Thursday, February 9, 2012

Director’s Letter

Director’s Letter

Greetings from Cambridge!

There is a lot to celebrate since our last newsletter. First,  we’ve launched our newly designed web site. Not only are we sporting a cleaner look but we’ve made it easier to search our projects by semester as well as by topic. And students will find all the information they need on alternative dispute resolution opportunities at Harvard Law School in one simple location.

In addition, we were delighted by the news that Harvard Law School now ranks #2 in the nation in Dispute Resolution according to the new 2012 US News & World Report rankings. We are grateful that news of our students’ extraordinary work is getting recognized nationally and remain committed to offering the highest quality educational experience to students who enroll in Negotiation Workshop and in HNMCP.

Not surprisingly, we’ve been keeping busy over the last nine months with new projects, a new brown bag series on the intersection of current news stories and negotiation theory, and a new class offering.

Our offices have also been  “on the move”  as we settled into our new space in Austin Hall in January.  We will reside in Austin for the next year while Pound Hall is partially demolished to make way for an exciting new green on the Harvard Law School campus.  When we return to Pound Hall, HNMCP will occupy the entire left side of the fifth floor “L”, giving us ample room for our students and faculty to work and collaborate. The Program on Negotiation will be near us, on the other side of the floor.

In this newsletter, we highlight our fall clinical projects. In December, I joined three of our clinical students in Washington, D.C. where they presented their findings and recommendations on an appeal process to the newly formed Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB). In January, one clinical team continued research in Chile for the Ministry of Justice and two other student clinic teams traveled to Switzerland and Israel to present their clinic work to clients. Details on all the fall projects can be found below.

We also feature several interviews in this issue. Students Vivian Choi ’12 and Ellen Wheeler ’12 elaborate on the highlights of their experience with HNMCP. The student leaders of the Harvard Mediation Program (HMP) report on what’s next for HMP following its 30th anniversary celebration last spring. Our client spotlight focuses on Nate Barber, a firefighter with the Town of Nantucket, who worked with HNMCP students in the spring of 2010 to improve the town’s collective bargaining process. We also check in with Dimitrios Efstathiou ‘06, to find out how he has been using his negotiation skills in his current position as Senior Counsel for Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing.

For the past several years I have wanted to design and teach an Advanced Negotiation Workshop on Multiparty Negotiation, Groups, and Teams. At long last, I was able to offer this intensive workshop with our new Assistant Director Rory Van Loo ’07. It was the culmination of many hours of research, conversation, and brainstorming. We were fortunate to have a class of talented and motivated students to embark on this exciting endeavor and we share a taste of our experience teaching the class in this newsletter.

Finally, HNMCP Clinical Instructor Jeremy McClane ’02 presented to the fall meeting of the ABA Section of International Law in Dublin, Ireland, as detailed below.

With the arrival spring, I am renewed with enthusiasm for the role that skilled conflict resolvers can play in our world.  As always, I enjoy hearing updates on what you’ve been up to and I welcome your feedback on our work.

Happy Spring!