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

Section of Dispute Resolution:
Women in Dispute Resolution Committee - WIDR

Who We Are

Our Goals and Objectives:

Welcome to the Women in Dispute Resolution (WIDR) webpage. Our goal is to serve as leading resource for business and professional development of women Dispute Resolution professionals to insure them the full scope of opportunities in dispute resolution. Our goals are to -

  • Assess status of women in DR profession and academia
  • Identify whether there are barriers that prevent women from full participation in Dispute Resolution profession
  • Determine whether women are considered for, and appointed to, all types, sizes and complexities of cases
  • Develop positive and proactive initiatives for increasing participation of women in the Dispute Resolution profession
  • Interact with women’s networking groups of the ABA, Trial Bar, International Bar and other related Organizations
  • Mentor women Dispute Resolution professionals

Updates on Meetings & Projects



December 5, 2014 – Dispute Review Boards - Deborah Bovarnick Mastin

Many thanks to our November speaker, Charlie Rowan, for his insightful presentation “The Power of Empathy in Conflict Resolution.” After serving as federal judicial law clerk and as an associate at two prestigious law firms, Charlie served for 25 years as Assistant General Counsel of Unisys Corporation, where he helped that company resolve complex, high-stakes litigation in the US, Europe and Australia. Charlie led Unisys legal teams responsible for negotiation, mediation and arbitration of a wide variety of civil, commercial, governmental and environmental disputes. In 2013, Charlie founded Mediation From The Heart, a conflict resolution firm dedicated to helping people in conflict achieve satisfying, lasting peace while honoring their humanity. Charlie received his most influential mediation training from John Kinyon and Ike Lasater, founders of Mediate Your Life, an approach to understanding and resolving conflict based on the principles of nonviolent communication, and from Baruch Bush and Joe Folger, who are widely recognized as the founders of the Transformative Model of mediation. Charlie is also trained in Collaborative Practice. Charlie currently serves as Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Fairfax (Virginia) Bar Association, where he is leading an initiative to launch a mediator referral service. He is a member of WIDR. Charlie can be reached by email at or by phone at 703-435-2799.

January 9, 2015* - Elevator Pitches: The 9 Mistakes Most Lawyers Make and How to Avoid Them: There are endless resources available to help create a pitch, and yet most fail to produce results. This talk provides practical tips to create an introduction that is both memorable and authentic. Anna Rappaport, J.D., PCC,

February 6, 2015 - The Real World: Developing Your ADR CareerJeff Zaino, Vice President, Commercial Division of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) will discuss how someone interested in becoming a neutral can develop a successful ADR career.

WIDR Membership List - Spread the Word!

The WIDR Membership Directory is a searchable pdf of WIDR members. Click here to access the directory. In order to assist those seeking to increase the diversity of their selection of neutrals, we have provided information on specific practice areas, types of practice, and geographic location along with website links.

The list will also help us improve our internal communications. The list includes a greater depth of information than is currently available on members’ ABA website profiles to facilitate our networking and other Committee related activities.

This is a listing of those who responded to the survey we sent out in February and as such is not comprehensive. You can find a complete listing of WIDR members on the website: WIDR Committee Roster.

For our members who may have missed the opportunity to respond to the February survey, the membership list will be updated on an annual basis. We will send an email notification early in 2015 as and will also include a reminder in the monthly report. This is our first effort to create a detailed membership list. We welcome your suggestions for improvements.


Join the ABA's Woman Advocate Committee to network with the country's top women litigators and to benefit from pertinent programs, roundtables, and publications aimed at developing your rainmaking, trial and advocacy skills.

Thank you to our friends at WAC for including WIDR as a co-sponsor of their November program: The Women of the Section of Litigation: Leading, Litigating and Connecting, which was held at The Palmer House in Chicago, Illinois, November 5–7, 2014. WIDR also had a table to display materials and communicate with attendees about WIDR and its activities.

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.

Join Us


Committee Roster  

WIDR Committee Monthly Reports

Learn more about our activities by looking at our monthly reports. Click through to read our current issue and look at our archives.

Committee Activities and Opportunities

Dispute Resolution Magazine -- Women in ADR

Programs, Meetings and Events

Section Events

    The Role of Gender in ADR


    Join us on November 18 at 12:00 noon Eastern Time for a conversation with two leading scholars in the field of negotiation as they speak to their findings on the impact of gender on negotiations. Listen in while they discuss the common assumptions, personal experiences, and their respective approaches ...

    What is the Relevance of the Joint Opening Session in Today's Commercial Mediation Process?


    In this webinar, a mediator, in-house counsel and advocate will disclose strategies on whether and when to make opening statements, who should make opening statements, and how advocates and mediators use the opening to set the stage for a successful outcome. Participants will learn the techniques mediators ...

    Time Management for Attorneys - Work Smarter, Not Harder


    Program Description: Cami McLaren will deliver a one-hour informational webinar on the topic of time management for attorneys, from her book Coaching for Attorneys: Improving Productivity and Achieving Balance, on February 12 at noon EST. In this webinar, Ms. McLaren will introduce you to a new way ...


The Legal Technology Resource Center of the Law Practice Management Section is a great resource.

Upcoming Speakers

Join our monthly meetings, held by teleconference on the first Friday of each month at noon

Modified by Matthew Conger on January 26, 2015

Back to Top