Fordham Law's Dispute Resolution Society Celebrates Five Years of SuccessOctober 18, 2006
Fordham Law School's Dispute Resolution Society celebrated its Fifth Year Anniversary on Thursday, October 18. Seventy people gathered to celebrate the Society's successes. Among the ranks were Professor John D. Feerick, Executive Director of the Feerick Center for Social Justice and Dispute Resolution and former Fordham Law School Dean, Faculty Advisor Professor Jacqueline Nolan-Haley, and Society Founders, Professors David M. White and Jennifer L. Bougher.
As part of the Society's celebration, Professor Nolan-Haley talked about the importance of the Dispute Resolution Society, and how the scholarship of Appropriate Dispute Resolution ("ADR") must be taught to all law students. Additionally, five Society alumni - each one representing a different year in the Society's history - spoke about their experiences as members of the Society, and how ADR strategies have greatly improved their practice of law. The speakers included adjunct Professors White and Bougher, 2003-2004 Managing Editor Craig Dietsch, 2004-2005 Interschool Competitions Editor Sarah Hagans, and 2005-2006 Interschool Competitions Editor Scott Gleason.
The Society was founded on October 17, 2001 with a single goal: to promote the education of Appropriate Dispute Resolution ("ADR") skills and theory. At its founding, the Society had only ten members; today, it boasts approximately fifty active student members and over 100 alumni.
In 2002, the Society complemented its ADR competition teams with a class, Dispute Resolution Perspectives. Taught by White and Bougher, the class teaches students both the theoretical basis for ADR and the use of creative techniques to solve problems by means other than traditional litigation. This year, the Society will be sending teams to the ABA Negotiation Competition, the ABA Representation in Mediation Competition, the Merhige Environmental Negotiation Competition, the ICC/ABA International Mediation competition, and the Willem C. Vis International Arbitration moots to be held in Hong Kong and Vienna.
"It is immensely gratifying to witness the Society's continued growth," said Professor White.
As a result of the fervent involvement of the Society's founding alumni, the past five years have been incredibly successful. In 2002, the Society captured the national title in the ABA Representation in Mediation competition. In addition to being National Champions in the ABA Negotiation Competition, the Dispute Resolution Society was named "Chapter of the Year" by the ABA's Dispute Resolution Section in 2003. The 2004 competition season was also successful, seeing National Semi-Finalists in the Robert R. Merhige Environmental Negotiation Competition. In 2005, the Society sent an unprecedented two teams to the national rounds of the ABA Negotiation Competition, and earned National Finalist distinction in the ABA Mediation Competition. In 2006, the Society met success with its first Vis "East" competition team - taking Quarter-Finalist distinction, and earning two Honorable Mention Awards for Best Oralist. Society's successes (PDF).
"If this is what we've done over five years, I can't wait to see what will happen in another five years - or even next year," said Society alumni Craig Dietsch.