Monday, September 14, 2015

Harvard Mediation Program Presents at the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Conference in Seattle

By Sam Cortina, J.D. ‘15

As a student in the Harvard Mediation Program (HMP), this spring semester I participated in  and presented at the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference in Seattle. It was one of the most enriching academic and professional experiences of my life.

Harvard Mediation Program at ABA

Front Row (L-R): Rachel Viscomi ‘01, Assistant Director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program; Prill Ellis, HMP Clinical Supervisor; Maureen (Mo) Griffin, HMP Program Manager. Back Row (L-R): Sam Cortina ’15; Michael Moffitt ‘94, Dean, University of Oregon School of Law; Nancy Welsh ’82, Professor of Law, Dickinson School of Law at Penn State; Erin Archerd ’08, Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution, Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University; Rishi Batra ‘08, Assistant Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law; John Miller, ‘15.

John Miller, J.D. ’15 and I moved from our roles as students to teachers when we discussed our rich experiences with high-conflict mediations on the HMP panel: “Beyond Small Claims; New Venues for Mediation Programs.” We shared with the audience HMP’s success in recently developing a mediation program for Harassment Prevention Orders in and around greater Boston, and also discussed the incredible work that HMP students, staff, and professors have done over the past 34 years!

“We had a fabulous trip to The ABA Dispute Resolution Conference in Seattle this spring,” said Rachel Viscomi, Assistant Director at HNMCP, who works closely with HMP Program Manager Mo Griffin, giving support to HMP’s mission and vision. “It was wonderful to be reunited with dear colleagues and to make so many new friends in the field. I deeply enjoyed the opportunity to learn from the many varied and thoughtful presentations, and came back feeling rejuvenated and inspired. I was delighted that HMP was able to share insights from their Harassment Prevention Order program and engage a conversation around new venues for mediation. I look forward to continuing many of the conversations we began in Seattle over the course of the coming year.”

For me, it was exceptional to meet so many HMP alumni and learn how the program changed their lives. I feel we made a genuine contribution to the alternative dispute resolution community, and I know our efforts will assimilate into different programs throughout the country in a way that makes people’s lives better. For that, I am incredibly proud to call myself a lifelong member of HMP, and to have attended and contributed to the ABA’s Spring Conference.