Here at Harvard, there are a number of student organizations for people who are interested in negotiation and alternative dispute resolution.The three major ones are Harvard Mediation Program, Harvard Negotiation Law Review, and Harvard Negotiators.

Harvard Mediation Program

Participants in the Harvard Mediation Program go to courts in the greater Boston area and mediate actual cases. At the beginning of each semester, HMP trains 24 new mediators and assigns them to a local court. The training consists of 32 hours over two weekends, some observations in court, and one or two meetings during that semester. The mediations are supervised or observed by more experienced mediators. Feedback sessions follow the mediations to expedite further informal learning. After the initial requirements are completed, the trainee will receive a certificate of completion from HMP.

Beginning mediators are assigned to a small claims court to mediate one session every other week. In small claims court, these disputes can be about anything, from feuding neighbors to lemon cars to angry customers. HMP uses co-mediation, which means that most of the time two mediators will work on a case together.

Mediations are conducted in the areas of small claims, landlord-tenant, parent-child, and advanced civil cases. HMP works collaboratively with other community mediation programs such as Metropolitan Mediation Services in Brookline in order to provide service to the community and mediation opportunities to its members.


Harvard Negotiation Law Review

The Harvard Negotiation Law Review, or HNLR, is a journal at Harvard Law School. A legal journal is an academic publication read by professors and practitioners in the field.The articles are written by academics, practitioners, and sometimes students, and they are selected and edited by HNLR’s student editors. Law is one of the only fields where the major academic publications are under the control of students.

Most 1L students join one or more journals while at Harvard.They’re a great way to learn more about a particular topic, discover the cutting-edge theories in the field, build your resume, and maybe even get published.

HNLR offers all interested students the opportunity to work on the journal.First-year students are expected to subcite (edit the footnote citations for substance, form, and accuracy) twice.They have the opportunity to become line editors or senior editors, and they can apply to be on the HNLR board for their second and third years.

The most academic of the three negotiation/ADR organizations, HNLR provides a great way for students interested in the field to explore today’s hottest negotiation topics.

Harvard Negotiators

Harvard Negotiators is a practice-based organization–which means that members get to interact with outside organizations and help them solve thorny negotiation-related problems.Like a mini-clinical program, Harvard Negotiators’ projects cover a range of areas, including helping undergraduates prepare for important negotiations, designing a negotiation training curriculum for school teachers, assisting a Minnesota energy commission to implement an alternative energy project, and figuring out how theory maps (or doesn’t map) onto the negotiation strategies of successful attorneys.

Students get a one-day negotiation crash course at the beginning of the semester.They are encouraged, though not required, to take the Negotiation Workshop in the spring of their first year.No previous experience with or knowledge of negotiation is necessary.

This hands-on organization gives students a chance to get out of the law school environment and put their negotiation skills to work.