Susan Yates Interview
Recorded by Robert Benjamin on April 16, 2019
“Managing A Force of Nature: ODR and Dispute Resolution Systems Design Standards and Practice “
Susan Yates has been a mediator since 1983 and the Executive Director of the Resolution Systems Institute (RSI), a nationally recognized organization dedicated to strengthening peoples access to justice by enhancing court ADR systems since 1997. In that capacity, along with her colleague, Jennifer Shack, she authored an in-depth study, Accessing Justice Through Mediation: Pathways for Poor and Low-Income Disputants (2007). As she says, “courts are where the disputes are” and importantly, the justice system is an essential pillar of our democracy and one of the primary places where people form their beliefs about whether the system is fair or not.
She comes from an activist family where social justice issues were a regular topic of discussion. And, after graduatiing from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 1980, worked for a Labor Union for a period of time before moving toward mediation practice.