American Bar Association
Section of Dispute Resolution: Women in Dispute Resolution (WIDR) Committee

Section of Dispute Resolution:
Women in Dispute Resolution (WIDR) Committee

Who We Are

We are Dispute Resolution professionals committed to ensuring the full scope of opportunities are available to women in the profession. We provide business resources and a supportive community to move ourselves and each other forward.

View the WIDR Member Directory of ADR Practitioners.

Our Goals and Objectives:

  • to assess the status of women in Dispute Resolution professions and academia
  • to identify whether there are barriers that prevent women from full participation in Dispute Resolution professions
  • to determine whether women are considered for--and appointed to--all types, sizes, and complexities of cases
  • to develop positive and proactive initiatives to increase women's participation in the Dispute Resolution professions
  • to interact with women’s networking groups in the bar associations, trade organizations, and other related groups of professionals
  • to mentor women and other underrepresented Dispute Resolution professionals

Women in ADR: Practice Snapshot Survey Report

One of the goals of the WIDR Committee has been to change how neutral selection occurs in disputes, to increase the number of women who serve as neutrals, and to ensure that women and minorities were proportionally represented as neutrals. The first step, before suggesting changes, was to understand the current situation in the world of dispute resolution. In fall 2012, the Section of Dispute Resolution surveyed the lawyers belonging to the section to determine how mediators and arbitrators are selected in legal cases and the types of cases being resolved through the many available dispute resolution processes. Specifically, the survey was designed to examine who is being selected as a neutral, by whom, using what process, and for what types of cases. This report explains the methodology of the survey, the demographics of the respondents and neutrals involved in particular cases, and, most importantly, the information about neutral selection. Read the full report here.

Updates on Meetings & Projects

June Program - Building a Better Bio for Business Development

Guest Speaker: Traci Stuart, President of Blattel Communications

May Program - Co-Mediation Experiences and Recommendations

Guest Speakers: Jane Juliano, ADR Unit Chief at the US Office of Special Counsel, and Deirdre McCarthy Gallagher, President and Founder of Voices of Value, LLC

April Program – WIDR Business Meeting at Annual Spring Conference

March Program – Market Trends in ADR and Selection of Neutrals

Guest Speaker: India Johnson, President of American Arbitration Association

February Program – Gender Bias in Selection of ADR Professionals

Guest Speaker: Barbara Bryant, Mediator and Adjunct Professor, University of California, Berkeley Law School

January Program – Breathe Life Into Your Office With Products That Work

Guest Speaker: Kacy Paide, The Inspired Office

December Program – Clients’ Perspectives on Mediation

Guest Speakers: Katherine M. Kimpel, Esq., Executive Board Member and D.C. Managing Partner, and Kate Mueting, Esq., Partner and Senior Litigation Counsel, Sanford Heisler LLP

November Program – Building Common Ground to Reduce Grounds for Conflict

Guest Speaker: Michael Randel, Randel Consulting Associates

*Download Michael's Presentation*

Join Us



Turitz, Gilda
Weiner, Conna

Committee Roster  

Programs, Meetings and Events

Committee Events

Monthly Committee Tele-Meeting

June 3, 2016
Time: 12 PM ET / 9 AM PT
Conference line: 1-866-6466488 or 1-707-2879583 Access Code: 286 449 8425

NOTE – This meeting will NOT be a webinar. So please just use the teleconference information above.

We are looking forward to an incredibly useful presentation from Traci Stuart on how to improve your ADR bio.

Traci is the President of Blattel Communications, a public relations and marketing agency focused exclusively on professional services. She has more than 20 years of experience in the legal market and has worked with a range of ADR provider clients, from solo practices to the AAA. Traci has presented on business development-related topics at the ABA’s annual Dispute Resolution Section meeting, as well as to numerous national and regional legal organizations. She can be reached at

Monthly Committee Tele-Meeting

July 8, 2016
Time: 12 PM ET / 9 AM PT
Conference line: 1-866-6466488 or 1-707-2879583 Access Code: 286 449 8425

NOTE – The July meeting has been moved to the 2nd Friday of the month due to the holiday weekend.


Sheryl Axelrod, the President and CEO of The Axelrod Firm, P.C. will be speaking on the profitability of diversity. She is an outspoken and consistent advocate for diversity and has been rated by her peers as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Philadelphia, and one of the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers in Pennsylvania.

Section Events

    Closing the Deal: Getting to Yes (and Evading No!)


    Program Description : The end of the day is the most challenging part of mediation. The speakers will reveal creative mediator techniques to break through impasse as well as proven strategies for use by counsel to build durable agreements. The speakers will also address documentation of the ...

    Sealing the Deal: Issues and Tactics


    Program Description : Once you have reached a deal in principle, there are still pitfalls before you are done. Any skilled negotiator has to know how to close. Listen in for practical advice on how to manage end of deal tactics. Learn how to avoid those end of deal maneuvers that ...

    Ethics and Professionalism in Mediation: Ethical Issues Faced by Mediators and Advocates


    Program Description : The panel will share advice on how to recognize and solve potential ethical issues in the mediation process. How do advocates walk the fine line between puffery and lying? How do mediators move from a conceptual understanding of the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators ...

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Modified by Nance Schick on May 27, 2016

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