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Alternative Dispute Resolution: Associations and Academic Programs

This is a Guide to the major resources on this subject.


American Bar Association (Section of Dispute Resolution)

The Section of Dispute Resolution, established in 1993, is one of the ABA's newest and fastest growing Sections with over 19,000 members. The Section's objectives include maintaining the ABA's national leadership role in the dispute resolution field; providing information and technical assistance to members, legislators, government departments and the general public on all aspects of dispute resolution; studying existing methods for the prompt and effective resolution of disputes; adapting current legal procedures to accommodate court-annexed and court-directed dispute resolution processes; activating state and local bar involvement in dispute resolution, conducting public and professional education programs such as the Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Courthouse Centers Project and conducting a program of research and development including programmatic and legislative models.

The Section has fifty committees including Arbitration, Mediation, International, Practice Development, among others. The Section has published the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators in cooperation with the American Arbitration Association and the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution.

Association For Conflict Resolution

The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) is a professional organization enhancing the practice and public understanding of conflict resolution. ACR does the following:

ACR Conferences gather conflict resolution practitioners, students and interested parties from all corners of the globe to network, learn new skills, discuss cutting-edge issues and keep abreast of what is happening in the expanding field of conflict resolution. ACR’s annual conference attracts more than 1,000 people from around the world and offers more than 150 workshops.

Professional Interest Sections
ACR's Sections serve as ACR’s programmatic core. Sections allow members to join with colleagues with similar interests as well as share information via websites, newsletters, teleconferences and meetings. Members of ACR Sections enjoy a wide array of programs, as well as opportunities for volunteer leadership within ACR.

Regional Chapters
ACR's Chapters enable members to meet and share ideas with colleagues in their community and participate in activities that support their professional development.

Committees and Initiatives
ACR also hosts a wide variety of committees, task forces, work groups, and initiatives that are essential to the field of alternative dispute resolution.

American Arbitration Association

The American Arbitration Association® (AAA), is a not-for-profit organization with offices throughout the U.S. AAA has a long history and experience in the field of alternative dispute resolution, providing services to individuals and organizations who wish to resolve conflicts out of court.

The AAA role in the dispute resolution process is to administer cases, from filing to closing. The AAA provides administrative services in the U.S., as well as abroad through its International Centre for Dispute Resolution® (ICDR). The AAA's and ICDR's administrative services include assisting in the appointment of mediators and arbitrators, setting hearings, and providing users with information on dispute resolution options, including settlement through mediation. Ultimately, the AAA aims to move cases through arbitration or mediation in a fair and impartial manner until completion.

Additional AAA services include the design and development of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems for corporations, unions, government agencies, law firms, and the courts. The Association also provides elections services as well as education, training, and publications for those seeking a broader or deeper understanding of alternative dispute resolution.

CPR Institute For Dispute Resolution

The CPR Institute is an independent, nonprofit that promotes innovation in commercial dispute prevention and resolution.

Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) provides professional services to a wide range of federal, state, and local government agencies to resolve disputes, design conflict management systems, build capacity for constructive conflict management, and strengthen inter-agency and public-private cooperation. 

National Association for Community Mediation

Community mediation offers constructive processes for resolving differences and conflicts between individuals, groups, and organizations. It is an alternative to avoidance, destructive confrontation, prolonged litigation or violence. It gives people in conflict an opportunity to take responsibility for the resolution of their dispute and control of the outcome. Community mediation is designed to preserve individual interests while strengthening relationships and building connections between people and groups, and to create processes that make communities work for all of us.

Nebraska Mediation Association

The Nebraska Mediation Association's mission is to be a statewide network of mediators which develops, implements, and sustains quality conflict resolution, mediation, and consensus building. The NMA promotes mediation, and supports and provides training and educational opportunities for all mediators in the State of Nebraska. Through this member network, NMA provides links, resources, and enhanced opportunities among mediation professionals.

Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution

The Office of Dispute Resolution is celebrating 20 years of mediation since the passage of the 1991 Dispute Resolution Act. Over 80,000 people have been served! On March 9, 2011, Chief Justice Mike Heavican accepted a proclamation from Governor Dave Heineman declaring March as Mediation Month in Nebraska, recognizing that in turbulent times of interpersonal and world conflict, mediators strive to help people communicate constructively, avoid violence, and resolve their differences effectively.

The Carter Center

The Carter Center, in partnership with Emory University, is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.

Academic Programs with Resources

The Werner Institute
Creighton University School of Law
Omaha, NE
ADR Links

Concentration in Dispute Resolution
Montclair State University
Montclair, NJ
Scroll down for numerous ADR online resources.

Straus Institute For Dispute Resolution
Pepperdine University School of Law
Malibu, CA
The site has numerous online videos.


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