Center for Dispute Resolution Wins Ninth Circuit Education Award



Willamette’s Center for Dispute Resolution has won the Ninth Circuit Alternative Dispute Resolution Education Award, which recognizes law schools that incorporate dispute resolution across their curricula. Willamette is the only Oregon law school to win the annual award, which was established in 2005.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Valerie P. Cooke of Nevada, chair of the award committee, said the law school’s new LL.M. in Dispute Resolution and the school’s interdisciplinary approach to the subject persuaded the committee to give the award to Willamette.

“People assume that part of their litigation experience will have some component of alternative dispute resolution built into it,” Cooke said. “Schools that get that are schools we like to recognize.” Past recipients of the Ninth Circuit’s ADR Education Award include Stanford, Pepperdine, the University of Washington and University of California Hastings College of the Law.

CDR Director Richard Birke said the award represents nearly three decades of Willamette’s “consistent efforts to improve ADR education. This is a platform on which to build.” He said the center would continue efforts to bring the American model of dispute resolution overseas and to increase the knowledge of how neuroscience, psychology, spirituality and cross-cultural understanding intersect with dispute resolution.

Dean Peter Letsou noted that Willamette has been a leader in the field. The CDR, established in 1983, is one of the oldest in the country.

“We have outstanding teachers and scholars, a long history of experience and an outstanding set of programs and courses,” he said. “It’s a well-deserved award that recognizes the many successes of this program.”