Dean's Blog - DRI

Dean's Blog - DRI

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Dean Donald Lewis


Available in both video and text format for your convenience

Hello again.  Sorry I missed you during the past two weeks.  My producer and I took a break because of some out-of-town travel.

Today, I want to talk a couple minutes about some landmark work of our Dispute Resolution Institute, and then close with some breaking news about our bar exam results.

For Hamline or any enterprise, the path to greatness can be found at the intersection of what we are very good at, what we are passionate about, and what we can make money doing.

And on that first point-what we are good at-I mean what we can do better than anyone anywhere in the world.

At Hamline, among our many excellent pursuits, one stands out for which we can say we are among the best in the world.  And that is the work of our Dispute Resolution Institute.

The best lawyers in the 21st century must be skilled problem solvers and settlers of disputes-in addition to being skilled advocates.  That is why alternative dispute resolution is at the center of our law school's curriculum, and why our DRI is ranked by U.S. News as No. 4 in nation in this specialty.  This year is shaping up as another exceptional year for the institute.

First, DRI has a new director.  This July, Sharon Press joined the Hamline law faculty to succeed Jim Coben, who had led DRI to international prominence during the last ten years.  Professor Press served for 18 years as the director of the Florida Dispute Resolution Center, and she had previously taught here as an adjunct.  We welcome her and look forward to her leadership.

Second, is the ambitious work undertaken by DRI in hosting a series of international academic conferences to rethink how negotiation is taught in the global context.  The starting premise for this project is that the models for teaching negotiation have not changed much in 30 years.  Moreover, they are primarily rooted in American culture.  The DRI conferences abroad are designed to help create a cutting-edge curriculum that is international and reflects the changes in the field during the past three decades.

The project will span three years and three countries.  The initial event was held last year in Rome, where more than 50 internationally-renowned negotiation scholars gathered.  The second phase took place just last month in Istanbul, at the crossroads of the East and West.  Featured on the international team of trainers were own Professors Ken Fox and Bobbi McAdoo.  Among the topics: the scholars explored how standard negotiation theory worked in practice in the Turkish (and Islamic) tradition.

A third stage of the project is planned for Beijing in May 2011.

Finally, an outgrowth of DRI's international work is the creation of Hamline's new DRI Press, which will serve as the vehicle for disseminating the scholarship of the Institute and bring its important conflict resolution work to a broader audience.  The inaugural publication-entitled Rethinking Negotiation Training: Innovations for Context and Culture-was supported by a grant of the JAMS Foundation and is devoted to the papers that emerged from the initial Rome conference.  If you're interested, the book is available for purchase at DRI's weblink attached to the blog.

To sum up: there is exciting new teaching and scholarship at DRI.  It has fresh leadership and is continuing Hamline's path to distinction on an international scale.

To close out today, I have some breaking news.  Last week we received the results from the Minnesota state bar exam administered this July.  Hamline's pass rate again exceeded 90 percent.  We placed third among the four local law schools, and within a half percentage point of second place.  Here are the numbers: U of M 97.64 percent, St. Thomas 90.74 percent, Hamline 90.26 percent, and William Mitchell, 88.05 percent.  Good job, Hamline law grads!

That is all for today.  See ya next week.


Posted by Zoe Miron at 08/25/2010 09:11:05 AM