Laura A. Athens is an attorney, mediator and arbitrator in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Her practice focuses primarily on education law and disability rights. She provides legal representation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services in special education matters. She previously served as a Hearing Officer in special education due process hearings and in vocational rehabilitation matters She continues to mediate special education, vocational rehabilitation, guardianship and disability rights cases.
As an Adjunct Professor at Wayne State University Law School, Ms. Athens taught education law, health law and bioethics. Ms. Athens also taught Legal Research and Writing at Washington University School of Law. She is an associate of Professional Resolution Experts of Michigan, LLC (PREMi) and has served on the State Bar of Michigan Alternative Dispute Resolution Council and as a former Chair of the Oakland County Bar Association ADR Committee. Ms. Athens has published numerous articles on education law and ADR issues and frequently lectures on school-related topics.
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Articles and Video:
The Blame-Shame Game in Mediation
Our legal system, which focuses on determining fault, liability and culpability, encourages parties to make accusations and to blame one another.
Top Ten Cognitive Biases and Distortions in Mediation
“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”
The Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed, 1969
The Role of Restorative Practices in Effectively Addressing Gender Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace
Numerous federal and state laws prohibit gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state antidiscrimination statutes, an employer must not impose adverse employment actions or otherwise discriminate against individuals based on gender.
Facilitating Positive Change in the Workplace
Facilitation can be transformative. It permits employers and employees to engage in authentic dialogue and reach collective decisions aligned with their core values.
Overcoming Reluctance to Engage in Mediation
Many attorneys know and appreciate the benefits of mediation. Those who are familiar with the benefits of mediation readily propose and eagerly participate in it. However, should you encounter any resistance, how can it be addressed?