Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Program

T.C. Smith (left), Professor Karen Tokarz and Judge Thomas Frawley
T.C. Smith (left), JD '04, and Professor Tokarz (center),
director of the law school's Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
Program, discuss the Civil Rights, Community Justice & Mediation
Clinic victim-offender mediation program with
Judge Thomas Frawley (right)of the St. Louis Circuit Court.

Washington University School of Law is a long-standing leader in negotiation and dispute resolution education. At Washington University, we believe that lawyers must be versed in negotiation, problem-solving, collaboration, and creative dispute resolution to practice successfully in today’s world. Our systematic progression of ADR courses, clinics, seminars, and competitions prepares our graduates to enter the legal profession as effective and skilled negotiators, mediators, arbitrators, diplomats, ombudspersons, practitioners, policymakers, and business leaders in local, national, and international arenas.

Washington University provides an introductory Negotiation course for all first-year law students—one of the few law schools in the country to provide this opportunity. This required intersession course, taught by full-time faculty, introduces first-year students to negotiation theory and practice while enhancing their understanding of professional identity, judgment, and ethics. Washington University’s robust upper-level ADR curriculum includes 20 courses, many of which are offered in multiple sections. Students can choose from a rich array of theory and practice courses, seminars, clinics, and internship opportunities in the United States and overseas. The law school also offers intramural Client Counseling and Negotiation Skills Competitions for first-year students to impress upon them from their first year the importance of these fundamental lawyering skills.

Our distinguished faculty includes several full-time faculty members with expertise in psychology, business, economics, and international human rights, who teach, write, and practice in the field of dispute resolution. Our distinguished faculty also includes top local practitioners with ADR expertise. The program frequently collaborates with the award-winning Clinical Education and Trial & Advocacy Programs to provide students with an outstanding legal education. Washington University’s innovative Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Program was founded and is directed by Karen Tokarz, Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law and Public Service, an internationally recognized expert in dispute resolution and clinical education, and respected civil rights mediator.

Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Program Hosts Scholarship Roundtables

Washington University Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Program will be hosting its third scholarship roundtable Friday, November 15, 2013, focused on “New Directions in Global Negotiation & Dispute Resolution,” in conjunction with the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute.   Papers will be published in the spring volume of the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy.  The Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Program has hosted two previous scholarship roundtables, in conjunction with the Journal of Law & Policy.  The biannual roundtables bring to the law school academics at the forefront of negotiation and dispute resolution scholarship, teaching, and practice, with the goal of generating cutting-edge scholarship in the field.  The first roundtable, held in fall 2009, focused on “New Directions in ADR and Clinical Legal Education.“  Articles from that roundtable were published in volume 34 of the Journal.  The Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program hosted a second roundtable in fall 2011 roundtable, which focused on “New Directions in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution.”  Articles from that roundtable were published in volume 39 of the Journal.

ADR Domestic and International Experiential Learning Opportunities

Washington University upper-level students may participate in clinics and internships in which they engage in negotiation and dispute resolution in domestic and international venues, including:

  • Civil Rights, Community Justice & Mediation Clinic (housing court mediations, mortgage foreclosure negotiations, and consumer mediations at the Better Business Bureau)
  • International Justice & Conflict Resolution Practicum (full-semester externships with agencies and courts such as the International Criminal Tribunals and the Permanent Court of Arbitration)
  • Africa Public Interest Law & Conflict Resolution Initiative (10-week summer internships with agencies and courts such as the International Labour Organization and the Ghana Supreme Court ADR Programme)

Post-Graduate International Stipends Open Doors into ADR Practice

The Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Program, in conjunction with U.S. Arbitration & Mediation Midwest Inc., provides an annual post-graduate stipend for a graduate with demonstrated interest in pursuing a career international ADR. Recent graduates are interning with a township school in South Africa and a law firm in China.

Contact Information:

Karen Tokarz
Director, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Program, and Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law & Public Service
phone: (314) 935-6414
email: tokarz@wulaw.wustl.edu  

C.J. Larkin
Administrative Director, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Program and Senior Lecturer in Law
phone: (314) 935-4125
email: larkin@wulaw.wustl.ed  

Mailing Address:
Washington University School of Law
Campus Box 1120
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899