Thursday, June 28, 2012

HNMCP Summer Newsletter: Vol V, Issue II Director’s Letter

Dear friends of HNMCP,

It’s been a busy spring semester here in Cambridge.

Following the launch of our own new website in March, we also joined forces with the Harvard Law School Case Studies initiative in an effort to make available to a larger audience the new cases, exercises, and videos that we have been developing in our clinic. At the HLS Case Studies website, you will find many of the case studies and role plays HNMCP has written in addition to some written by close colleagues affiliated with HNMCP.  These materials will now be made available for use by others in their courses on negotiation, mediation, facilitation, or dispute systems design. To find out more about this new initiative, read the story in this newsletter.

This spring we began a new brown bag lunchtime discussion series that examines current events through the lens of negotiation, mediation, and ADR. Each session broke open a particular news story and then asked how scholars and practitioners of negotiation and mediation might view the events and how we might be able to help push toward an integrative solution. In our inaugural semester of the series, we held sessions on:

  • the showdown between Catholic bishops and the Obama Administration relating to the administration’s position with respect to insurance coverage and access to reproductive healthcare;
  • negotiations involving Greece and its ever-worsening debt crisis;
  • what negotiations might have ensued had the Republicans been forced into a brokered convention;
  • strategic approaches to dealing with Iran on nuclear weapons.

Of course, we also continued the regular work of the clinic through six exciting client projects! This May clinic teams traveled to present their findings and recommendations to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel in Washington, DC and to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law in New York City. In addition, one of our clinic teams delivered a specialized training to lawyers and NGOs negotiating on behalf of disabled persons in China. This project was in cooperation with the Renmim University School of Law Disability Clinic, currently directed by HNMCP alumnus Alonzo Emery ’10. Details on all this can be found in the article about our Spring 2012 projects.

This issue also features interviews and updates with:

  • Leah Kang ’12, who reflects on how her negotiation skills will help in the public interest work she is pursuing after graduation in our Student Spotlight;
  • Debby Gelber, who discusses the effects of a fall HNMCP project on the Cornerstone Village Cohousing in our Client Spotlight;
  • Rachel Viscomi ’01,  who looks back on the fabulous career she has had in negotiation and dispute resolution since her graduation from the Law School in our Alumna Spotlight;
  • the Harvard Mediation Program (HMP) and the Harvard Negotiation Law Review (HNLR), two student groups who report on their spring events.

While summer can be a quiet time for many in academia, HNMCP will be abuzz with activity. We are busy putting together our roster of fall projects, preparing for the second iteration of our new Multiparty Negotiation Class, and continuing to work on a number of research and writing projects. We are also pursuing initiatives for clinic expansion and growth. To that end, I am pleased to report that Dean Minow has authorized us to hire a new clinical fellow later this summer. We hope to list the opening for this position by the end of July. If you are interested in joining HNMCP, please keep your eye on the Harvard University Employment site as all applications are required by the university to come through the ASPIRE system.

Finally, I would like to offer my appreciation and warmest congratulations to Tracy Blanchard. As many of you know, Tracy is our Program Coordinator. This year the Harvard Law School Class of 2012 selected Tracy as a finalist for the Suzanne Richardson Staff Appreciation Award, conferred each year at Class Day. It is a special honor to be named a finalist, and particularly rare for a staff member in a small clinic who does not generally come into contact with large numbers of the student body. So I am particularly happy for Tracy and pleased by this news.

As always, I enjoy hearing updates on what you’ve been up to and I welcome your feedback on our work.

Happy Summer!