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 (NDR) is coordinated by Karen Tokarz, Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law and Public Service, director of the Divil RIghts & Community Justice Clinic 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 NDR faculty includes Professor Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff, nationally recognized scholar on procedural justice and law and psychology in the context of dispute resolution, who teaches Negotiation, Advanced Negotiation Seminar, and Law & Psychology. The NDR faculty also includes Professor Ann Shields, a former civil litigator, who teaches Negotiation and coordinates, the Pretrial Practice & Settlement course; Professor Peter Joy, criminal litgation specialist, who teaches Trial Practice and Procedure; Professor Leila Sadat, international law expert, who teaches intrnational human rights; Professor Scott Baker, widely respected law and economics expert, who teaches Game Theory and the Law Seminar; and other full-time and part-time faculty members with expertise in negotiation, arbitration, mediation, business, economics, and international dispute resolution. [View NDR Faculty]

The Negotiation & Dispute Resolution faculty includes top local and national practitioners with expertise in negotiation, artitration, mediation multi-party dispute resolution and international dispute resolution.


Required First-Year Negotiation Course

Professor Ann Shields
Professor Ann Shields

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


Washington University's robust Negotiation & Dispute Resolution curriculum includes Arbitration Theory & Practice (2-3 sections); Business Negotiation (2 sections); Family Mediation; Introduction to US & Comparative Dispute Resolution; International Commercial Arbitration; Investor-State Arbitration; Contract Negotiation; Mediation Theory & Practice (4-6 sections); Multi-Party & Public Policy Dispute Resolution; Law & Psychology; Entertainment Law, Planning & Negotiation; Intellectual Property Litigation & Dispute Resolution; Real Estate Practice, Drafting & Negotiation; Securities Litigation & Arbitration; Advanced Negotiation; Law & Game Theory Seminar; Sports Law, Planning & Negotiation; and Pretrial Practice & Procedure (12-14 sections). [View Curriculum]

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 the Civil Rights & Community Justice Clinic (housing court mediations, mortgage foreclosure negotiations, and consumer mediations at the Better Business Bureau) [view article]

Domestic and International Semester and Summer Public Interest & Conflict Resolution Externships

In addition to domestic options, students can engage in full semester externships through the International Justice & Conflict Resolution Semester Externship 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, and count four credits towards the NDR LLM degree. JD Students can apply for Global Public Interest Law & Conflict Resolution Fellowships 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

Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Competitions for 1L, Upper-class, and LLM students

Employment Mediation Class
2014-15 1L and LLM Client Interviewing & Counseling Competition winners with Ian Cooper, JD'15, (far right) and Claire Sabourin, JD/MSW'16 (far left), board co-chairs.

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, foruth, fifth, and seventh in the nation since first entering the highly competitive ABA Representation in Mediation Competition eight years ago. Law students also participate in 1L/LLM intraschool competitions in client interviewing/counseling and negotiation. In spring 2016, Washington University hosted the ABA Representation in Mediation regional competition and finished in first place. Washington University advanced to the semifinals in the national competition in New York in April 2016.

2015-16 Representation in Mediation Competition Team, with regional winners, Elliot Reaven and Sarah Rockefeller (fourth and fifth from right), and coaches Mike Geigerman (far left) and Colleen Jones (far right).

First-Year and LLM Law Students Competitions (intraschool) 

Upper-Level Students Competitions (interschool) 

LLM Degree in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Attracts Graduate Students from U.S. and Around the World

The law school’s Masters of Laws (LLM) program  in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution (NDR) is one of the most robust NDR LLM programs in the country, drawing students from the U.S. and across the globe. The NDR LLM students hail from the U.S., Australia, China, France, Italy, Indonesia, Macao, Columbia, Camaroon, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. The school graduated its first cohort of 16 NDR LLM students in 2014-15, and a second cohort of 16 in 2015-16, plus one Masters in Legal Studies (MLS) student, concentrating in NDR. The school is on course to graduate 16 NDR LLM students in 2016-17, with three Masters in Legal Studies (MLS) students concentrating in NDR. The new NDR 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.

May 2016 Negotiation & Dispute Resolution LLM graduates and NDR faculty.

“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."

Fall 2015 entering LLM students concentrating in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution (NDR).

JD and LLM students must complete 15 NDR credits for the LLM degree in Negtotiation & Dispute Resolution and can take advantage of the law school’s extensive curriculum in negotiation and dispute resolution.  [click here to view curriculum]  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 JD students may complete the LLM with a concentration in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution in six semesters, with a part-time option also available. To receive the joint degree in six semesters, current JD students must complete 15 NDR credits and 94 total credits. For more information on the law school LLM programs, go to, or contact Michael Koby, Associate Dean, International & Graduate Programs,, 314-935-7557.

Fall 2014 Entering LLM, MLS, and JSD students concentrating in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution (NDR).

The first NDR LLM students celebrate their graduation in December 2014: Nathan Lawler, now a solicitor at Barry Nilsson in Brisbane, Australia; Emmanuelle Ruen, President d’Audience, Conseil des Prud’hommes, Paris, France; Josh White, a solicitor at Thomson Geer in Brisbane, Australia; and Mark Crapo, an associate at Hawkins, Parnell, Thackston & Young in St. Louis.


Abadir Barre

Abadir Barre, WU JD/NDR LLM’16 (US) - International Development Law Organization, Nairobi, Kenya 

“ I plan to use the advocacy, policy making, dispute resolution, and diplomacy skills
I have gained through the NDR program at Washington University in the
establishment of the rule of law and good governance in my home country of Somalia.”


Rachele Beretta

Rachele Beretta, NDR LLM’16 (Italy) – Intern, ICC International Centre for ADR, Paris, France  

"The NDR LLM program was a major stepping stone in my personal and professional
development. It challenged me to overcome my limits and provided me with analytical
and critical thinking skills that will be indispensable in any future situation.”


Marsha Clarke

Marsha Clarke, WU JD’13, NDR LLM’15 (Jamaica, US) - Associate, Bryan Cave, LLP, St. Louis, MO 

“The NDR LLM program at WU has prepared me for a variety of career paths
both here in the US and overseas. I am far more skilled - and far more marketable – as a result of my added degree.”


Michael Farchakh

Michael Farchakh, NDR LLM'16 (Lebanon) – Law Clerk, International Arbitration Practice, Linklaters, LLP, Paris, France 

"While my previous legal studies in Europe and the Middle East had taken me deep into
the theory of dispute resolution, the NDR LLM helped me to hone my legal skills putting that theory
to practice through sophisticated simulations and case studies in and out of the classroom."


Jonathan Serafini

Jonathan Serafini, WU JD/LLM'15 (US) - Trial Attorney, U.S. Dept of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), Dallas, Texas 

"Negotiation and dispute resolution are a fundamental part of legal practice in the private and
public sectors, in every area of law, in every country in the world."



Yifei Yang, NDR LLM’15 (Australia, US) - Legal Consultant, Office of Legal Affairs, U.N. Headquarters, New York 

“To practice in today’s world, it is critical that lawyers be equipped with negotiation,
mediation, collaboration, and broad-based dispute resolution skills. I have already seen
how invaluable they will be to me in my career.”


Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program Hosts Scholarship Roundtables

Washington University School of Law is a leading source for negotiation and dispute resolution scholarship through the “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”
New Directions in Negotiation & Dispute Resolution

New Directions in NDR & Clinical Education, the product of the fall 2009 scholarship roundtable, is on-line (volume 34) and features the following authors and articles:

  • Beryl Blaustone and Carmen Huertas-Noble(CUNY) - Lawyering at the Intersection of Mediation and Community 
  • Economic Development: Interweaving Inclusive Legal Problem Solving Skills in the Training of Effective Lawyers 
  • Kimberly C. Emery (Virginia) - Assisting Indigent Families in Conflict: A Pro Bono Test Drive for a Family Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinic 
  • Jeff Giddings (Osgoode) - Why No Clinic is an Island: The Merits and Challenges of Integrating Clinical Insights Across the Law Curriculum 
  • Paul Holland (seattle) - Lawyering and Learning in Problem-Soving Courts 
  • Jonathan M. Hyman (Rutgers) - Four Ways of Looking at a Lawsuit: How Layers Can Use the Cognitive Frameworks of Mediation 
  • Carol Izumi (Hastings) - Implicit Bias and the Illusion of Mediator Netrality 

These groundbreaking volumes of NDR scholarship, including New Directions in Restorative Justice (volume 36), as well as multiple volumes focused on Clinical Education and Access to Justice, are on line and can be accessed here.

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

The Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program sponsors workshops, speakers, and continuing legal education 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.

Upcoming and Recent Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program Speakers and Events

International Dispute Resolution: Protecting Your Client in the Global Economy Roundtable, sponsored by the NDR Program and Harris World Law Institute.

  • NDR Program and The American, "The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods in St. Louis Panel" Discussion, November 5, 2015, 4:30-6pm. [Click here to view flyer]. [Click here to view video]. 
  • International Dispute Resolution: Protecting Your Client in the Global Economy Roundtable, February 6, 2015
    [View event photos] [View video]
  • Marilyn Berger -  Professor of Law, 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]

Upcoming and Recent Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program/USAM CLE Programs


  • USAM/Negotation & Dispute Resolution Program Seminar - October 28, 2016 [view flyer]
  • USAM/Negotation & Dispute Resolution Program Seminar - June 3, 2016 [view flyer] [view video]
  • USAM/Negotation & Dispute Resolution Program Seminar - March 18, 2016 [view video]


  • 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 and Immigration Issues
    [view video]
    Part 2: Eminent Domain and Elder Law Issues
    [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]


  • Ethics in Your Practice: Professionalism, Current Issues in Legal Malpractice, Everyday Ethical Considerations, and Negotiation Ethics - September 15, 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