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Is ADR Your 1st Career?

by Alyson Carrel
October 2014 Alyson Carrel

Last week the ABA celebrated Mediation Week with the theme 'Stories Mediators Tell—From Rookie to Veteran, Exploring the Spectrum of Mediation.’ As part of these activities, Northwestern Law Prof. Alyson Carrel will be sending daily tweets highlighting stories from the "The ADR As 1st Career” video blog. This video blog features inspiring stories of individuals who successfully started their careers pursuing positions in ADR. Alyson started her career in ADR before going to law school and used to think her story was unique. But over the years, as more and more law schools, graduate schools, colleges and universities, and even high schools, promote the study and use of ADR, her story has become less rare. Through this project, she has met a number of individuals who have a passion for ADR and like her, persistently pursued a career in ADR, even when told it was a bad idea. More importantly, she is meeting people who love their jobs and are passionate about the work they do.

Check out Alyson Carrel's bog about ADR as a 1st career here.


Alyson Carrel is Assistant Clinical Professor and Assistant Director of the Center on Negotiation and Mediation at Northwestern University School of Law. Her primary teaching interests are negotiation, mediation, and mediation advocacy.  Alyson was honored with the student voted Outstanding Professor of a Small Class Teaching Award in 2013. Alyson is currently exploring issues related to ADR as a first career through her video blog, the use of emerging technology in the classroom, and social justice critiques to private dispute resolution processes such as mediation. Since 1992, Alyson has trained thousands of individuals in the skills of mediation, negotiation, and conflict resolution. Prior to her appointment at Northwestern, Alyson was the Training Director for the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) in Chicago, where she regularly designed and led trainings for judges and lawyers, as well as law firms and corporations. Alyson is very active with the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section and is currently serving as a Council Member. She received her J.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she focused on Alternative Dispute Resolution, published a case note on drafting an effective ADR contract clause, and was the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Dispute Resolution. She received her B.A. in Women's Studies from the University of Florida where she wrote a thesis focused on domestic relations mediation.

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