Harvard Clinical Program Project
IILP is working with Harvard Law School’s Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program and Audrey Lee of Perspectiva LLC to conduct the legal profession’s first coordinated examination of the way law firms communicate internally about issues of diversity and inclusion. The Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program, under the supervision and direction of Professor Robert Bordone, Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical Professor of Law, provides Harvard Law School students with practical, real-world experience in the fields of negotiation, dispute resolution and conflict management, with a focus on conflict mapping and dispute systems design. Students in the program are paired with outside organizations, institutions or individuals who provide projects related to negotiation, dispute resolution or conflict management.
The IILP project involves having Harvard Clinical Program students conduct a stakeholder assessment to better understand the current systems in place to handle internal disputes, disagreements, and misunderstandings that involve diversity and inclusion issues within a handful of law firms. Disputes involving diversity and inclusion are being considered broadly, to include issues of race, gender, ethnicity, religious, and LGBT issues, and to take into account the often subtle manifestations of these issues.
Students enrolled in Harvard’s Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program will gather and research information on these inclusion issues via surveys, interviews, and additional research. Students will prepare a report to share with each law firm’s leadership regarding their assessment of the current processes in place at the firm and recommendations to enhance the firm’s existing efforts.
Final deliverables from the Harvard Clinical Program students to each participating law firm include the following:
o A final report summarizing the students’ findings and outlining their best practices recommendations for the firm to further enhance its existing processes around management of inclusion and diversity issues;
o A presentation to law firm leadership (audience designated by each firm);
o Potential assistance by the Harvard Clinical Program in implementing its recommended best practices.
IILP will make available to other law firms its own report based on the students’ findings and will recommend areas for continued work to bolster inclusion efforts within the legal profession.
For additional information about this project, please contact Audrey Lee at Perspectiva LLC at 312-451-6434 or Audrey.Lee@perspectivallc.com or visit http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/clinical/hnmcp/web/index38fb.html?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=41&template=projects .