Nancy Welsh is a recognized scholar and has been a professor of law for the last 20 years, teaching dispute resolution and procedural law. She has dedicated the better part of her career to the practice, system design and assessment of mediation and other negotiative and conflict management processes, including negotiation, arbitration, and judicial settlement. Specifically, her attention has remained focused on the examination of client self-determination, procedural justice, due process, and institutionalization dynamics. In recent years, with the advent of digital technology and online dispute resolution (ODR), which has added considerable complexity to dispute systems design, she has been at the forefront engaged in the important work of examining what is required for a person seeking the resolution of an issue or controversy to experience a sense of fairness and justice is what appears to be a distant and remote institutionalized delivery system. While the future she envisions for mediation and other negotiative processes remains unsettled, she has no doubt about their inevitability and he inquiry is critical inquiry is essential for our preparation.
She is well equipped for the task. She graduated magna cum laude from Allegheny College in her home state of Pennsylvania, and with a J.D. and M.A. degree from Harvard Law School in 1982. Notably, she studied and worked with Frank Sanders, the now legendary author of the original dispute resolution system design, the Multi-Door Courthouse. In 2006, as a Fulbright Scholar, she did research and taught in the Netherlands, and in 2016, returned to Harvard’s Program on Negotiation as a Visiting Scholar, and has also been a Visiting Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study at Indiana University-Bloomington, and in 2019 began serving as the Boden Visiting Professor at Marquette University Law School.
Nancy is a co-author on what has become a seminal text in conflict resolution, DISPUTE RESOLUTION AND LAWYERS, 5TH ED., with among others, the original author, Len Riskin, and has published numerous articles of significance, many of which have received high praise and acknowledgment. For reference, some of the best known are:
- The Thinning Vision of Self-Determination in Court-Annexed Mediation: The Inevitable Price of Institutionalization? (2001), one of the three most-cited articles from the first ten years of the HARVARD NEGOTIATION LAW REVIEW.)
- Making Deals in Court-Connected Mediation: What’s Justice Got To Do With It?, 79 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW QUARTERLY 787 (2001)
- The Place of Court-Connected Mediation in a Democratic Justice System, 5 CARDOZO JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION 117 (2004).
- Do You Believe in Magic?: Self-Determination and Procedural Justice Meet Inequality in Court-Connected Mediation , 70 SMU LAW REVIEW 721 (2017 symposium issue), recipient of the Texas Bar Association Outstanding Law Journal Article Award (2018).
- Dispute Resolution Neutrals’ Ethical Obligation to Support Measured Transparency, 71 OKLAHOMA LAW REVIEW 823 (2019)
Nancy also served as Co-Chair with Josh Stulberg of the Editorial Board, Dispute Resolution Magazine, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution succeeding Professor Frank Sander), from 2012-2015.
She practiced corporate law for a number of years and also served as the Executive Director and Director of Mediation Services for the Mediation Center in Minneapolis/St.Paul, MN. Nancy has been the recipient of many Awards for her teaching and contributions to mediation practice.
Not least, Nancy has served in several leadership positions in the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, including Chair in 2016-2017, Budget Officer in 2013-2014, Vice-Chair in 2014-2015, Chair-Elect in 2015-2016
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