January 26, 2009

Hamline University School of Law has named Sharon B. Press to lead its nationally ranked Dispute Resolution Institute

Press will become director of the program and associate professor of law at Hamline on July 1, 2009, when current DRI Director and Professor James Coben returns to a full-time teaching position on the Hamline law faculty. Press is the current director of the Florida Dispute Resolution Center and an adjunct professor at Florida State University College of Law. She has served as guest lecturer at Hamline since 2005.

"I am delighted to welcome Professor Sharon Press to our faculty and as the next director of Hamline's nationally ranked Dispute Resolution Institute," said Don Lewis, dean at Hamline University School of Law. "Her experience as both an educator and an administrator will allow her to continue building on DRI's educational excellence and national reputation. Hamline's Dispute Resolution Institute has achieved preeminence thanks, in large part, to the leadership and vision of James Coben, Bobbi McAdoo and other respected Hamline law faculty members. I'm confident that under Sharon's able direction, Hamline will continue leading the way in developing new and creative approaches to dispute resolution in a global context."

Joseph Stulberg, Associate Dean for Faculty and Professor at Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University, commented. "Sharon brings a broad understanding of the possible applications of mediation in diverse settings. Hamline law students will benefit from her vision, strategic thinking, experience and ability to work with multiple audiences. She is a highly respected national player in the ADR field and Hamline's outstanding Dispute Resolution Institute will be well served by her leadership," he said.

Press has served as director of the Florida Dispute Resolution Center since 1991. She was associate director from 1988 until her promotion in 1991. Press has been an adjunct professor, teaching mediation theory and general ADR survey courses at Florida State University College of Law, Hamline University School of Law, Capitol University Law School and the University of Nevada Las Vegas Law School. She is the recipient of numerous professional awards, including the Mary Parker Follett Award for Excellence and Innovation in Dispute Resolution presented by the Association for Conflict Resolution and CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution's Special Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field and Future of Dispute Resolution.

Press is a Florida Supreme Court certified county and family mediator and currently is on mediation roster for the Florida Bar Grievance Mediation Program and previously with the Neighborhood Justice Center in Tallahassee, Florida. Press has co-authored two ADR textbooks: "Mediation Theory and Practice," co-authored with J. Alfini, J. Sternlight and J. Stulberg, 2001, second edition 2006 (LexisNexus) and "County Court Mediation: A Mediator's Manual," written with Kimberly Kosch, 1999. She has published numerous professional articles and delivered mediation training in a wide variety of settings and locations, including in Amman, Jordan and Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.

Hamline's Dispute Resolution Institute is ranked fourth in the national rankings in dispute resolution in the new 2008 U.S. News & World Report rankings of the nation's best law schools and specialty programs. This marks the eighth consecutive year that U.S. News has ranked Hamline law school's dispute resolution program among the top five in the nation. Other law schools ranked in the top five with Hamline include Pepperdine, the University of Missouri-Columbia, Harvard and The Ohio State University.

The Dispute Resolution Institute at Hamline University was founded in 1991. It currently offers more than 30 ADR courses in a wide variety of domestic and international programs each year, including certificate programs in arbitration law and practice, problem-solving and dispute resolution. Mirroring the reality that contemporary lawyers work in multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural settings, DRI classes intentionally bring together law and other graduate students, human resources and business personnel, practicing lawyers and other professionals from around the world.