The Creighton University Educational Experience

Yesterday, I attended the State Bar of Michigan's annual ADR meeting.  The keynote speaker, Sharon Press of Hamline University School of Law, did a superb job with her current overview of the ADR profession and emerging developments.  She introduced a new concept for me of Mediation-Arbitration (Med-Arb) or Arbitration - Mediation (Arb-Med).  I will write more about these hybrid forms of NDR in a subsequent post.  I will add that her presentation was consistent with our CU education in terms of the timeliness of her remarks and the state of the profession relative to our studies.  Noam was mentioned in one of her reference articles with a further mention of the global ADR teachers conference in Istanbul.

I participated in the ADR negotiation track workshops.  I am pleased to report that CU's negotiation training is superb and prepares students well in relationship to the training that I have seen outside of our classrooms.  Of course, I referred to a number of key Werner Institute concepts such as the mediator as coach, organizer, strategist, and ally in a neutral setting.  I was able to expand comfortably on these roles thanks to my CU training.  I went back and forth with a distinguished law professor on the subject of manipulative mediation techniques. He used humor and slices of life stories to punctuate his points. My challenge to him was that the mediator should be non-manipulative and strive for neutrality while acknowledging the roles of the mediator as coach, strategist, etc.  I believe that I will stick with my CU training and synthesize his ideas if and when appropriate.  BTW, I declined to buy the profesor's book after his session.  Groucho Marx has better insights on the human condition, and Henny Youngman definitely has better one liners.  His was the type of book that I could not pick up once I put it down.

Throughout the day, there were frequent references to the bazaar as the setting for negotiation and the resolution of differences between people.  Hmmm.....the bazaar was a constant metaphor at CU and throughout my education.

Finally, I was fascinated by the evaluation of risk from a legal perspective that would in turn rely on the expertise of a mediator to mitigate the defined risks by identifying and exploring the disputants’ interests.  Again, our CU education also provides us with a well rounded appreciation of risk from the mediator's perspective. I prefer CU's approach to risk; however, it is helpful to gain another perspective from outside of the university on this and other subjects of study.

Creighton prepares us well for the ADR field.  Where ADR experts touch on particular subjects, our education goes much deeper.  I suppose that this is to be expected.  I am pleased to report that it is a fact based on what I experienced from a distinguished body of ADR subject matter experts.  There was a presentation on diversity and emerging minorities in the ADR practice.  My hat is off to CU for including such a timely and important subject in our program.  I was surprised at how much I knew on the subject based on my assignments and research paper(s).  Thanks for preparing your students so thoroughly for the real world of ADR.




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