Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program

Professor Karen Tokarz
Professor Karen Tokarz

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. 

Washington University’s innovative Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program is coordinated by Karen Tokarz, Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law and Public Service and director of the Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program. Tokarz is an expert in dispute resolution and clinical education, and highly respected civil rights mediator, who regularly teaches Negotiation, Mediation, the Civil Rights & Community Justice Clinic, and the International Justice & Conflict Resolution semester externship.

Professor Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff
Professor Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff

In addition to Tokarz, the faculty includes Professor Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff, a nationally recognized scholar on procedural justice and law and psychology in the context of dispute resolution, who teaches Negotiation, Advanced Negotiation, and Law & Psychology; Professor Ann Shields, a former civil litigator, who teaches Negotiation and coordinates the Pretrial Practice & Settlement course; and other full-time and part-time faculty members with expertise in negotiation, arbitration, mediation, business, economics, game theory, and international human rights. [view Faculty]

Required First-Year Negotiation Course

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 professional identity, judgment, and ethics.

“Negotiating is a key skill for lawyers in almost every area of practice,” Professor Hollander-Blumoff says. “By teaching students to approach negotiation through careful, critical analysis, we provide them with a skill set that makes them more effective across the board. I am delighted that we are able to introduce all of our first-year students to some of the basic analytical tools of successful negotiation.”


Robust Upper-Class Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Course Offerings & International Opportunities

Washington University's robust Negotiation & Dispute Resolution curriculum includes Arbitration Theory & Practice (2 sections); Business Negotiation (2 sections); Family Mediation; Introduction to US & Comparative Dispute Resolution (2 sections); International Commercial Arbitration; Investor-State Arbitration; Mediation Theory & Practice (4 sections); Multi-Party & Public Policy Dispute Resolution; Entertainment Law, Planning & Negotiation; Intellectual Property Litigation & Dispute Resolution; Real Estate Practice, Drafting & Negotiation; Securities Litigation & Arbitration; Advanced Negotiation Seminar; and Game Theory Seminar; Sports Law, Planning & Negotiation; Pretrial Practice & Procedure (16 sections); Trial Practice & Procedure (6 sections).

Employment Mediation Class

The Negotiation & Dispute Resolution program collaborates with the award-winning Clinical Education Program, Trial & Advocacy Program, and Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute to provide students with an outstanding legal education. Washington University upper-level students may participate in clinics, externships, and summer internships in which they engage in negotiation and dispute resolution in domestic and international venues, including:

  • Civil Rights & Community Justice Clinic (housing court mediations, mortgage foreclosure negotiations, and consumer mediations at the Better Business Bureau) [view article
  • International Justice & Conflict Resolution Semester Externship (full-semester externships with agencies and courts overseas, such as the U.N. Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Ghana Supreme Court ADR Programme)
  • Global Public Interest Law Fellows (10-week summer internships with agencies and courts overseas, such as the Beijing Arbitration Commission, Legal Aid Society of South Africa, International Labour Organization in Tanzania, and Search for Common Ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo) [view article]
Professor Ann Shields
Professor Ann Shields

Law School Master of Laws Degree in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Enters Second Year

The law school’s new Masters of Laws (LLM) program with a concentration in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution (NDR) attracted 16 graduate students in fall 2014, followed by 22 in fall 2015, along with two Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) students and one Masters in Legal Studies (MLS) student, who are concentrating in NDR.

The new LLM degree program joins the law school’s existing LLM programs in Intellectual Property & Technology Law, Taxation, and U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers, and an online program in U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers, @WashULaw. The NDR LLM students hail from the U.S., Australia, China, France, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

“The addition of an LLM program in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution demonstrates our commitment to the principles of negotiation, problem-solving, collaboration, and creative dispute resolution and practice,” says Professor Ann Shields, director of the Pretrial Practice & Settlement course, one of the most popular courses in the curriculum, with 16 sections per year.

“It is a sign of progress in the practice of law that our new LLM graduate program has attracted so many applicants in its first two years,” adds Tokarz. “Today, negotiation and mediation, not litigation, are the principal modes of dispute resolution in virtually every legal field in virtually every country in the world. Our LLM in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution will prepare graduates for careers as skilled negotiators, advocates, mediators, arbitrators, diplomats, ombudspersons, policymakers, and business leaders in local, national, and international arenas."

LLM students can take advantage of the law school’s extensive curriculum in negotiation and dispute resolution. LLM students also may take negotiation and dispute resolution courses in the Olin School of Business and the George Warren Brown School of Social Work. 

Full-time students may complete the LLM with a concentration in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution in one year or less, with a part-time option also available. For more information on the law school LLM programs, go to, or contact Michael Koby, Associate Dean, International & Graduate Programs,, 314-935-7557.

Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program Hosts Annual Scholarship Roundtables

Washington University School of Law is a leading source for negotiation and dispute resolution scholarship through the annual “New Directions in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution” scholarship roundtables, hosted by the Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Program, in conjunction with the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy. The scholarship roundtables bring to the law school academics and practitioners at the forefront of negotiation and dispute resolution scholarship, teaching, and practice from around the world, with the goal of generating cutting-edge scholarship in the field. The roundtables are open to LLM Negotiation & Dispute Resolution students. 

New Directions in Community Lawyering, Social Entrepreneurship, and Dispute Resolution,, the product of the fall 2014 scholarship roundtable, is on-line (volume 48) and features the following authors and articles:  

  • Susan L. Brooks & Rachel E. Lopez (Drexel) - “Designing a Clinic Model for a Restorative Community Justice Partnership”
  • Deborah Burand (Michigan) – “Resolving Impact Investment Disputes: When Doing Good Goes Bad”
  • Charles B. Craver (GW) – “The Use of Mediation to Resolve Community Disputes “ 
  • Heather Scheiwe Kulp & Amanda L. Kool (Harvard) - “You Help Me, He Helps You: Dispute Systems Design in the Sharing Economy”
  • Alicia E. Plerhoples (Georgetown) – “Social Enterprise As Commitment: A Roadmap”
  • Paul R. Tremblay (BC) – “Transactional Legal Services, Triage, and Access to Justice”

New Directions in Global Dispute Resolution
, the product of the fall 2013 scholarship roundtable, is on-line (volume 45) and features the following authors and articles: 

  • Charles Craver (GW) - “How to Conduct Effective Transnational Negotiations between Nations, Nongovernmental Organizations, and Business Firms” 
  • Ken Fox (Hamline) - “Mirror as Prism: Reimagining Reflexive Dispute Resolution Practice in a Globalized World” 
  • Mary Anne Noone & Lola Akin Ojelabi (LaTrobe) - “Ethical Challenges for Global Mediators: An Australian Perspective” 
  • S. I. Strong (Missouri) - “Beyond International Commercial Arbitration? The Promise of International Commercial Mediation” 
  • Nancy Welsh (Penn State), Andrea Kupfer Schneider (Marquette) & Kathryn Rimpfel (Penn State) - “Using the Theories of Exit, Voice, Loyalty, and Procedural Justice to Reconceptualize Brazil’s Rejection of Bilateral Investment Treaties” 
New Directions in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution

New Directions in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution, the product of the fall 2011 scholarship roundtable, is on-line (volume 39) and features the following authors and articles:

  • Jennifer Gerarda Brown (Quinnipiac) – “Deeply Contacting the Inner World of Another: Practicing Empathy in Values-Based Negotiation Role Plays “
  • Art Hinshaw & Jess K. Alberts (AZ State) – “Gender and Attorney Negotiation Ethics”
  • John Lande (Missouri) – “Teaching Students to Negotiate Like a Lawyer“
  • Bobbi McAdoo, Sharon Press & Chelsea Griffin (Hamline) – “It's Time to Get It Right: Problem-Solving in the First-Year Curriculum “
  • Jennifer W. Reynolds (Oregon) – “On Commitments”
  • Andrea Kupfer Schneider (Marquette) – “Teaching a New Negotiation Skills Paradigm”
  • Stephan Sonnenberg & James L. Cavallaro (Stanford) – “Name, Shame, and Then Build Consensus? Bringing Conflict Resolution Skills to Human Rights”

Earlier groundbreaking volumes of NDR scholarship from earlier roundtables include New Directions in ADR & Clinical Legal Education (volume 34) and New Directions in Restorative Justice (volume 36), as well as multiple volumes focused on Clinical Education and Access to Justice, several of which address negotiation and dispute resolution issues. All volumes can be accessed here

School Offers Multiple Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Student Competitions

Washington University students have benefited greatly from and achieved remarkable success in negotiation and dispute resolution skills competitions over the past 25 years. Washington University has won the national championships in the ABA Client Counseling and ABA Negotiation Competitions, and Washington University teams have finished second, third, fifth, and seventh in the nation since first entering the highly competitive ABA Representation in Mediation Competition seven years ago. Law students also participate in 1L/LLM intraschool competitions in client interviewing/counseling and negotiation.

First-Year and LLM Law Students (intraschool) 

Upper-Level Students (interschool) 

Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program Sponsors Speakers, Trainings, and Continuing Legal Education

The Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program sponsors speakers, trainings, and lectures each year. In conjunction with U.S. Arbitration & Mediation Midwest Inc. (USAM), the Program provides three Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs each academic year. These programs are open to all NDR students, staff, and faculty, as well as the wider legal community. The NDR Program co-sponsored the required Advanced Mediation Training for Court Certified ADR Neutrals with the U.S. District Court, E.D. MO., in 2006 and 2011.

Recent Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Program Speakers

Marilyn Berger - Seattle University, “Out of the Ashes: Exploring the Legal and Emotional Ramifications of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund [view video]
Jennifer Robbennolt - professor of law, Illinois, Mea Culpa: The Role of Apologies in Legal Decision-Making [view video]
Wilma Liebman - chair, National Labor Relations Board, The Revival of American Labor Law [view video]
Jeff Giddings - professor of law, Griffith University, ADR in Australia: From Indigenous Culture to Modern Day Co-Option by the Courts [view video]
Betty Oyella Bigombe - fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center, The Challenges of Mediation: Peace Negotiations with the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda [view video]
Marc Galanter - John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law & South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin, Fewer Trials, More Law, More Jokes [view video]
Kenneth Feinberg - Fund Special Master, Negotiating the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund: Mass Tort Resolution Without Litigation [view video]

Video Collection of Past Trainings 


  • USAM/Negotation & Dispute Resolution Program Seminar - September 25, 2015 [view video - part 1]
  • USAM/Negotation & Dispute Resolution Program Seminar - September 25, 2015 [view video - part 2]


  • USAM/Negotation & Dispute Resolution Program Seminar - October 3, 2014 [view video]
  • USAM/Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program Seminar - April 4, 2014 [view video
  • Ethics and Current Issues in Representing in LBGT Community - February 21, 2014 [view video]


  • Electronic Evidence, Ethics & Electronics, and Online Dispute Resolution - September 13, 2013 [view video]
  • Negotiating & Litigating Civil Rights and Serious Property Damage Cases, and the Legal Ethics of Technology – January 18, 2013
  • Pulling back the Curtain on Plaintiff and Defense Caucuses, Mortgage Loan Foreclosure Mediation; Ethics of Failing to Supervise Staff & Associates – March 22, 2013 [view video]


  • The Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan, ADR in Discovery, and Class Action Basics” -  September 21, 2012 [view video]
  • Multi-Party Negotiations and Medicare Set Aside Evaluation and Medicare Liens in 2012 - April 13, 2012 [view video]
  • Negotiating & Resolving Disputes: Better Business Bureau & Car Dealers; Over Commitment; Elder Law; and Risk Management - January 20, 2012 [view video]


  • Mediation, Civil Rights, Ethics & Legislative Change - October 14, 2011 [view video]
  • Negotiating Solo, Mid-Life & Senior Professional Transitions: Financial & Ethical Implications- April 8, 2011
    [view video]  
  • Advanced Mediation Training for Court Certified ADR Neutrals - February 18, 2011
    [view videopassword protected
  • Current Issues in Probate Practice & ADR - January 21, 2011
    [view video]


  • Current Issues in E-Discovery & ADR - October 29, 2010
    [view video]
  • Current Issues in Law & Neglotiations - May 14, 2010
    [view video]
  • Current Issues in Construction Law Arbitration - January 22, 2010
    [view] Save the Date Flyer


  • "Business Law: ADR" - September 18, 2009
    [view video]
  • Consumer, Medicare & Family Law, and the Ethics of Lawyer Marketing - April 3, 2009
    [view video]
  • Current Issues in Civil Practice and ADR - February 20, 2009
    [view videos - Part 1 & Part 2


  • New Trends & Challenges in ADR:  Here and Around the World - November 21, 2008
    [view videos - Part 1 & Part 2]
  • Ethics in Litigation, Practice & ADR - September 12, 2008  
    [view flyer]
  • New Topics in Law and ADR: Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan, Immigration, Eminent Domain, and Elder Law - April 18, 2008
    [view flyer]
    Part 1 : Judicial Selection and the missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan (Hon. Michael Wold and Charles Harris) and Immigration Issues (Suzanne Brown and Katie Herbert Meyer)
    [view video]
    Part 2 : Eminent Domain (Jerry Wallach and Stanley Wallach) and Elder Law Issues (Tena Hart and Mavis Kennedy)
    [view video
  • Important Internet Legal Issues: Cyber Stalking, Identity Theft, E-discovery, and On-line ADR - February 8, 2008
    [view videos - Part 1 and Part 2]


  • Arbitration Training - November 16, 2007
    [view videos - Part 1 and Part 2]
  • Current Issues in the Law & ADR: Employment Law, Juvenile & Domestic Law, Government Law & Intellectual Property Law - September 28, 2007
    [view video]
  • Winning in Litigation and Dispute Resolution: Critical Decision Making for Litigators - What Judges, Litigators & Mediators Recommend - April 20, 2007
  • Current Issues in the Law - Tort Reform - February 2, 2007
  • Ethics in Your Practice: Professionalism, Current Issues in Legal Malpractice, Everyday Ethical Considerations, and Negotiation Ethics - September 15, 2006
    [view video]


  • Conflict Management for Lawyers and Their Clients: Pro-Active Methods of Managing Conflict When Time, Money, and Relationships Count - April 21, 2006
    [view video]
  • Experts Pull Back the Curtain on the Negotiation/Mediation Equation - February 17, 2006
    [view video]


  • Federal ADR Fundamentals for Neutrals: Improving on a Decade of Success - December 2, 2005
    [view video]
  • To Arbitrate or Not To Arbitrate - November 4, 2005
    [view video]
  • What the New Missouri Statutes Mean to You - September 16, 2005
    [view video]
  • Recent Developments in Recognizing and Resolving the Business Dispute: The Employee Perspective - April 22, 2005
    [view video]
  • Keeping Up-to-Date: Recent Developments in the Law for the General Practitioner - February 25, 2005
    [view video]


  • Recent Developments in Recognizing and Resolving the Business Dispute: The Company View - November 12, 2004
    [view video

Contact Information:

Karen Tokarz
Director, Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program, and Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law & Public Service
phone: (314) 935-6414

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