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Mediation On-Line

A Newsletter from ADR Resources
Volume 3, No. 12.
From: Ethesis@AOL.Com (Ethesis)


Stephen R. Marsh Picture


The season finds my family and loved ones well.  I hope that it does the same for you.  More links and news in the next newsletter and my thanks to everyone who sent me information and links to your favorite mediation related sites.  A late breaking story is the federal register publication on mediation standards that could affect the entire community.  The link for the information is

Interesting new Mediation & ADR web sites

I remain interested in getting referrals to new or important ADR sites.  Please send me the url rather than embedded links so that I can look at the address before having to visit it.  Thanks. is the web site for The Trident Mediation Counselling and Support Foundation of Alberta, Canada.  (Which reminds me, I'm due a copy of a book published by a group in Vancouver, British Columbia). They are a full-service, professional mediation service (vs. a lawyer only mediation service).

Then there is -- a group that provides training and that has employed mediators at fifteen offices in California and offices in 23 other states as well.  I'm curious what subscribers think of their model and of their services. is the web site for ICCCR.  Naomi, my law clerk (currently a student at SMU's law school) did her graduate work there and glows when she talks about it.  They sponsor continuing education style classes and education as well as the masters and Ph.D. program classes that are the core of the program and are a source for training in New York City that I can recommend.  They offer a certificate program, have a nicely designed website (though they could use more links on their links page).  You can find their schedule for this fall at  The program has significant internship courses -- something that always makes me reflect positively on a program.  And, of course, Naomi still loves it, even a couple years or so after graduation.

The Texas-Mexico Bar Association is having its yearly conference in October -- and will have ADR seminars.  For more, visit

ICAR is searching for a new director.  Call 703.993.1308 for more information.  I should warn you that last time ICAR did a search (for two faculty positions, funded with a grant from the legislature that specifically and directly called for them to recruit from outside of ICAR) they hired two students from within the program as the new professors.  I expect that they will probably do the same for their new director.

For those who have asked, the U.S. News & World Report story is at  Here are the ADR Law School rankings:

1. University of Missouri–Columbia:  An L.L.M. program, three endowed chairs (with a cross disciplinary emphasis) and a strong commitment make this an obvious first place choice. Tier 2.  The LLM is obviously First Tier (as well as a consensus number 1 choice).
2. Ohio State University:  This university hosts the ABA's dispute resolution journal. First Tier law school as well (#37 +/-20).
3. Pepperdine University (CA):  some of the strongest community and continuing legal education programs.  Tier 3.
4. Harvard University (MA):  The world famous (but narrow) program on negotiation (PON).  SMU actually has better faculty and programs on the schedule (of course, we cheat by bringing people in). Tier 1.
5. Willamette University (OR):  A campus built on the same site as the garden of eden and some great faculty and students.  They put out a wonderful free newsletter by e-mail (I strongly recommend it over and over again).  Tier 3.
6. Hamline University (MN):  Bobby Macadoo's original program before she started Columbia, Missiouri.  A great focus on writing and set in one of the best forests in the Americas.  One of the schools I would like to teach at.  (I know, I turned down an interview for a faculty position, but that is another story that had everything to do with where my life was than the school. Burying three children just really destroyed me for a while.  It is really a great place).  U.S. News & World Report Tier 3, but I'd rate it closer to Tier 2.
7. Georgetown University (DC).  I don't know much about this program other than it offers a great fellowship opportunity (much like that offered by Temple) for those who wish to teach. They offer at least three ADR courses including a normal survey course, ADR in a business context and an overlap thesis course as well as a seminar class. First Tier.
8. Cardozo-Yeshiva University (NY).  Their web site was in the last newsletter.  They have an on-line journal of dispute resolution at  The design is heavier on credits to editors and staff than it is on good navigation, but there is content hidden there.  Professors Lela P. Love and  the late James B. Boskey are among the contributors -- definitely worth a visit.  Tier 2.
9. Northwestern University (IL):  home of the ABA's scholar program -- it has a number of scholars who are focused on ADR (read through the papers and bios of the ABA scholars).  First tier.
10. Stanford University (CA):  A strong program built on a good foundation.  Stanford had an early program that faded a little and has had a great revival.  Four strong classes show you what you can do with a good focused effort.  Of course I have a fond place in my heart for the area, but I think Stanford is a good place for a law school to look that is thinking of starting its own program.  First Tier.
11. George Washington University (DC): a well regarded L.L.M. program in trial advocacy and ADR.  I'm surprised they aren't rated higher, but don't know how much focus they have on ADR these days.  First Tier.
11. University of Texas–Austin:  a well funded program, with its own center at a top twenty law school.  A nice web site as well.  First Tier.
13. Duke University (NC):  I don't know much about this program but the host is a top 20 school.  Duke has a private adjudication center that was founded in 1983 which may be a strong part of what makes the ADR program a top rated program.  Hmm, the real question may be why Duke is 13 while UT is number 11, except it appears that Duke is more application oriented and UT is more scholarly (remember, in law, being of practical use is a negative point!).First Tier.
14. Quinnipiac College (CT):  I knew something and forgot it about this program <sigh>.  A fourth tier school.  The web site for the school indicates no ADR program (though they do have some nice clinical training) and indicates that including the school in the list may be a mistake.  Tier 4, but improving (they were recently accredited, recently moved to new facilities, etc.).

Schools that ought to be in the list are:

New Mexico -- they had scholars who did some important early research and statistical work.  One of the faculty members who was critical retired, but I understood that the professor had been replaced.  New Mexico is well regarded as one of the best schools to teach at.  If the community in New Mexico had a nurse anesthestithest program I would have accepted the invitation to interview (well, almost.  The invitation came on the Friday after I started work with a new firm and I just couldn't start work on Monday and accept an invitation to interview on Friday. I didn't know about the lack of the graduate program, but I prefer to remember it as turning them down for a reason other than my personal qualms about being fair with employers -- those seem rather misplaced in this day and age).  Unfortunately, they don't have an anesthesia program and Win has two years left in her program.  A very strong regional school -- Tier 2, but with some Tier 1 students and faculty.

Perhaps Columbia (New York).  Now it may be that the law school has no connection with the rest of the ADR programs in the University (much like SMU's law school is just starting on ADR now and is unconnected with the graduate program at SMU), but they have some solid ADR programs going at Columbia's other graduate schools.  On the other hand, Columbia does many things well, but it can't do everything ... still, a co-operative program with the existing graduate degree would probably put them in the top tier of ADR as well as the other areas where they are in the top tier.  I know that parts of the website are extremely frustrating (the main university's search engine never did send me to -- the place to get a real idea of the ADR program at Columbia -- instead it sent me to the home page for some umbrella organization that (a) doesn't link to the other organizaions and (b) has a huge navigation set inside a frame but with none of the links working and none of the graphics loading.  Argh!).

University of Idaho.  It has an ADR institute that has been associated with the Law School (at least on the web) for quite some time.  I've been unable to obtain as much information as I would like about the program, and there may not be enough of a connection for it to affect the rating that the school has (I'd welcome input from anyone who knows).  While it used to be 4th Tier, with a Tier 1 location (I've been there in both summer and winter), it is now a 2nd Tier school. The non-law dispute resolution web site is at and the law school's dispute resolution materials are at -- basic Continuing Education materials (but with top flight instructors brought in from outside).  The law school has a nicely designed home page.


I had the following question:

> I would also like your views for future
> mediators on the choice between signing up for an advanced degree or
> entering
> the field through established training courses and conference programs.

With the caveat that many, many training courses and conference programs exist solely to seperate unsuspecting students from their money (see for a SPIDR editorial used on my site by permission -- Ethical Duties of Mediation Trainers in the Promotion of Training Programs) I offer the following comments.

Personally I consider most law school LLMs completely useless outside of academic interest or for their benefits to lawyers (Columbia, Missiouri being an exception) as well as much of the rest of law school, vis a vis ADR training.  The real problem is that consumers just refuse to accept/hire recent law school graduates (unless they have some gray hair) in the role of a mediator.

I consider *some* advanced ADR programs useful, depending on their student base.  Many seem to be marketing to people who have unrealistic expectations or that are without a clue of how to apply their education to the real world or to any employable endeavor (see my FAQ at for comments I find myself making over and over again -- FAQ). Otherwise, a well structured training course, combined with conference programs and an internship is far superior -- if you want to do classic court annexed mediation. ("and an internship" is boldfaced in the on-line version of this newsletter, it may or may not be in the one received by subscription).  See also WHAT GOOD IS A DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROGRAM? at

An example of a program that claims to be like this in practice is (I don't know if they are, since I lack personal knowledge, but they appear to be doing things the right way).

The key is the internship, mentoring and placement efforts that some training courses include.

Now, if you want to do peacemaking in congregations, run a community dispute resolution center or engage in other types of initiatives and think-tank work, then you want a degree from Syracuse, Cornell or ICAR (George Mason). (PARC, PERC and ICAR). Of course those students are making $24,000 a year to $36,000 *after* they get experience and credentials. Nova Southeastern may also be a legitimate choice (I'm waiting on an article a couple of their graduates are doing for me, and I'll have a better look at it all).

If you want to teach ADR in a college environment, Columbia (at the University of Missouri), Temple's LLM program, Harvard, Cornell and ICAR are the choices that come to mind right now.  That guidance comes with the strong caveat that programs  (other than law schools) tend to hire from within when staffing an ADR program (regardless of outside mandates -- e.g. when ICAR got funding from the Virginia State legislature with the express proviso that they hire two mature outside professors, they hired two people from inside instead, and that approach and level of non-compliance appears to be almost universal) -- meaning that you need to get the advanced degree and then enroll in the strongest related program that the instutution you want to teach at provides.  Then build your own ADR program there while a teaching or research assistant or while in a fellowship.

Further, some limited enrollment state schools will resist ADR.  E.g. Colorado.  It has Foundation scholars, yet it won't let them teach classes because the limited enrollment that Colorado works under means that any student taking ADR classes is a student not taking some other class and no program wants to give up the warm bodies or the teaching slots -- even though the staffing cost to the university is non-existant.  So, it has the scholars on staff, working and doing research on grants, but it won't let them teach anything but outside continuing education type classes.  A complete waste, and an example the reason that Colorado will never be a top 10 university in anything but football in spite of having some world class scholars.

On Employment and Professional Organizations

SPIDR's merger continues.  I truly hope it is a revitalizing affair.  I am also waiting on an article about one student's experience with her graduate dispute resolution program's placement efforts and her job search -- which has now been successful!

Educational Programs:

I'm afraid that much of what I have to say on education is in the material under links.

However, I would encourage American schools interested in links to South American institutions (for NAFTA and other purposes) to (one) seriously consider the value of such links (your students gain an incredible amount) and (two) to look at some of the schools in Peru for partnerships.  

News and Book Reviews/Books/Periodicals

I'm reviewing OPERATING A PROFITABLE MEDIATION PRACTICE (Course Manual) by Forrest S. Mosten. Honestly, without reading a word, I was ready to trash the book.  I've seen one too many people who were promised the world if they just took forty hours of training and who got nothing at all.

But ... and this is a big but ... I've already recommended the book to people.  You can read the advertisements, etc. at, but this review will tell you about the book (which is, unfortunately, not yet available at or

The book warns readers that there is no instant path to success.  Mosten took about six years before he could break even.  Nina Meierding, a nationally known mediator, took four years before she was able to make her practice work. Over and over again the book warns "DO NOT EXPECT OVERNIGHT SUCCESS."

On the other hand, it invokes and teaches the principles set out in Marketing Without Advertising, a book I recommend and have used in classes, except it ties worksheets, planning, goals and approaches directly to mediation. For just under fifty dollars, the book is one of the best investments most mediators could make.  I suspect the class, with twelve hours of MCLE credit, is just as good as the book -- though I would advise you to buy and read the book before you decide to spend the money on the class.

I liked the repeated use of examples of how people developed successful mediation practices over time, what worked and what did not.

He is honest that you should "not count on many new clients from the web."  (I've had two clients from my web site.  Of course I only get about 50,000 hits a week.  Maybe if I found a better way to draw potential clients to the site ...).

The materials on reaching out to the media are excellent.

Further, he goes beyond marketing to how to manage a practice -- something many, many people need to know and very few have been taught.

Finally, the book contains many, many useful forms and outlines, including all the usual forms and a great many more (such as financial planning outlines and a final marketing checklist).

Reading this book it is harder to think of people who would not benefit from it than people who would.  What more can I say?

Current Issues

There are a number of people who believe that there are movements that can increase ADR and that can increase the penetration of non-lawyers in ADR (outside of the complete dominance non-lawyers have in some areas, e.g. school mediation).  You can visit for the url of the unbundling movement, which may or may not come to anything, but which is drawing a great deal of attention from lawyers and others at the same time that accounting firms are starting to bundle everything, including legal services.  While I have provided unbundled services to selected clients for the past fifteen years, I remain leary of providing them to people I do not know -- especially since what people often want is for you to proofread and approve their own paperwork -- something that is about as easy as proofreading someone else's code (if you are a computer programmer).  Which, I must admit, I've done (both the code and the pleadings review) but ...

Submissions to

As always, I am interested in any submissions or articles anyone would like to have posted on the web -- and I am glad to be able to point them out in this newsletter.  I prefer to post material as you have written it, with no editorial changes by myself.

With my best regards, I remain,

Sincerely yours,

Stephen Marsh
Additional material is included in the on-line version.
If you are curious where the term/name Ethesis comes
from, visit

Back issues at

If for some reason you wish to be removed from my periodical mailings please let me know. If I'm sending anyone extra copies or sending it to anyone who shouldn't be getting it, please let me know. This e-mail mailing list is supposed to be limited only people who would be interested and who have subscribed.  Thanks for your patience and help.

Post Script (the "extra" material for the on-line version).

Scientists have shown that the moon is moving away at a tiny, although measurable distance from the earth every year.

If you do the math, you can calculate that 85 million years ago the moon was orbiting the earth at a distance of about 35 feet from the earth's surface.

This would explain the death of the dinosaurs. The tallest ones, anyway.

   I recommend this book!

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