Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Letter from the Director

Faculty & Staff - Robert Bordone Headshot

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe, but HNMCP is on the cusp of celebrating its 10th Anniversary. Next fall will mark the start of our 10th year as a clinic at HLS even though the students who enrolled in our clinic in 2006-07 have transcripts that say, “Independent Clinical Work” instead of “Negotiation and Mediation Clinic” since in that year there was no formal classroom component to any of our work. Since that time, we’ve added a significant classroom component to our field work, innovated pedagogy around teamwork, and expanded course offerings in multiparty negotiation, group decision-making, teams, and facilitation. We’ve also created a community of students, staff, alumni and clients who care about improving the way individuals and institutions manage conflict and resolve disputes.  Our footprint—both physically at the Law School and metaphorically in the world—has grown enormously during our first decade and I’m thankful for the gift of being part of it.

As part of our 10th Anniversary preparations, we’ve completely re-designed our website and have brought our new blog initiative, now entitled Bridging Divides on to our site. We’re proud of our new, fresh look and easier-to-navigate page. The page offers a wealth of information to alumni, clients, students, and friends. We invite you to peruse the site here and offer us feedback on how we can make it better. In particular, I would like to thank the amazing Tracy Blanchard, our Clinic Administrator, for the countless hours she spent making the transition to our new site possible. We hope you like the new look as much as we do!

Five clinical projects this past fall gave us opportunities to work in diverse and important contexts: a team of students worked with the Everett, MA Police Department helping them understand sources of conflict and tension between police and youth in the community; another team worked with the court system in New Hampshire to design an interest-based negotiation training for prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys; yet another team worked with the Title IX Office at Mt. Ida college to assess and make recommendations related to that schools Sex and  Gender-Based Misconduct Policy.  In each of these contexts, our students applied theory and best practices in dispute systems design and conflict management to deliver a usable and high-quality product to our client.

Outside of clinical work, we launched two pilot programs related to facilitation and dialogue. Real Talk was a joint initiative between HNMCP and the Systemic Justice project to provide a low-risk space for 1Ls to engage in facilitated conversations about how identity, narratives, and emotion relate to law, the legal system, and legal education generally. HLS Now was a pilot initiative in the spring designed to train a quick response dialogue team that would be available to facilitate small-group discussions for members of the Harvard Law School community in the wake of major happenings on campus, in national politics, or on the world stage, as well as to graduate lawyers with experience leading difficult conversations.

This spring, the Harvard Negotiation Law Review held their annual symposium, “Negotiating for Health: The Role of Negotiation and Dispute Resolution in Healthcare.” An exciting slate of panelists addressed issues around balancing innovation and affordability, the challenges of merging healthcare institutions, Ebola as a case study in negotiation resource allocation, and the challenges of post-Affordable Care Act environment.

In this installment of our newsletter, we also offer  our regular spotlight features. Recent clinical student Deanna Parrish ’16  discusses some of the work she has done through HNMCP during her time at HLS. Clinic alum Clinic alum Paul Yoo ‘09 shares how he has put his negotiation training to work, first at McKinsey and now in his work with The Honest Company. Our On the Road feature notes what HNMCP staff have been up to outside our regular teaching and clinic commitments, our Publications section highlights some new research and pedagogy from our team, and we have news from faculty and student in our In The News section and from alums in our Class Notes section.

We are excited to hear updates—personal and professional—from our alums and our clients. So please keep in touch and have a great summer.

Warm Regards,

Robert Bordone - Informal Signature

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