Thursday, September 6, 2018

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York Mediation Program visit U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York Mediation Program website

Semester: 2018 Fall

Project Type: Stakeholder Assessment

Students: Elizabeth Coffin-Karlin

The U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York Mediation Program works with volunteer mediators (members of the bar) who provide mediation in cases before the federal district court in areas of civil rights (employment discrimination, labor law, police misconduct, etc.).

As slow as diversification in all areas of the legal profession has been, ADR still lags behind. For many years, the Court has made concerted efforts to attract, train, and mentor a diverse roster of attorney/mediators and, while there has been progress, it is very incremental. Despite many years of effort, the panel is still 70% male and 99% white. The Mediation Program has engaged HNMCP to assess past Mediation Program efforts, formulate how should the Court should be defining “success” in this context, and assess of the challenges of diversifying a mediator panel and provides concrete action steps for moving forward.

Activities & Deliverables

  • Stakeholder assessment;
  • Research into diversity efforts in comparable organizations;
  • Research into the growing literature about diversity, implicit and explicit bias, and organizational change;
  • Presentation of research and recommendations to Mediator Advisory Committee.