Harvard Law School.

Prior to coming to Harvard, Bob clerked for the Honorable George A. O’Toole, Jr. of the United States District Court for Massachusetts.  He has also worked at the Washington D.C.-based law firm of Crowell & Moring, the New York-based law firm of Cravath, Swaine, & Moore, the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Boston Consulting Group.

Bob is a summa cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College where he majored in Government and a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School where his coursework focused on negotiation, mediation, and dispute resolution.  He is a member of the bars of New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.

As the Director of HNMCP, Bob is responsible for the overall functioning of the clinic, and directly supervises some of the clinical projects.