Sunday, July 3, 2011

Letter from the Director


Dear Friends of HNMCP,

The summer of 2011 is one of transition for HNMCP.  We will be welcoming two talented new members to our team while wishing fond farewells to two others.

I am pleased to announce that Rory Van Loo ’07 will be joining us in the newly created role of Assistant Director. Rory brings with him a wealth of experience in consulting at McKinsey & Co., and comes to us most recently from Washington, DC where he worked closely with HLS Professor Elizabeth Warren to build the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He will work to grow clinical offerings in mediation as well as teach in several classes.

I am also delighted to welcome Chad Carr ’06 as HNMCP’s new Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law. Chad has taught dispute resolution at the University of Oregon, the University of Vermont, and Georgetown University, served on the board of the Community Dispute Settlement Center, and worked at Ropes & Gray in Boston. To read more about Rory and Chad, please see our article about them later in this newsletter.

Sadly, this summer will also marks the departure of our beloved and exceedingly valuable colleague Stephan Sonnenberg ’06. Stephan has been indispensable in helping to build HNMCP over the past four years. His entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, and never-ceasing care for his colleagues and his students are qualities that we will miss but hope to preserve as Stephan leaves us.   While we will miss Stephan enormously, I’m simply delighted to share that Stephan will be moving west to help build Stanford Law School’s new International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic.  Our loss is Stanford’s gain and it is exciting to see one of our own graduates and former clinical instructors moving into such an important and influential role at a peer institution. We will miss him enormously, but wish him the best of luck, confident he will do great things at Stanford.

Departing too this summer is HNMCP Associate Toby Berkman ’10.  Toby has worked closely with me during the past year on a number of special projects for HNMCP, including the creation of a new instructional video that we hope to release early this fall. We will miss his sense of humor and his creativity. In September, he will begin a clerkship with The Honorable Denise L. Cote in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In this newsletter, we detail some of the exciting clinical projects on which our students have been working this semester both in the U.S. and abroad with special profiles on Sonia Vallabh ’11, who worked on our project with the Regional Court of Sofia, Bulgaria, and Rasmus Naeye LLM ’11, who worked on our project with the American Red Cross.

We also feature an interview with a fall semester client, Dr. Howard Gadlin of the National Institute of Health (NIH), and we catch up with clinic alumna Amy Gordon ̕06, now a JAG lawyer with the U.S. Army stationed in Iraq.

The past few months have been both busy and gratifying. HNMCP received national recognition for its curriculum from the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution by winning its 2010 Award for Problem Solving in the Law School Curriculum. In addition, throughout the winter and spring we have been trying our hand at filmmaking after receiving sponsorship from WilmerHale to produce a film about negotiation, featuring Boston-area lawyers. This is a project I have long wanted to develop and we anticipate wrapping the project summer to use in the classroom next school year.

The Clinic continues to maintain a connection with the broader world of scholarship and practice.  In March, the Clinic co-sponsored the symposium “The Criminalization of Conflict Resolution: Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project’s Impact on ADR and Human Rights Work.”  Stephan helped organize the event. He also saw published this year a white paper generated from a year-long clinic project with Hewlett Packard and the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government that he supervised in 2009-2010. We’re also excited by a collaborative learning project that students from the Negotiation Workshop engaged in with students at the Harvard Business School and are happy to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Harvard Mediation Program, where many of our students and staff have trained.

For most academics, summer is a quiet time; for those of us HNMCP, we remain busy with a host of projects.  I hope your summer will be an optimal combination of fun and productivity.  Have a great summer!

Best wishes,


Robert C. Bordone
Thaddeaus R. Beal Clinical Professor
Director, Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program